I live between the Canary Islands, Barcelona, and the world, defending and promoting public health nutrition and, in particular, the traditional Mediterranean Diet.
The Mediterranean diet is an enormous cultural heritage accumulated during millennia and passed down uninterruptedly from generation to generation. It has evolved by welcoming and wisely incorporating new food items and techniques, thanks to its strategic geographical position, and its capacity of miscegenation and exchange of populations from the entire Mediterranean seaboard. It has been, and still is, a dynamic and vital cultural heritage.
Our society needs to be warned, informed and educated about the Mediterranean diet, to avoid its dilapidated descent into oblivion, which would have disastrous consequences for all of us who live in the region. Disastrous for our health and also for our agriculture, and traditional countryside, for this would cause a progressive abandonment of farmlands, with the consequent exodus of the rural population to cities.
Since 1996 I have been President of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation, a non-profit organisation (www.fdmed.org). The protection of the Mediterranean diet is an enormous task, involving resources that not all Mediterranean countries can afford. What’s needed is international recognition, such as that of UNESCO including the Mediterranean Diet in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.