Mediterranean Diet under Threat?

Photo Credit: FAO


Just as it has become globally recognized for healthy living, sustainable food systems ,and known for preserving the environment and empowering local producers, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has issued a report (link below) citing threats including, ironically, globalization.  “The Mediterranean diet is nutritious, integrated in local cultures, environmentally sustainable and it supports local economies. This is why it’s essential that we continue to promote and support it.”  The Mediterranean diet’s focus on vegetable oil, cereals, vegetables and pulses, and its moderate intake of fish and meat, has been associated with long and healthy living. Because it is largely plant-based, the diet is comparatively light on the environment, requiring fewer natural resources than animal production.
It is not clear from the report whether food costs, up or down, is impacting either the availability or cost effectiveness of the Mediterranean Diet.  (See: “Contributing to Hunger or Food Security – Capitalism & Wholesaling?“)
According to the UN Report: “Globalization, food marketing and changing lifestyles – including in the roles women play in society – are altering consumption patterns in the Mediterranean, away from fruits and legumes towards more meat and dairy products, according to the report. With products being increasingly sourced from outside the region and diverse local landscapes being transformed by monoculture production, traditional food systems are affected by these shifting dietary habits.Tourism, urban development, depletion of natural resources, as well as a loss of traditional knowledge all contribute to the rapid diminishing of genetic diversity in crops and animal breeds across the Mediterranean, the report warns. (See: “Preventing the Mediterranean Diet from Vanishing into the Sea“)

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