Wikispanishfood editorial team
Last Monday, the magazine Qcom.es organized a discussion about "The future of the Mediterranean Diet" as part of its series of Forum on Diet events, which sought to underline the importance of the diet as a vital component of Spanish tradition that goes well beyond gastronomy.
Francisco Martínez Arroyo, Minister for Agriculture for the Castile-La Mancha Regional Government and President of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation highlighted the importance of involving the entire agri-food chain, including the distribution and foodservice segments. "We can't talk about this intangible cultural heritage of humanity if it's not reaching consumers," said Martínez Arroyo, referring to the Mediterranean Diet.
He also spoke about the importance of internationalization for the Mediterranean Diet Foundation, and Paralelo 40, a project that aims to promote the diet among all countries around the 40th parallel, with which Spain shares traditions and also crops. "The diet isn't more Mediterranean because it's close to the sea—in Valencia, Catalonia or Andalusia or in bordering regions of Italy. The diet is Mediterranean because it's in a part of the world where crops can be grown that have led to consumption habits and a way of life that are different," he added. Paralelo 40's Scientific Committee comprises prestigious researchers from eight countries, led by Dr. Ramón Estruch, who also coordinates the Predimed Study.
Adolfo Muñoz, restaurateur and President of Adolfo Group was on hand to share the foodservice segment's point of view, and he underlined the importance of bringing our diet back to its roots. "A good diet must be based on food that is as healthy and local as possible," he said.
The Columela Awards will recognize Mediterranean products in Toledo
Martínez Arroyo also announced the creation and presentation of the Columela Awards in Toledo, which will recognize bread, wine and olive oil producers at its first edition.
Grains, fruits and vegetables and olive oil are the pillars of the Mediterranean Diet, which was included on UNESCO's intangible heritage of humanity list in 2010. In addition to being one of the most prestigious diets internationally, the Mediterranean Diet reflects the tradition of countries around the Mediterranean Sea, their landscapes, professions and the culture of celebrating around the dinner table.
The Interprofesional del Aceite de Oliva de España, the Spanish Association of Juice Producers (Asozumos) and the Bread Every Day campaign supported the discussion on the future of the Mediterranean Diet as representatives of some of our gastronomy's most representative products.