MEDITERRANEAN DIET FORUM 2011
The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Unesco Committees for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage on November 17, 2011, inscribed the Mediterranean Diet into the prestigious list. This acknowledgement accredits the Mediterranean lifestyle as a world model of excellence based on its superb, balanced fusion of nature and culture.
The UNESCO website speaks of the Mediterranean Diet in the following terms:
The word "diet" comes from the Greek word for "way of life", that is the overall set of practices, representations, expressions, skills, knowledge and cultural features which have enabled the Mediterranean communities to create and recreate a combination of cultural environment, social organization, legends and religious beliefs around the concept of eating.
The Mediterranean diet constitutes a set of skills, knowledge, practices and traditions ranging from the landscape to the table, including the crops, harvesting, fishing, conservation, processing, preparation and, particularly, consumption of food. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by a nutritional model that has remained constant over time and space, consisting mainly of olive oil, cereals, fresh or dried fruit and vegetables, a moderate amount of fish, dairy and meat, and many condiments and spices, all accompanied by wine or infusions, always respecting beliefs of each community.
Following in the wake of the previous international conference held in Imperia in 1983 on the culture and history of the Mediterranean Diet, this initiative for an International Forum on the Mediterranean Diet takes place in two stages: a preparatory session and a closing session.
STAGE ONE: May 6-7, 2011
Opening of proceedings and call for papers on themes relating to the Mediterranean Diet.
STAGE TWO: November 17-20, 2011
Presentation of all the papers produced by the participants in stage one, and creation and presentation of a Mediterranean dietary model.
The Special Agency organized the Opening day of the first session in conjunction with the Opening of the Imperia Chamber of Commerce New Auditorium on May 6.
The first session brought to Imperia 32 foreign delegates coming from 15 countries to discuss and share their points of view on Mediterranean Diet main issues.
The two days event included the creation of the Network of Mediterranean Olive Oil Towns, at the proposal of the International Olive Council.
WORKING GROUP TOPICS
1) The Mediterranean diet as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
2) Extra virgin olive oil: a staple of the Mediterranean diet
3) Food regions: Mediterranean Olive oil Towns
4) Olive trees and olive groves: a landscape asset
5) The Mediterranean diet as a marketing tool
6) The Mediterranean diet and health
7) The Mediterranean Diet as a food education tool
8) Mediterranean Olive Oil: preserving landscapes, traditions and knowledge for future generations