- Mediterranean Diet

In Faro for the training of the "ambassadors" of the Mediterranean Diet

In Portugal, the project is aimed at training professionals who will have the mission of spreading the principles of the Mediterranean diet

From 27 to 29 of November the first International class on Mediterranean Diet within the INTERREG “” project took place in Faro, University of Algarve.

The first class that took place in Faro will be repeated in Regions that are project partners.

The main objective was the wide spreading of the main features of Mediterranean Diet among target players: professionals, companies, citizens, schools, public bodies.

Training in partners’ countries will be done through classes, seminars, workshops, guided tours and round tables.

First panel - Journey through Mediterranean natural and cultural landscapes.

Professor Joào Guerreiro opened the first panel. He underlined the importance to protect landscapes, people, customs, and production techniques of Mediterranean areas that make them so unique with comparison to the rest of the world.

Since ever, our food heritage has been an expression of relationship and sociability along with trade.

Travels and migrations have determined contaminations.

As the French historian Fernand Braudel stated “ travelling through the Mediterranean means finding the Roman world in Lebanon, the prehistory in Sardinia, Greek towns in Sicily, Arabs in the Iberian Peninsula or Turkish Islam in Yugoslavia”.

At the same time, Mediterranean Regions are very exposed to climate change: the temperature is increasing by 20% more rapidly than average, there is a reduction in water resources, the sea level and the exploitation of fishery stocks have increased as assessed by the First Scientific Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Architect Valeria Pizza believes that a cartographic study should be done in order to map the Mediterranean diets countries and she also suggests the creation of an Atlas gathering all sustainable production techniques.

Professor Joào Pedro Bernardes spoke about “unity in diversity”.

Mediterranean is an intersection of people coming form South, East, North and West, it’s a melting pot, which gathers and divides continents where the main monotheistic religions were born.

Common features link all the Mediterranean Countries such as fairs and food markets, saltpans, the hard work in the fields, religious and popular festivities, a strong connection between life in the coast and in the hinterland.

Below follow some experiences, which have been shared during the meeting, i.e.:

Geotalks and Walks promotes geotourism in Algarve through walks and talks on the geologic resources of the territory. It provides for different itineraries for directing tourism to inner areas and in all seasons;

 QRER is a cooperative, which promotes development in countries with low population density and organizes the Forgotten Food Festival (comida esquecida), the Querenca’s market, the Algarve Walking Season and the Walking festival. It also supports cultural and creative companies;

Proactive tour, a tour operator specialized in sustainable and responsible tourism, records that in recent years there was an ever-increasing trend for Food tourism, eco-tourism, experiential tourism and a greater request for eco-sustainable facilities.

Second panel - Mediterranean Diet: food and gastronomic heritage

Traditional productions of the Mediterranean Basin - oil, cereals and wine – as stated by Maria Palma Mateus during the second panel are particularly indicated for the prevention of many diseases and therefore highly recommended by Public Administrations.

Rossella Galletti of the University Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples illustrated an ethnographic research

in support of “living libraries” culminating in the video “Hope you live 100 years”.

The video, which gathers interviews of Cilento inhabitants, intends to uncover the reasons for this long-lived population.

The potential of “solar cooking” has been presented by Celestino Ruivo, mechanical engineer who illustrated the potential of “solar cuisine” which allows for the preparation of good food with solar energy, only. This energy is stored by cooking equipment - widespread in Eastern countries as well , such as shaffer dish, funnel cooker or the pucca cooker.

A “cook it” demonstration with solar energy followed his speech.

Caterina Vasconcelos and Ana Poeta In loco Association illustrated the project “O prato certo” (The right meal) , other projects with local producers as well as MED fest, Med Diet Route, the food safety Observatory and a project on nutrition education focused on producers.

Rui Matias Lima, Ministry of Education ended the session dealing with the topic of Mediterranean Diet and school canteens recalling the National Strategy for citizenship education.

At the end of the day participants took part to the Cataplana experience.

Third panel - Cultural and touristic heritage. Promotion of regional development through Mediterranean Diet.

Alexandra Goncalves illustrated the new tourism trends, which more and more favor emotions, sensations and experiences rather than products. Tourist looks for an experience to remember affecting the 5 senses.

The trend is towards a new romanticism, a search for sincerity and genuineness of which Cooking in the landscape or the Cataplana experience (cooking workshop ) are an example.

Other tools in support of the new tourism are the platform Algarve immaterial, which gathers material of the intangible culture of the region, the network on creative tourism and the website

Emma Pla Rusca illustrated the Global Report on Food Tourism (UNWTO, 2012) and the Guidelines for the development of gastronomic tourism issued by the World Organization on Tourism.

She also illustrated the experience made in Peru by projecting an interesting promotional video, which proves the success of a Food Tourism based on products used by local communities.

During this panel many best practices were illustrated, i.e.:

Meeting the chef, Wine tours, Food tours, Farm and Producer Tours, Bespoke and Multidays Tours, illustrated by Antonio Guerriero. Small groups (maximum 12 persons) are informed on the product, its origin and share a conversation on food.

Jorge Queiroz spoke about the Tavira Med Diet Fair, the first edition took place in September 2013 before the approval of Mediterranean Diet as UNESCO Intangible Heritage, an event supported by the Tavira Municipality, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism.

The fair is a showcase of sustainable agriculture good practices.

Felipe Barata gave the final speech and he underlined that Mediterranean is since ever characterized by migrations, contaminations, alternation of war and peace periods, boundaries and coexistence of different religions.

Over time people learned to live together with an incredible ability to merge differences.

According Felipe Barata, culture and health must always go together.

Research should concentrate on products, new products, on social issues which impact on health, on know-how connected to Mediterranean Diet, on economic practices including gastronomy.

Information and dissemination need to be promoted through heritage interpretation centers and eco-museums. An Observatory for the promotion of Mediterranean Diet and an Encyclopedia on Mediterranean diet could be an option for the future.


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published on 2019/12/16 10:15:41 GMT+2 last modified 2019-12-16T10:15:41+02:00

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