The Decline of the Mediterranean Diet
Thursday, 25 September 2008
How many of you saw the story yesterday in the New York Times about the decline of the Mediterranean diet? (here’s the link) It seems that their diet is not so Mediterranean anymore – it’s more like American now. As countries like Greece and Spain have abandoned their traditional diet of olive oil, fish, unrefined grains and fresh produce in exchange for fast food joints, pizza parlors, and soda machines, doctors are seeing rising epidemics of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity in children. That’s a scary thought – although not surprising, considering how fast foods, convenience & processed foods, sodas and sweets are so high in saturated & trans fats, salt, refined grains and sugar. The spread of these food-like items to other parts of the world is a result of mass marketing by the food industry, and now these cultures with traditionally healthy cuisines are favoring the convenience of processed foods. As a result, our western diseases are spreading as well. I often wonder what is the tipping point for us to collectively realize the error of our ways and trust that our ancestors got it right – slow cooked whole foods are the way to health.