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Vous consultezChapter 1. The Mediterranean Diet: designed for the future
AuteurJoan Reguant-Aleix du même auteurMediterranean Diet Foundation, Spain
Joan Reguant-Aleix is Advisor to the Mediterranean Diet Foundation in the cultural heritage field. As a professional sociologist and architect, he is a Conservator and Restorer of Historic Centres and Monuments (University of Barcelona), and a specialist of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). He has a degree in cultural policy and cultural management (University of Barcelona) and is currently studying land management, landscape and environment (Open University of Catalonia). He was the co-founder and President of ICOMOS Andorra (2000-2007), Co-director for Spain of the CORPUS Project (European Commission-MEDA-Euromed Heritage) and co-author of the book entitled Arquitectura tradicional mediterránea (Traditional Mediterranean Architecture) (2002). He has served as an advisor, director or coordinator of several applications for World Heritage and Intangible Heritage of Humanity nominations, and, in particular, acting through the Mediterranean Diet Foundation he was in charge of the technical transnational coordination of the application for the inclusion of the Mediterranean Diet on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list (2010). He has taught college courses in the areas of cultural heritage and landscape and is the author of several publications, articles and papers in the cultural heritage field. He is currently a member of the Cultural Heritage Advisory Council of Andorra.
To talk of the Mediterranean Diet is to face the challenge of how to handle two terms, or rather to seek the marriage of the two, each of colossal content and each perceived or understood in truly different ways. Today, this has given rise to an association of elements that has hit the media, and which appeals to the interest of scientists, academics and organisations of many fields of expertise and has become a social icon whose expansion has increased progressively since the last thirty years of the twentieth century, particularly in the area that we call of western culture and undoubtedly in the rest of the world too.
2 The expression “Mediterranean Diet” evokes a complex space dating back thousands of years and bringing together movement, the Mediterranean Sea and a clearly dynamic lifestyle of individuals and peoples that have inhabited its lands or crossed its sea, who have interacted with this space constantly, permanently reshaping it and being reshaped themselves. Thus, these words refer to the “diet” This term will be addressed afterwards. ...
suite that is followed in the Mediterranean It is essential to point out that when we speak of the Mediterranean...
suite. This is a process whose incessant journeys we have given a name, a name that englobes all its movements backwards and forwards, its traditions and innovations, its endogenous and exogenous dynamics.
3 This is no triviality. First of all, none of these two terms has a unanimously accepted “identity” yet they do have varied and often contradictory perceptions or definitions that are analysed at the same time from diverse points of view, which lead to multiple distortions. In the second place, the unique feature of the expression in grammatical terms gives rise to bipolar debates that are not always rigorous, on the differences versus the uniformity of this small universe called the Mediterranean. Thirdly, the two terms designate “things” with imprecise limits that are difficult to pin down, and even more difficult to reconcile, and hence it is very easy to fall into Aristotelian vertigo: “if the definition of a body is that which is delimited by a surface area, an infinite body cannot exist, neither sensitive nor thought Aristotle, Physics, Ph. 3. 5 (204b), Paris, Librairie philosophique...
suite”. To a certain extent we are “map-dependent” and all that which does not allow for a geometric limit or which cannot be mapped exactly, practically does not exist.
4 The term “Mediterranean” is used to refer to the Sea itself and, moreover, to the space that conforms the sea and the surrounding lands. The Mediterranean has transcended the geographical scope and has risen to the category of idea, concept, historic figure, place full of representations, often swinging between myth and reality. In fact, now when we talk of “Mediterranean” unless referring explicitly to a precise maritime aspect, we rarely think automatically only of the sea or even a more or less well-defined territory. The mention of this term becomes an immediate reference to a group of tangible and intangible qualities, relatively real, idealised to a greater or lesser degree, much more than a physical space in itself.
5 Right at the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Africa and Asia, since the XVI century, the Mediterranean has been endowed with a connection with the “New World”, it has been the cradle and melting pot of western civilisation, and over thousands of years has been built on exchanges of all types, tangible and intangible, pacific and violent, equal and unequal, long-lasting and sporadic, proximate and distant, directly and through intermediaries. Too small not to resemble each other, too big to be the same. Too near not to cross each other and at times to avoid collision. Too near and yet with scarce mutual knowledge.
