Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mediterranean Diet 'Endangered?' It's Gone!

Italy, Spain, Greece and Morocco want UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to list the "Mediterranean Diet" as an element of world heritage and "endangered." Meanwhile, the Mediterranean is in the news as the solution to a wide range of food-caused lifestyle diseases, including allergies, asthma, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and even death from all causes. However, this "Mediterranean Diet" that Mediterranean countries want to preserve and that doctors want to prescribe is a shadow of its former self. The "original Mediterranean" of centuries or millennia ago was superior to the standard modern bastardization, and included:

* wine watered down, not drunk straight (the Spartans avoided ever getting drunk)
* whole-grains, rather than processed "white" pasta
* organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, seeds and meats
* non-industrialized meats
* wild fish only, never farmed

So if we're going to preserve a diet as part of our world heritage, and if we're going to recommend it for health, why compromise? Let's do the real, the original Mediterranean diet, not the industrial modern version.