The Slow Food Ark of Taste is where "culinary heritage meets biodiversity." Varieties placed on the "ark" are those whose rich history and cultural significance is well documented, yet whose existence is threatened simply by the lack of people growing and perpetuating it. Varieties of crops, like species of plants and animals, can (and do) go extinct from lack of habitat and unfavorable conditions. These varieties deserve preservation not just because they each have a great story, but because the futures of our evolving food crops depend on a rich well of genetic diversity with which they can continually adapt, and be adapted by plant breeders, to thrive in changing conditions. In the case of our food crops, the unfavorable conditions leading to a decrease in diversity are many, but one we can immediately address is the decrease in the number of people growing these crops and saving these seeds.
A small kitchen garden really can change the world!