6 In this permanent blend each has something of the “Other” and in the “Other” each can see himself reflected. The vestiges do not deceive us, place names and heritage names accredit this, every step of the way the landscape shows this, the Gods consecrate it. Festivities celebrate it and our calendar marks the pace. This fusion can be more intense between some areas than between others but no corner or person of the Mediterranean can elude it, in this constant coming and going of people, products and autochthonous and foreign ideas that nurture it and turn it into a unique space. “To travel through the Mediterranean is to come across the Roman world in the Lebanon, prehistoric times in Sardinia, the Greek villages in Sicily and the Arab presence in Spain, the Turkish islam in Yugoslavia” (Braudel, 1985) and to that we could add an African oasis in Elche in the Levant of Spain.
7 No-one in the Mediterranean possesses it but everyone contributes to its making, “all the shores are touched by the same Mediterranean and share its history and Culture” (Chikhi, 2001). Each of us conforms such a limited synthesis of this space and an indispensible portion of it that makes it impossible to define it and describe it completely. “No single people brings together all the Mediterranean features: they are scattered from one extreme to the other of the Mediterranean” (Matvejevitch, 1992). A universe of neighbourhoods, in the Mediterranean each is just as necessary as the next when explaining and describing it. It is not a place of half a dozen dogmas, but a constellation of details. “An interminable sum of fortunes, accidents and repeated achievements” (Braudel, 1985). The Mediterranean moves, the Mediterranean lives. Even though at times it seems to be in different eras (2012, 1433, 5772) we share the same time and a common space.
8 As Paul Cézanne said: “the contours escape me”; Aristide Maillol stated: “nature is mobile and changing. You make a contour, a slight shift, or a minute detail prevents you from finding it an hour later”. Anyone who has studied the landscape and the cartography knows how difficult it is to map limits, in the context of the tangible and the intangible, because the landscape is changing constantly. It is not static and the changes, transformations and plasticity do not adjust well to maps, which tend to consecrate theoretically indisputable realities, frozen in time, such as the limits between water and lands or political territories.
9 The judicial sense is practical and in its definition of sea there is probably no discussion. In international law the sea refers to a surface area defined by the shoreline, that is, the territory that is always covered with water. In the words of Matvejevitch, “the problem is that coasts trace the limits of the sea, not those of the Mediterranean”. It is the coasts in ancient times that were also used to delimit the Mediterranean and to give specific names to many parts of this sea according to the name of the lands to which they belong (hence, in the times of Plinium, Hispania, Gaul, Liguria, Thyrrehnia, Cretica,…). Today we still conserve many of them. A sea to which the lands give their name: Mediterranean, Mediterraneus This term appears for the first time in Etymologies of Saint...
suite, the sea in the midst of lands.
10 The Mediterranean, this historic figure, since Fernand Braudel, slippery in its terrestrial limits. Undoubtedly the Mediterranean is, in the words of this historian, both lands and sea, but how far, inland? This is a question without an answer or at least with many inconclusive or non convincing answers. In the first place because an “original” or “authentic” Mediterranean that many obsess about and lose themselves in does not exist. Instead, a countless number of Mediterraneans have followed on from each other over time offering a given profile and character at each instant, fruit of multicultural energies both of their own and brought in from elsewhere. It is useless to seek the Mediterranean that we would keep as a timeless and eternal “template”. It would not be easy to find the Mediterranean with clear cartographic limits, if it were not for convention and based on a given discipline or according to a need, we could define “a” given Mediterranean The Environmental Atlas of Mediterrània considers that...
suite. Different dynamics have produced and continue to produce shapes that are more or less saturated and quite fuzzy, or diffuse. From different perspectives or disciplines the Mediterranean widens or narrows, or becomes larger or smaller. The same thing happens when it is observed at different times.
