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Several countries petitioning Mediterranean diet be listed as cultural heritage

Thursday, August 26th 2010 - 00:55 UTC
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The decision rests on Unesco World Heritage Committee The decision rests on Unesco World Heritage Committee

The Mediterranean nations of Italy, Greece, Morocco, and Spain are petitioning to have their staple diet listed as a cultural heritage item by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

UNESCO is dedicated to fostering dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.

UNESCO operates the World Heritage Committee which designates natural and cultural sites around the world as World Heritage Sites. Currently on the list are 704 cultural, 180 natural and 27 mixed properties in 151 countries around the world.

Among those previously designated are the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, The Great Wall of China, Chartres Cathedral in France, the Acropolis in Greece, the Taj Mahal in India and Yellowstone National Park.

According to the UNESCO website: Reflecting the natural and cultural wealth that belongs to all of humanity World Heritage sites and monuments constitute crucial landmarks for our world; they symbolize the consciousness of States and peoples of the significance of these places and reflect their attachment to collective ownership and to the transmission of this heritage to future generations.

Citing the tradition, taste, and health benefits of the diet, the four countries are pitching the Mediterranean Diet as an endangered diet; one that is being diluted and changed in regions throughout the world. The UNESCO designation would serve to preserve the integrity and history of the region’s food.

The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, whole grains, cheese or yogurt and fish. In addition to being heart healthy, the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to lessen the risk of cancer and depression, and ward off cognitive problems associated with aging. For those with newly diagnosed cases of Type II diabetes, this diet may help to delay or even eliminate the need for prescribed medication.

Categories: Politics, International.

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