Mediterranean Diet Joins United Nations Culture List

The Mediterranean diet got a big shout out from the United Nations this week: It was granted U.N. protection.

© 2009 Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust

The Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, vegetables, fruit, grains and seafood. The food regimen, Spain’s flamenco dance and Chinese acupuncture were among the cultural practices deemed “intangible” world treasures by a committee of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO.

The UNESCO panel — the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage — met this week in Nairobi to approve 50 of the 51 nominations presented for inclusion on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The committee’s list of protected cultural practices now totals more than 200.

The Associated Press reported that UNESCO also gave the nod to Spain’s human towers, built during annual festivities in Catalonian towns, and the chant of the Sybil performed in churches on Majorca. French and Mexican cuisines were adopted, too.

“We are particularly pleased by the decision,” Greek Agriculture Minister Costas Skandalidis said in a statement. “The Mediterranean diet … is considered as the healthiest diet and has acquired the status of a philosophy and a way of life.”

“It should be protected, adopted and promoted,” he said.

You can find plenty of recipes showcasing Mediterranean cuisine in the August issue of our eNewsletter as well as on the recipe section of our website.

Bon appétit,

Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch

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