11 “The Mediterranean is an absurdly small sea: the length and greatness of its history makes us dream it larger than it is”, states Lawrence Durrell in his Balthazar. Indeed, because the Mediterranean is more than the geography and history of thousands of years that it carries on its shoulders, it gives this area an extraordinary dimension. This historic immensity was already discerned by Braudel: “The complete history of the Mediterranean is such a mass of knowledge that it defies all reasonable synthesis” (Braudel, 1985). To whom Predrag Matvejevitch responded: “We do not know exactly how far the Mediterranean reaches, which part of the coast it occupies, where it ends inland or in the sea. […] There are places where the continent does not join the sea […] beyond, the Mediterranean nature englobes vaster parts of the continent, penetrates them further with its influence. The Mediterranean is not only a geography. […] A circle of chalk drawn and erased incessantly, but waves and winds, works and inspirations that swell or shrink […]” (Matvejevitch, 1992).
12 When attempting to set limits to the Mediterranean, climatic limits have been traced, but these have their weaknesses: the biogeographical Mediterranean overflows the Mediterranean basin altogether, and at the same time does not cover it totally. Whilst the desert reaches the coast in Libya converting it into a country of the Mediterranean basin, it does not belong to the Mediterranean domain in biogeographical terms, they are bioclimatically Mediterranean territories very far from the classical Mediterranean basin. Nor do the historic-type limits seem to be satisfactory. The Roman Empire that is sketched as a large “unified” area for a significant time around the Mediterranean corresponds approximately to the Mediterranean biome, but it is evident that it includes northern territories that are indeed distal or a modest strip on the southern coast.
13 Attempts have been made at agricultural or livestock farming limits. In this case the olive tree seems to be the great common denominator and boundary although it still presents limitations, such as for example the maximum level at which olives are grown. Making the limits of these groves coincide with those of the Mediterranean has been a frequent option, taken by historians, anthropologists or writers. Fernand Braudel writes: “When arriving from the North, the Mediterranean commences at the first olive grove and stretches to the first palm groves that rise in the desert” Igor de Garine affirms: “we can conveniently describe the Mediterranean area as that which enables the culture of cereals, vines and olives as well as livestock farming, that was transhumant in the past and now is sedentary, dominated by sheep and goat farming”. Furthermore, Georges Duhamel declares sententiously: “There where the olive withdraws, so too does the Mediterranean”. It was probably the combination of all these efforts to delimit as well as the many other attempts made, that which best make up a densiometric type image, in which in any case rather imprecise limits coexist. This is reasonably logical. Let us not be trapped into sterile chimaeras.
14 Beyond perimetral considerations, the Mediterranean gives its name to a region that has undergone a great deal of anthropic intervention since ancient times. Today it is even more intensely modified by Man. As a “cultural landscape”, namely as a result of the permanent and intense interaction between man and nature, the Mediterranean leaves no more than a few inches of land “in its natural state”, reaching considerable degrees of artificialisation. It can be said that as a whole the Mediterranean is a landscape that has been sculpted over thousands of years, in an uninterrupted process, whereby communications and infrastructures, traditional and industrial agriculture, the singular and specific processes of land occupation and built-up areas or industrial complexes have been leaving unique and differentiating tracks.
15 The Mediterranean is mostly a food-based landscape. It is the reflection of an agroforestry, livestock and fishing history stretching back thousands of years and that began to take form at its eastern extreme. Those incredible agricultural and livestock achievements in impossible territories announce the modelled future of the land throughout the whole basin, turning it into a characteristic and unique landscape. A landscape as fragile as it is obstinate, as austere as it is generous with a delicate functionality, producing almost always to the limit of its capacities.
16 Think of the colossal work of the terraces and the dry stone walls to transform thousands of impassable and stony hillslopes. In a minute environment on a Mediterranean scale, such as the vine growing territory of the Designation of Origin Banyuls, in the French Rosellón, more than 6,000 km of dry stone walls of an average height of 0.80 m have been recorded (the maximum dimension of the Mediterranean, from E to W, does not reach 4,000 km). The result: a landscape of great beauty and harmony but also of great technical and testimonial efficacy of an exercise of environmental respect and insurmountable sustainability, of precise adaptation to the place and available resources It was in the heart of this landscape of dry stone of Rosellón...
suite. We say, that today this still is incomparable. Lace-work agriculture.
