Spain and Italy are to ask UNESCO to place the Mediterranean diet on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the Spanish government has announced.
The initiative, supported by scientific organisations around the Mediterranean, was presented to the Spanish parliament by Development Minister Elena Espinosa.
The UN's cultural organisation set up the Intangible Cultural Heritage list in a 2003 convention. It aims to preserve "oral traditions and expressions; performing arts; social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and traditional craftsmanship."
France announced in February it would propose French cuisine for the list, which would join The Royal Ballet of Cambodia and Mexico's Day of the Dead festival.
The mainstays of the Mediterranean diet are olive oil, fish, grains, fruit, nuts and vegetables, usually supplemented by a modest amount of red wine. Meat and dairy products have only a minor role.
Studies have praised the Mediterranean diet for cardiac and vascular health. – (Sapa)
The Fertility Diet
Med diet helps the heart