The First Mediterranean Diet Roundtable in New York City

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The First Mediterranean Diet Roundtable in New York City

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in the first ever Mediterranean Diet Roundtable. It was an effort to discuss the importance but also the application of the Mediterranean Diet in different venues in the US.

The roundtable that took place in New York City, was not the typical symposium that focuses only on the scientific side, but rather a mix of professionals you do not ordinarily see together in an event like this. Chefs, foodservice directors and researchers gathered and presented their Mediterranean Diet perspectives as seen through their field of work.

The vision of Daniela Puglielli founder and creator of this event was to encourage a peer to peer discussion on the topic, bringing it to a practical level.

The audience included doctors, nutritionists along with food industry professionals, international manufacturers and international trade organization representatives.

The session started with Oldways President Sara Baer-Sinnott who presented the journey of the Mediterranean diet in the US. Oldways is the creator of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid that was first presented in the 1990’s and provided Americans with a first glimpse of the Mediterranean Diet.

The California Mediterranean Diet

The CALIFORNIA MEDITERRANEAN DIET

What is The California Mediterranean Diet?

What is the California Mediterranean Diet? It is a symbiosis of the healthy foods and eating patterns associated with the old food ways of the Mediterranean, and the new and modern creativity and environmental consciousness of California cuisine. The goal of this website is to guide you through the maze of food marketing hype, nutrition research inconsistencies and controversies and environmental quandaries when trying to make conscious, healthful, and flavorful food choices.

This site will include content focused on several key values:

  • Food should be healthy, tasty and minimally processed whenever possible.
  • Food should be free of harmful contaminants.
  • Methods of food preparation should be simple and practical. You should not have to be a gourmet chef to prepare a healthy and delicious meal.
  • Sources of food should be sustainable. This includes consideration of the environmental consequences of food choices including energy use, water use, waste production, soil conservation and preservation of open space.
  • Traditional food flavors and food ways and diversity of ingredients are a part of our  cultural heritage and should be preserved.
  • A shared meal, with consciously chosen food, in the company of friends or family, is one of the foundations of civilization and one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Mediterranean diet

Not just healthier but also better for the environment?

While the health benefits of following a Mediterranean-style diet are well-known, new research has also suggested that the dietary pattern also leaves less of a carbon footprint than other options.

The new findings come after researchers analysed carbon footprint of daily menus served in Spain, based on a roughly Mediterranean diet, and compared them to those eaten in English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom and the US.

Writing in the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy Journal of Health Services Research & Policy , the team behind the study found that Spanish menu’s leave less of a carbon footprint than that of the US or the UK.

“Climate change is an international priority that must be tackled from all angles, one being the family environment and consideration of our daily diet,”  commented Professor Rosario Vidal from Jaume I University of Castellón, who led the study.

Based on a menu with the same calorific intake, the average daily carbon footprint for the Spanish diet was 5.08 kg of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) – significantly less than the average for the US (between 8.5 kg and 8.8 kg CO2e) or the United Kingdom (7.4 kg CO2e), said the team.