17 A song of praise to the wise management of scales, effort, tenacity, where olive trees, vines, almond trees and fig trees find their place. And this is so from Banyuls in the South of France to Palestine and from Cinqueterre in Italy to Kabilia in the North of Algeria, wherever there is a slope to plant this unique type of crop. The Mediterranean is a sea of dry stone, it is the landscape of dry stone, it is dry stone become landscape (Reguant-Aleix, 2005), an essential feature of its character and one of its many languages and tales. As Matvejevitch well observes, “it took greater toil to rotivate the hillsides for the vines than to build the pyramids”.
18 The “sea amid lands” from ancient times to today has been “the sea between cities”. Arisen from the sounds uttered by the Mediterranean, they have survived empires, colonisations and States Many are the examples of cities that still vibrate today,...
suite. The Mediterranean is a sea of cities situated around and dotted along all its coastlines like a rosary, weaving together the territories that embrace it. They all constitute an essential feature of landscape and Mediterranean character. State-cities or city-states of yesterday (some rare exceptions remain today), are fundamental poles of today, beyond the states to which they belong, of the socioeconomic and cultural dynamics of this sea. Just like yesterday, nuclei of ideas, intelligence, innovation and creativity, of Mediterranean urban culture. Some of them although relevant at the time are today only vestigial remains, witnesses to past episodes which should be understood in order to understand our present. Many others continue to accumulate centuries of history, explaining the Mediterranean that is alive today and inventing its future.
19 These Mediterranean cities, compact and full of mixticities, their squares with blends of cultures, packed with history and experiences and of diverse etymologies, are living proof of the diversity of the Mediterranean universe, and present the history of the Mediterranean from a privileged standpoint, because probably the history of the cities more than any other reflects precisely the history of men. “Divine nature created the fields, the art of man created the cities Marco Terenzio Varrone (116 B. C. -27 B. C. ), Rerum Rusticarum...
suite” (Varrón). In these cities, most of the incessant exchanges of ideas, knowledge, techniques and products have occurred and still do so. The cities, the markets at port, the markets inland, the ports and also the academies, have been fundamental in the transfer and integration of food products as well as in the adaptation and interpretation of culinary techniques and preparations. The cuisine and the table have been written in the cities, the lifestyle has been amplified and extended contributing to the transmission of traditional knowledge and to the stimulating daring of innovation.
20 The Mediterranean Diet owes an important part of its variety and richness to this urban Mediterranean dynamics, both in products, techniques, gestures and habits. However, today more than ever, the cities owe the Mediterranean Diet the visibility of a central feature of its identity and that of the basin to which they belong: that of a unique way of life that visually delivers the landscape to the table and that represents an important factor of both self esteem of its populations, of inclusion and dialogue and of the promotion of its productive sectors and of its services and a first-degree tourist attractions for travellers visiting the area.
21 In these cities, whether large, medium or small, a space dating back thousands of years deserves a special mention: the market, a word which already evokes, in its many nuances, many other historic or modern meanings: emporium, agora, forum, bazaar, souk, plaza…, all these words are familiar to us and in none of the spaces that they represent do we feel like strangers. The market is another of the hallmarks of the Mediterranean and of the Mediterranean Diet. Place and time are fundamental. “It is an immersion into the Mediterranean culture and its emblems” (Kanafani-Zahar, 2004). It is the heart of any city or town and point where everything converges, a point of exchange. Already in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia the ideogram “Y” designated the market, as an essential landmark along the roads. “The space that is devoted to the market places can be compared to that which is occupied by the most important institutions: town halls or citadels, churches and cemeteries” (Matvejevitch, 1992). Whether permanent or temporary, daily, weekly or with other frequencies, markets are dynamic and happy places, they bring people together. They are key elements of the social fabric of the cities and their districts. They are places of cultural exchange, of transfer of knowledge, apprenticeship, integration and sociability, where commercial, social, recreational and cultural activities often converge. In the markets, agreements are made, acts of trust and good neighbourship are practised and learnt. Markets are wars fought pacifically, wars are the result of unfortunate transactions Claude Lévy-Strauss, Les Structures élémentaires de la...
suite”. Markets are great city showcases for the countryside and the sea, as well as for identities, landscapes, freshness, colours, tastes and aromas. They are places of learning, marking the rhythm of the seasonal and festive calendar. By way of exaggeration (or perhaps not), someone said that these are the cathedrals of the Mediterranean Diet.
