FAO director urges protection of Mediterranean diet

Says diet is sustainable and has low environmental impact

18 September, 14:46

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 18 - The general director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, said Wednesday that defending the Mediterranean diet is important because it promotes local food production, encourages sustainable agriculture, protects the landscape, and has low environmental impact.

    In a speech at the FAO event "More Than 200 Years of the Mediterranean Diet: A Journey from the Ancient Romans to UNESCO Recognition in 2010, the Cultural Dimension of Food", Dongyu said the Mediterranean diet is threatened by fast food due to modern nutritional habits and therefore efforts must be made and initiatives taken to support healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet.

    "Population growth, globalisation, urbanisation, and economic pressure have provoked great changes that have contributed to food risk factors that have brought illnesses," Dongyu said.

    "This is why we need to protect the digestive system and the balance not only of the body, but of the soul," he said.

    He said FAO recognises the importance of local food and countries' traditions and foods at risk of extinction must be protected because "traditional food is essential for our cultural heritage".(ANSAmed).

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