What is the Mediterranean Diet?

“The Mediterranean Diet is a set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions related to human food, which go from the land to the table, encompassing cultures, crops and fishing, as well as the preservation, processing and preparation of food and, in particular, its consumption.
 
The nutritional model of this diet has remained constant through time and space. Its main ingredients are the olive oil, the cereals, the fresh or dried fruit and vegetables, a moderate portion of meat, fish and dairy products, abundant spices and the consumption of which around the table is accompanied with wine or infusions, always respecting the beliefs of each community.
 
The Mediterranean Diet – whose name comes from the Greek word díaita, which means life style – does not comprise the food only, as it is a cultural element which favours social interaction, as communal meals are the cornerstone of the social customs and the celebration of festive events.
 
The Mediterranean diet originated also a considerable set of knowledge, chants, refrains, tales and legends. Therefore there is an attitude of respect for the land and the biodiversity and guarantees of the preservation and development of traditional and artisanal activities linked to agriculture and fishing in many communities in the Mediterranean (…). Women have a core role both in the transfer of specific practices and knowledge on traditional rituals, gestures and celebrations, and in the safeguard of techniques.”
 
Source: UNESCO

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