The Mediterranean Diet, by unanimous decision, became part of Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage in 2008. Bread, pasta, fruit, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and the traditional glass of wine consumed at the table in regular meals have enabled Italians to conquer the longevity record, with an average life span of 77.2 years for men and 82.8 years for women.
Following the Mediterranean diet can be a strategic element in the fight against climate change: it can facilitate a 72% reduction in greenhouse gases, a 58% reduction in land use, a 52% reduction in energy consumption, and a 33% reduction in water consumption.
According to a 2022 study by CREA Alimenti e Nutrizione (CREA Food and Nutrition), Italians who follow the Mediterranean diet (around 40%) are the most informed and generally interested in nutrition.
The pandemic and geopolitical tensions highlight that the Mediterranean diet could be exposed to rising commodity prices; however, this dietary habit, besides being fundamental for health, has an important opportunity for sustainability and thus less pressure on soil and water resources, lower greenhouse gas emissions and a reduction in the erosion of rural biodiversity.