Today is World Sustainable Gastronomy day , established by United Nations in order to underline the importance of a food respectful of the environment, able to safeguard the ecosystem and human health.
In the last few years, the theme of food has entered in the national and international political agendas. There are many problems to be faced: by 2050, in order to cope with population growth, food production will have to increase by more than 70%, putting pressure on planetary resources. At the same time, the number of people who suffer from food shortages and, on the other hand, those who are overweight and suffer from obesity, is worrying. For years, the food system has done nothing but exacerbate our impact on the planet, leading to enormous waste and exacerbating social inequalities.
With the pandemic and the green revolution, these contradictions are coming to light, and there is an increasing need to revolutionize the way we produce and consume food. On the consumer side, in particular, we hear a lot about sustainable diets. In a previous article we introduced the world of climatarians, those who intend to fight climate change through food choices. But what is the most sustainable diet for the planet?
The Mediterranean diet
Always considered a healthy diet for the heart, since the 90s the Mediterranean diet has begun to be taken as an example of balanced and environmentally sustainable diet. Thanks to the high consumption of vegetables, legumes, fresh and dried fruits, olive oil and cereals, the moderate consumption of fish and dairy products (especially cheese and yogurt) and the even more moderate consumption of meat and sweets, this dietary pattern can truly be defined as doubly beneficial, for us and for the planet. It is estimated that in order to obtain 100 calories, the Mediterranean diet has an environmental impact of about 60% less than a North American or North European diet, based to a greater extent on animal fats and meat.
In 2013 the Mediterranean diet became UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as it is able to benefit health, while promoting the production of food with low environmental impact and the conservation of biodiversity.
Besides environmental benefits, a sustainable diet such as the Mediterranean one brings a series of social and economic benefits. The consumption of local and seasonal products, in fact, contributes to the enhancement of companies and territories, preserving the flavors of tradition. In addition, the adoption of a healthy eating style leads to the reduction of national medical costs: following a balanced diet such as the Mediterranean one it is in fact possible to maintain one's weight, with lower cardiovascular risks and a mortality rate reduced up to 30%.
Is the Mediterranean diet disappearing? Paradoxically, in Southern Italy, the cradle of the Mediterranean diet, an inversion of food trends is taking place: from a diet based on cereals and foods of vegetable origin, we are moving towards a diet that is always more 'packaged '. This has led to an increase in people with obesity problems, now 11% of the
population in the southern regions of our peninsula.
Unfortunately, this is a phenomenon that is occurring in all the countries of the Mediterranean area, especially among the youngest. The alarm was raised a few years ago by Joao Breda, head of the WHO European office: 'The Mediterranean diet for the children of these countries is dead and
the closest to the Mediterranean diet are the Swedes '.
The advent of sweets and junk foods has initiated a nutritional transition that is distancing the young inhabitants of Mediterranean countries from this extraordinary diet, with the risk of losing an immense social, cultural and environmental heritage. Now more than ever it is important to retrace our steps, trying to rediscover those flavors and that healthy lifestyle that make our territory unique in the world.
-https: / / www.innesti. com / 2-equilibrium / mediterranean-diet-health-culture-and-sustainability /
- https: / / biopianeta.it / 2018 / 05 / mediterranean-diet-goodbye-they-follow-only -in-sweden /
- https: / / wonderwhy.it / which-is-the-most-sustainable-diet-for-us-and-for-the-planet / #: ~: text = Fundamental è increase your intake, food over other foods.