22 The Mediterranean gives its name to a type of sea, the type that connects with an ocean through a stretch of water. The Mediterranean is just that, almost a lake (it takes 90 years to renew its waters), only naturally open at the 14.4 km of the straits of Gibraltar that feed it with the waters of the Atlantic to keep it from drying (more water evaporates from the Mediterranean than is supplied by its rivers) and since 1869 it has been connected with the Red Sea through the Suez canal, which was a turning point in geopolitical, commercial and even environmental terms. Almost 4,000 km from E to W, 850 km maximum width and a surface area of water of 2.9 million km2, equivalent to the surface area of the historic Maghreb region (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), with an average depth of 1,430 m and a maximum of 5,121 m in the Ionic depression off the western coast of Peloponnese. The insularity, with more than 2000 islands, several hundred of them inhabited and some of them of great historic and strategic importance, is another characteristic of this sea with more than 46,000 km of coastline, mostly abrupt, with a wide variety of landscape units on firm ground, with a clearly accidental character, that at the same time provide or embody particular microclimatic situations, almost always marked by an unpredictable rainfall and limiting temperatures. It is the unique Mediterranean climate that always has farmers looking anxiously up to the sky, to say nothing of the fishermen. It is the essential unit of this sea, according to Fernand Braudel.
23 There are about thirty states situated around this quasi lake, with more than 450 million inhabitants, a third of whom dwell on the coast. An enormous population in comparison with the tiny size of the sea (0.7% of the total surface area of oceans and seas), even more so if we zoom in and scale up to the regions or minor divisions, dozens and dozens of them, many of which with different levels of autonomy or decentralisation which portray this dense and complex mosaic of a thousand colours constituting the Mediterranean sea. The 300 million visitors (around one third of the world tourism) mostly concentrated on the coast on a strip less than 100 m wide and over 220,000 boats that cross this sea in all directions, contribute to this variegation of colours. Socrates, in Plato’s Feddon already expresses this image in words when referring to the inhabitants of the Mediterranean: “those that dwell between Phasis and the Pillars of Hercules, on a small strip of land surrounding the sea, like ants or toads around a puddle”.
24 In 1995, Theroux, in his journey around the Mediterranean that he published under the title of The Pillars of Hercules, picks up, on this coast, a more “constructivist” vision than that of the Greek philosopher: “The landscape remained obliterated, and from the shore of the Mediterranean to the arid and sharp inland hillsides, there were bone-coloured villas. There were no hills worthy of mention, just tiers of houses jutting out like a wedding cake about to cave in”. The problem of urbanisation along the coast had already arisen during those years. Mass tourism has exacerbated this phenomenon, with costly consequences for the coast in terms of landscape, environment, economy and quality of life even more costly to correct and amend. The present crisis has revealed this process still further.
25 This territorial, landscape and environmental stress does not come free of charge. With only 0.7% of the surface area of the continental salt waters, the Mediterranean concentrates 25% of the traffic of the planet and 30% of the traffic of oil. The latter means that more than 300,000 tonnes of petrol are poured annually into the sea. If we add industrial waste, inadequately treated wastewaters and solid waste, including plastic, a painful price is to be paid by the environment. The mercury levels (up to 1.2 mg/kg, almost double what is permitted) detected in fish for human consumption, leave no room for doubt.
