Akdeniz Diyeti Uluslararası Konferansında konuşan konuşmacılardan bazıları, 'Gıda Değerleri'

The sec­ond International Conference on the Mediterranean Diet, ‘Inspiring a Renaissance of Food Values’ was held October 6–7 at Villa Pecori Giraldi, in Borgo San Lorenzo (Florence), under the aus­pices of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the University of Florence, and Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort.

There is an urgent need to reap­praise our rela­tion­ship with food and its prepa­ra­tion.- Simon Poole

The two-day event fea­tured pre­sen­ta­tions from pol­i­cy­mak­ers, agron­o­mists, pub­lic health offi­cials, pro­fes­sors and culi­nary experts on the rel­e­vance of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil, and health­ier eat­ing habits in the con­text of today’s indus­tri­al­ized fast-paced soci­ety, with a view to out­line new approaches and pro­pos­als to be pre­sented to world health min­is­ters and related orga­ni­za­tions.

The day after, fol­low­ing the prin­ci­ples of the con­ven­tion, the Oleoteca Villa Campestri ve National Carlo Collodi Foundation signed an agree­ment to pro­mote food edu­ca­tion and olive oil cul­ture for chil­dren.

“We brought together speak­ers and guests from a broad range of back­grounds to dis­cuss the value we place on our food, in the con­text of increas­ing recog­ni­tion of the impor­tance of tra­di­tions and food qual­ity to ensure health and sus­tain­abil­ity,” said the founder of the con­fer­ence Paolo Pasquali open­ing the con­gress.

Values inter­twined with health, cul­tural tra­di­tions, qual­ity, and sus­tain­abil­ity were under­lined by the pres­i­dent of the con­fer­ence, the chan­cel­lor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences of the Vatican City, Monsignor Marcelo Sànchez Sorondo.

The dis­cus­sion started from ‘The Last Supper’ by Giotto, exam­ined by Donatella Lippi of the University of Florence. The art­work, which inspired many artists over the cen­turies, was the sub­ject of a study that inves­ti­gated the con­tent of the meals and the changes in kinds of food and size of por­tions over time, thus pro­vid­ing inter­est­ing clues to detect how foods were used in art and how this prac­tice may reflect, or inspire, real-life set­tings.

The adher­ence to cul­ture and tra­di­tions of the MedDiet was pre­sented by Antonia Trichopoulou of the Hellenic Health Foundation of Athens, who also focused on its sus­tain­abil­ity and the “respect for sea­son­al­ity; foods less demand­ing in pri­mary energy, and lim­ited envi­ron­men­tal impact, due to low con­sump­tion of ani­mal prod­ucts and thus a small water foot­print and low green­house gas emis­sions.”

Antonia Trichopoulou

Thanks to the ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties of its com­po­nents, the MedDiet is one of the health­i­est dietary pat­terns. “The near total­ity of epi­demi­o­log­i­cal stud­ies and sev­eral human tri­als show that an ade­quate micronu­tri­ent, such as vit­a­mins, min­er­als, polyphe­nols, and essen­tial fatty acids intake is asso­ci­ated with pos­i­tive mod­u­la­tions of sur­ro­gate mark­ers of degen­er­a­tive dis­ease, notably can­cer and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease,” Francesco Visioli of the University of Padua observed.

Francesco Sofi of the University of Florence empha­sized the role of plant-based diets as a use­ful instru­ment for pre­vent­ing dis­ease, rec­og­niz­ing the need for mod­ern soci­eties to reaf­firm the link between nat­ural, sus­tain­able food and the health of indi­vid­u­als and com­mu­ni­ties. He called for a new approach whereby “food choices must be strongly sup­ported by clin­i­cal behav­ior change efforts, health sys­tems reforms, novel tech­nolo­gies, and robust pol­icy strate­gies tar­get­ing eco­nomic incen­tives, schools and work­places, neigh­bor­hood envi­ron­ments, and the food sys­tem.”

