The Harvard School of Public Health, Boston

The Harvard School of Public Health is hosting two events at the end of September celebrating Greek food and the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

A conference titled “Mediterranean Diet and Workplace Health” will be held from September 27 to 28 at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Participants will then be invited to the Greek Food and Wine Expo on Sunday.

The conference is hosted in collaboration with the PBS’s The Cooking Odyssey. Highlights will include lectures, panel discussions and, of course, chef-crafted meals. Guest will include Diane Kochilas, the host of Greece’s most popular cooking show, Ti Tha Fame Simera Mama (What’s for Dinner Today, Mom); celebrity chef George Kyrtatas; Dr. Athena Linos, president of the National Committee for the Greek Diet; and numerous Harvard faculty.

The first day’s agenda features discussions on the challenges of managing diabetes with the contemporary American diet, the history and science of the Mediterranean diet and the disease-fighting power of Greek eating. Day 2 will focus on methods of promoting dietary change within the workplace, including techniques of operating a healthy institutional food service, corporate best practices in nutrition and a panel discussion on motivating change in eating behaviors.

The cost to attend the conference is one thousand dollars.

Stefanos N. Kales, conference director and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, explained the challenges faced with large-scale implementation of healthy eating changes in an article posted on the Huffington Post:

“Unfortunately, food services in our workplaces, schools and government offices have been slow to implement authentic Mediterranean food options, but they may be coming around,” he said. “Collaborations between chefs and health experts can transform institutional cafeterias into healthier more vibrant operations.”

There will be frequent refreshment and meal breaks planned on both days of the conference, and the agenda notes that “all meals and refreshments served at the event will be consistent with the Mediterranean Diet, inspired and supervised by our world-renowned chefs.” Breakfast will feature Greek yogurt with honey, raw walnuts and pistachios and fresh fruits and lunch a Greek village salad topped with extra virgin olive oil and Kalamata chicken.

Participants of the conference and the general public will be invited to the Greek Food and Wine Expo, which runs from 1:30 PM to 6 PM on September 28 at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Center in Brookline, Mass.

The expo will feature a number of Greek products, mezedes (tapas) as well as wine tastings. Mediterranean art and music will accompany the array of edible treats.

For more information visit the event website.

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