If you’ve ever been out in the world, you’ve
likely seen the word UNESCO and this weird square in a circle all over the place. UNESCO is tasked with identifying, protecting
and preserving human heritage; buildings, landscapes, and monuments — but in 2013,
they added something intangible: The “Mediterranean Diet.” You may have heard of the “Mediterranean”
diet, it’s a big fad in the United States as of late, and it’s considered to be one
of the healthiest in the world! But thanks to UNESCO, it’s not just healthy,
it’s also a piece of human heritage. Here’s hoping they give love to my Sunday
Pizza Tradition next year… The Mediterranean Diet includes plant-based
foods, as well as “healthy” fats and so on. Plus, and this is serious, limiting the amount
of red meat — i.e. mammal meats. Grilled fish is a popular item, as are other
seafoods. AND, which is pretty rare, it offers an alcoholic
component — a bit of red wine. The problem is, if you look at U.S. magazines
and blogs for the “Mediterranean Diet,” as we see it. You’d find lists of restrictions and requirements
of what to eat, what not to eat, and how to prepare your meals. That’s how American’s see a “diet.” In the U.S. “diet” doesn’t mean it’s
primary dictionary definition: “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community
habitually eats,” most of us think of the tertiary definition, “a special course of
food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.” The “Mediterranean Diet” is the former
not the latter. It’s a way of living and eating, not a list
of restrictions and requirements. UNESCO writes, “The Mediterranean diet involves
a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols and traditions concerning crops, harvesting,
fishing, animal husbandry,” — holy crap — “conservation, processing, cooking, and
particularly the sharing and consumption of food.” The foundation of the diet? Eating together. Social exchange of communication during a
meal, neighborliness, affirmation, intercultural dialog, hospitality.– Whew — You can’t buy this regional diet at a store
— it’s literally about changing your life. And of course, red wine helps with all those
things too. Better nutrition has been connected to longer,
healthier lives and even things like overall height gains, better eyesight, and prevention
of heart disease and Alzheimer’s — to name a few. The Mediterranean Diet adds heart health to
that as well, lowered levels of stress and anxiety. And it’s not just about what you’re eating
or not eating! Numerous studies have shown social interaction
and support make people physically and mentally more healthy. The concept of ‘Social buffering’ is part
of this diet — where people get together and socialize, interact and share. On top of that, Greece — one of the countries
in the Mediterranean for the geographically challenged — incorporates intermittent fasting
into their lifestyle diet thanks to the number of religiously motivated fasting days in the
Greek Orthodox tradition. We actually have a whole video about the science
of fasting. It seems to me, incorporating even a few of
these things into our lives would likely benefit us all. The “mediterranean diet” doesn’t mean
going to the Greek restaurant down the street a lot, but maybe invite your friends over
to eat some vegetables you grew (or, like me, found at a farmer’s market)! Talk! Use some olive oil! — And of course, make them bring the red
wine. We can’t do episodes like these with support
from our sponsors. Thanks to Blue Apron for supporting us at
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doorstep and shipping is free. Blue Apron recipes are in the box, along with
ingredients, which will stay fresh on your porch even if you’re not at home when dinner
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menu, and you can try it with no commitment – choosing to skip or cancel the service
at any time! Check out the link in our description and
the first 100 people to create a new account with Blue Apron will get their first three
meals free! How do you feel about hummus? It’s just chickpeas, but, damn. I love it. I could drink wine, eat veggies and a little
fish every day — but what about you? Want more on how to learn about your body? Amy’s got a video about why you should look
at your poop. Really, I know but you should and you should
check it out right here