26 On firm ground, in this incredibly fragile Mediterranean, the pressure on biodiversity, natural habitats, landscape, that becomes hazy and adds to confusion , the agricultural territories and in particular the water resources, are felt considerably. Half of the 46,000 km of coastline affected by the urbanisation of the coast, the intense metropolisation, the loss of more than 75% of the dune ecosystems of the coast, that furthermore have lost more than a million hectares of natural habitat in the last 60 years, or more than 50% of the lands affected by risk of erosion, of which 30% suffer losses greater than 15 tonnes per hectare and per year, are just some examples of these dangerous dynamics. Even so the Mediterranean is also paradoxical it is one of the 25 most exceptional areas of the planet for its distribution of plant and animal species and its important biodiversity. Half of its more than 25,000 of the inventoried maritime species, are only to be found in this sea.
27 It could be said that these comings and goings from North to South and from East to West have existed in the Mediterranean since time immemorial. Indeed, this may not only be one of its identity marks, but also a determining vector in the modelling of this landscape and its peoples, in the configuration of this space. Having said that, in order to adopt a rigorous approach one should commence by managing scales, since the threats to the Mediterranean ecosystem from human activities are objectifiable.
28 In this sense, the testimony of Mount Testaccio Rome, University La Sapienza (exhibition in Rome organised...
suite is impressive, on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, when Luigi Bruzza and Heinrich Dressel began to study it in 1872. A “mount” of 22,000 m2, 50 m high and a kilometre and half in perimeter. This artificial mountain, perhaps the first controlled spoil heap in history and the result of globalisation with traceability included of the ancient Mediterranean “world”, revealed 24,750,000 terracotta amphorae The amphorae have turned out to be a genuine archive thanks...
suite (lost vessels; 80% from Baetica, 15-17% African, 3-5% wine vessels from Gaul and Italia, recipients for garum and oriental amphorae), carefully and intelligently applied and covered with lime and finally by earth. Roman ships whose length rarely exceeded 40 m, in the months of mare apertum, transported 173,250,000 kg of olive oil towards Rome, between the centuries I and III A.D. Impressive quantities, limited however to this part of the Mediterranean and to this product alone. There are records of many similar routes for the Egyptian and African grain, Greek wine or so many other raw materials or elaborated food products, among them the persistent garum, apart from all types of other products and materials. An enormous task of production, bottling, coastal shipping, loading and unloading, storage, distribution, redistribution, accountancy, control and recycling.
29 However, nowadays, a Suezmax (not the biggest type), is one of the largest petrol tankers, capable of crossing the Suez Canal. Measuring over 250 m in length, in a single trip it can transport the equivalent of 1,000,000 barrels in liquid form, that is 159 million litres or rather an equivalent weight of oil of 146,280,000 kg, not very far from the 173,000,000 kg estimated to have been transported in the amphorae accumulated in Mount Testaccio between centuries I and III of our era. Scales are important, very important. In biblical times a large craft had already been thought of: Noah’s Ark, entrusted with the responsibility of loading the complete representation of the living world, 300 cubits (approx. 150 m) in length, 50 in width and 30 in height (Genesis, VI, 15).
30 The Mediterranean has not changed in size, the anthropisation to which it is being submitted as well as all the new dynamics that it supports, has changed in an overwhelmingly exponential fashion. This small area of the planet withstands ever-growing pressure per cm2. Both the lands and the sea of this space that we call the Mediterranean are highly fragile and are relatively small in size, with natural resources, especially water, that are certainly limited and with little resilience. However, this fragile and tense space today, in environmental and landscape terms, continues to be the necessary and indispensable substrate of the Mediterranean Diet. It is because in this space that the acts of its history are engraved (Lefebvre, 1981), and its great capital is accumulated too: landscape, this product that is constantly being updated, the result of dialogue between the territory and its peoples. Landscape, natural, agricultural, urban and otherwise is today one of the most highly appreciated assets and with most future, although, let us not forget an asset which is limited and non renewable.
