Food for thought?
The article in today's Telegraph HERE is one of those cringe generating gushing things. The basis of it all is the claim that the Mediterranean diet is the best in the world. So good that Spain with help from Italy, Greece and Morocco wish to have the much-lauded Mediterranean diet placed on the UNESCO world heritage list. But defining the diet - and its health benefits - is harder than one might think, writes Sarah Morris. Too right, and, after reading the article I found the whole thing hard to take seriously, a bit like spending too much time with an attention seeking child.
For later down the page we are told that the diet is - based on the dietary traditions of Crete, Greece and southern Italy circa 1960 at a time when the rates of chronic disease were among the lowest in the world, and adult life expectancy was among the highest, even though medical services were limited.
And further down the page again -
Spain is also battling a growing problem of obesity. The rate of obesity in adults has doubled within the last 10 years to 14 percent, while one in three Spanish children is overweight or obese - as in Italy and Greece - the highest rate in Western Europe.The rise is blamed on factors like overeating.
Aha! New York, we are told in the 1978 song by Gerard Kenny, was so good they named it twice. Now it would seem that the Mediterranean diet is so good the locals are eating twice as much as they should. Also is it a bit bumptious to pretend that these dietary traditions of the 1960s be foisted upon the rest of the world now? In the 1960s Spain had its own fishing grounds and so did the UK, there was no EU Common Fisheries Policy and no over fishing. Perhaps in Spain if they not only ate less but caught less, that might help. The over fishing of the sea off the West coast of Africa is well documented and some of the data comes from the UN. Many of the ships are from the EU with the Spanish fleet being very prominent. And just in case you have forgotten, UNESCO is the UN's education and cultural wing. Then almost at the foot of the article is this comment -
Agriculture Minister Elena Espinosa has said marketing campaigns for Mediterranean products are already being run in Spain, the EU and the rest of the world.
Silly me, I thought it was an article but it's an advert all along!