Francesco Visioli

In the per­spec­tive of food mar­ket­ing, Pierre Chandon of the Insead Sorbonne University Behavioral Lab of Paris observed that today’s eat­ing dis­or­ders and the obe­sity epi­demic are largely dri­ven by the ever-increas­ing avail­abil­ity of large por­tions of food. He pro­posed the ‘less size — more plea­sure’ solu­tion which will pro­vide both for an improve­ment of the per­cep­tion of a rea­son­able por­tion and pack­age sizes and for a focus on the sen­sory enjoy­ment of eat­ing rather than on sati­a­tion or value for money.

“There is an urgent need to reap­praise our rela­tion­ship with food and its prepa­ra­tion” said the Cambridge-based author and one of the founders of ‘Food Values,’ Simon Poole, who called on pol­i­cy­mak­ers to take bold deci­sions to address the impend­ing increase in chronic dis­ease, “in order that the eco­nomic envi­ron­ment is more con­ducive to mak­ing healthy food choices, and that every child receives an ade­quate edu­ca­tion to learn to under­stand and value excel­lence in the prepa­ra­tion and enjoy­ment of good food.”

Borgo San Lorenzo Kültür Konseyi, Cristina Becchi

The fun­da­men­tal role of extra vir­gin olive oil as a sta­ple of the Mediterranean diet was high­lighted by Jean-Xavier Guinard of the University of California at Davis. “The way olive oil clearly embraces tra­di­tion and yet is a focus of inno­va­tion in the cur­rent rein­ven­tion of food, diet, and lifestyle makes it the per­fect vehi­cle for study­ing food sci­ence, culi­nary arts and behav­ioral nutri­tion that sus­tain the Mediterranean diet and the food val­ues asso­ci­ated with it,” he remarked.

Ancient grains as an exam­ple of a renais­sance of old val­ues were dis­cussed by Stefano Benedettelli of the University of Florence. Several stud­ies have sug­gested that they could present a health­ier and a bet­ter nutri­tional pro­file than mod­ern wheats by pro­vid­ing more vit­a­mins, min­er­als and nutraceu­ti­cal com­pounds. Moreover, they con­sti­tute a viable option, being envi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able.

Montaña Cámara Hurtado of the University Complutense of Madrid pro­moted wild plant foods as an excel­lent source of bioac­tive com­pounds. “Their tra­di­tional con­sump­tion must be pre­served as a good alter­na­tive for the lim­ited vari­ety of veg­eta­bles cur­rently con­sumed, improv­ing the qual­ity and mak­ing pos­si­ble a diver­si­fi­ca­tion of mod­ern diets,” she sug­gested.

Claudio Peri of the University of Milan pro­posed a way to ensure the suc­cess of local pro­duc­tion and the mar­ket­ing of excel­lent prod­ucts: The cre­ation of healthy ‘Communities of Practice’ of small com­pa­nies involved in the pro­duc­tion-mar­ket­ing chains. “They could ben­e­fit from many advan­tages, includ­ing an effec­tive con­trol of crit­i­cal points (feed­back), con­nec­tions that allow intro­duc­ing ele­ments of one prac­tice into another (bro­ker­ing), and shar­ing of arti­facts, doc­u­ments, terms, con­cepts, and other ‘bound­ary objects’ around which they can orga­nize their inter­con­nec­tions.”

“To truly pre­serve the MedDiet and expand its accep­tance, we have to focus on con­tin­u­ously rais­ing the qual­ity and vis­i­bil­ity of its plant-based core, from veg­eta­bles to grains and olive oil,” said Greg Drescher of The Culinary Institute of America. He sug­gested ele­vat­ing the sta­tus of the recipes and tech­niques that have his­tor­i­cally made the plant-for­ward fla­vors of the Mediterranean so appeal­ing.

“Chefs within and out­side of the Mediterranean have a spe­cial oppor­tu­nity to show­case in their restau­rants the tra­di­tional genius of every­day, tra­di­tional Mediterranean vil­lage cook­ing with plant pro­teins,” Drescher added. “Long live the chick­pea! And this is all about val­ues – food val­ues,” he said.


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