31 This capital is a temporary bridge between the past and the future and is prepared in the present (Meyer-Bisch, 2009). Therefore, today it is necessary to make the right decisions and find the most appropriate solutions, adapt them to characteristics and singularities of the Mediterranean, to its scales and values and not the other way around, bending it and disfiguring it it would often seem to be done via remote control to comply with incoherent parameters with the profile and values of the basin. Its valuation will depend on the quality of this landscape and especially on its capacity to generate opportunities. A quality dieta, or lifestyle, cannot exist in a deformed and mediocre landscape. A quality environment is today a driver of economic prosperity and for the majority an environment or pleasant landscape has a strong historic dimension and is impregnated with a legible past and present (Fairclough, 2009). The Mediterranean landscape, paradigm of a global food landscape, from the most remote and hidden valley to the most cosmopolitan plaza, reflects its table, as its table evokes this landscape, showing a way of life perhaps easier to discover and feel than to explain and define. This landscape has its balances, scales, contrasts, specificities. Wise management to respect values and specificities, from the conviction of its potentialities and contributing the efforts required, is the key to a reasonable and decent future.
32 In the past decades the use of the term “diet” has increased tremendously. In general terms, as explained by most dictionaries and shown by the media, it is associated to specific food regimes as prescribed by some medical professionals (or otherwise), normally of a restrictive nature and with therapeutic or aesthetic purposes. This is the meaning of the term most commonly used by the media and the general public. In a significantly wider sense, it is also understood as the type of food habitually consumed by an individual or community whose size depends on the population or territory.
33 But let us look at the root. Etymologically, the word dieta comes from the Latin diaeta which in turn comes from the Greek díaita, “way of living”, “life regime” Joan Corominas, Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua...
suite. In his Greek-French dictionary Anatole Bally, Le Grand Bally Dictionnaire grec-français,...
suite (1895, 1901), Anatole Bailly a renowned Hellenist translates the term díaita as type of life ( “genre de vie”) and specifies (as a first meaning): “in general, a whole set of habits of the body and the spirit, tastes, customs, etc.” There is no doubt about the holistic nature of the term...
suite Classical authors already used this term with the same sense as that used by Bally. Hence, Aristotle: “the way of life (díaita) of the Ephors is not compliant with the State objective” (Politics, II, 127b); Plato in Republic and Laws; Herodotus in The Histories; Pindar in Pythian; etc. and of course Hippocrates in his works on medicine and dietetics, not exempt from philosophy. This “way of living”, is what we also know today as “lifestyle”. Style or way of life characterising individuals, groups, communities or villages and which make them similar or different from each other. Therefore, the Mediterranean Diet is this evidently dynamic and ever changing lifestyle that takes place in the Mediterranean, with all its diversity and lack of uniformity, with all its tones and accents. The Mediterranean Diet flees from the restricting meanings of the term diet and considers it in its holistic and transversal sense, nurtured with both tangible and intangible aspects and values.
34 Some other designations have coexisted with the Mediterranean Diet: Mediterranean foods, Mediterranean food style, Mediterranean cuisine. These designations also have plurals: Mediterranean Diets, Mediterranean cuisines. In the former case, the prejudice of the medical sense or the restricting nature of the term can hold back and limit the use of the expression “Mediterranean Diet”. In the second case the plurals are the result of an argument used by those who believe that we cannot talk about “one” single diet, but that there are “many” diets in the Mediterranean just as there are many cuisines. It is a persistent argument which is also applied to the Mediterranean by those who think it is not relevant to consider it as a whole.
35 It is not the intention of this chapter to attempt to solve this debate. We would not be so bold. We believe, however, that this debate is sometimes approached on inappropriate scales or the focus is unsuitable. Likewise, we understand that some options that are presented as contradictory or conflicting, are in fact perfectly compatible. We are all aware that there is an almost endless selection of books, TV programmes, courses, etc. that can tackle diet or cooking it is much less frequent for “lifestyles” to be approached at any different level. Every lower level is contained within the next one up, it is the visibility or clarity that is modified, due purely to issues of scale or definition. If, let us say, we talk about the Greek diet, we are including continental and island diets; which could be considered very diverse. But if for instance we start by addressing the continental Greek diet, then we could be dealing with regions that are also taken to be different from each other. And we could go on still further, from retail or group or from micro to macro. The important factor is that no level eliminates the other, they all persist and exist, their dynamics continue and can be expressed at the same time. It is a question of activating each level when we wish or need it. There is no exclusion or conflict. The only thing is that some levels will be more or less visible depending on how suitable or unsuitable the approach or intention is, as well as the predetermined objectives. The same applies to the “lifestyles”.
