The Conference “Mediterranean Diet: Health, Wellbeing and Tourism” is organized by the Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (www.cieo.pt) in partnership with the Chaire Unesco "Alimentations du Monde" (www.chaireunesco-adm.com) as a cooperative action between the University of Algarve and the Institute Nationale de Recherche Agronomique, Montpellier.
In the last few years, a web of multidisciplinary research and collaborative processes in the fields of the construction of food models, product characterization and quality, nutrition, innovations, taking into account the preservation of biodiversity, natural resources and environment have been taking place. In addition, the organization of the food chains, a search for commercial opportunities and the consequences of a globalization of trade are also being investigated.
Algarve is the ideal site for stablishing a long term responsibility in diffusing Mediterranean Diet. In 2013, coordinated by the Tavira Municipality, Portugal together with other seven countries were able to push the Mediterranean Diet to be awarded the prestigious UNESCO distinction of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This conference aims to increase the awareness and understanding of the impact of the Mediterranean dietary way of life, as well as to disseminate the research work that is taking place on this subject.
The Mediterranean diet has been initially identified, due to its recognized longevity and health benefits. Those were associated with "basic" products of the Mediterranean folk cuisine, which constantly uses cereals, olive oil and wine, dried and fresh vegetables, fruit, sugar and honey, milk and cheese, meat and fish.
But, beyond the strict means of its words, the "Mediterranean diet" has evolved in the last decades, to embrace a comprehensive Mediterranean lifestyle in which food, health, physical activity, culture, ethnic background, religion, agricultural production, economy and sustainability all interact.