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Traditional foodways: Innovation, resilience and continuity in the ancient Mexican Highlands

Project description

Mesoamerican food secrets are on the menu

In the western Mexican highlands, the gradual erosion of traditional food knowledge among Mesoamerican communities is a pressing problem. This loss of ancient dietary practices not only affects cultural heritage but also has implications for global health and the environment. As modern food habits contribute to health and environmental challenges, the need to revive and comprehend traditional diets becomes paramount. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the TIRECUA project endeavours to reconstruct the long-forgotten foodways of ancient Mesoamerican populations through an innovative multidisciplinary approach, highlighting the significance of ancestral recipes and promoting sustainable, healthy alternatives for the future.


Traditional foodways: Innovation, REsilience and ContinUity in the Ancient Mexican Highlands (TIRECUA) aims at reconstructing the diet of ancient Mesoamerican populations from the Western Mexican Highlands. Food is a highly multidimensional character which not only translates the necessity of eating but also fundamental cultural processes, subsistence practices and environmental constraints. Today, our food practices have an increasing impact on human health and on the environment, and the rediscovery of more traditional eating habits has the potential of reducing our environmental footprint, increasing global health and improving the future of food security. This research will focus on Mesoamerica, a region traditionally relying on an original and economically important set of food products but where Indigenous knowledge is seldomly recognised. TIRECUA will develop an innovative multidisciplinary approach to understand what food was consumed by whom, and how it varied through time. This EU-funded research project will set-up a state-of-the-art framework for biomolecular diet analyses including stable isotopes, palaeoproteomics and ancient DNA by combining the skills of the applicant with the host institution. The outcomes of TIRECUA are expected to be of interest to a large public by highlighting ancestral recipes, acknowledging the cultural origin of this food in the deep-time and promoting alternative, healthy and sustainable meals.


Net EU contribution
€ 211 754,88
33000 Bordeaux

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Nouvelle-Aquitaine Aquitaine Gironde
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)