36 The Mediterranean Diet confers a name to a Mediterranean dynamic cultural complex, which is in permanent movement, with many potential scales of interpretation, from the landscape to the table, and which has been taking shape and evolving for thousands of years. The Mediterranean Diet, as common patrimony of the Mediterranean people, may play a fundamental role in consolidating their identity but also exists as a source of identity in itself (Fairclough, 2009) and as thus a factor of inclusion and dialogue, as well as of knowledge and personal development. This patrimony came into existence when the first communities settled around the Mediterranean in its eastern basin. At that time they were only fine and fuzzy threads, but today they are woven into a dense fabric, an unequalled legacy of landscapes, places, knowledge, know-how, technologies, products, myths and beliefs, accents, creativity, hospitalities and collisions that constitute this common capital, in which all have participated and everybody recognises each other, wherein a term that has arisen from our roots has been given a name and the shared space has been given a surname. The Mediterranean Diet, is in short, a, or perhaps “the”, common language of the Mediterranean people.
37 This integrated and integrating holistic understanding of the Mediterranean Diet, considered more of a nutritional pattern englobing aspects other than the purely material, is relatively recent. Through his works and publications, but also thanks to his sensitivity, his observation skills and his curiosity, the researcher Ancel Keys Some contributions by Ancel Keys will be discussed in the...
suite not only showed a transcendental relationship between diet and cardiovascular diseases but also discovered and disseminated with passion a lifestyle that fascinated him and which he understood as indivisible and substantial to everything he was studying in the Mediterranean. It was that “warmth which filled his whole body”, and never deserted him, fruits of the sun, of the human atmosphere and the environment, which he felt when he first arrived in the Mediterranean. His disciples and other professionals who followed in his wake, have contributed in recent decades to spreading the significance of the Mediterranean Diet. His interdisciplinary approach, which has been adopted lately through sociology, anthropology, economics, agronomy and biology, among others, has helped to extend its perception considerably. Another important milestone in the dissemination of its significance was the inscription of the Mediterranean Diet in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, in November 2010. In no case is it an ultimate milestone, but rather an undertaking to work to safeguard this legacy. The present book is undoubtedly the fresher contribution to this transversality. This is nothing new to the CIHEAM, since agriculture, food sustainability and food safety have been interwoven in their publications. The 2008 and 2010 Mediterra report and the 2010 Atlas Mediterra already devoted two articles to different aspects of the Mediterranean Diet from an open and broad perspective. International Agencies such as the WHO and the FAO have recognised important virtues of this transversality. Many other organisations contribute throughout the Mediterranean to consolidate this new dimension.
38 The Mediterranean Diet is a legacy which people, like bees or ants, are constantly adding to and removing; habits, know-how, symbols, products, tastes, values and many other elements, both tangible and intangible. Our perception depends upon the speed at which these changes take place, their importance, their visibility, the degree of our sensitivity towards everything which is influenced by it, disturbances of all types that may affect us directly, our capacity of continuous analysis, valuations and the influence of the media upon them, etc. This is true from the landscape to the plate and confirms that this legacy is alive. Jean Bottéro, one of the first translators of the Hammurabi code, used to say that he would not cook, even for the worst of his enemies, any of the recipes from the second millennium Mesopotamia, which he himself deciphered. In the past, changes were perceived over a long period of time and changes were so slow that they went unnoticed by whole generations. Today a graph plotting change may resemble the seismograph on an active zone.
39 Today the speed and flow of changes is staggering, whether they be negative or positive. We see examples of recovery as well as abandonment, but bad decisions and actions cannot be justified. However, today we can recognise productions, techniques and habits which have hardly changed at all. The striking of olive trees using poles to collect olives is still practised today in hundreds of farms throughout the basin as represented on the Greek black-figure amphora from the VI century B.C. Today it is still possible to see fields ploughed using a yoke of oxen as in the representation found in Egypt and dated between the beginning of the III and the end of the II millennia. Examples are numerous and they illustrate that this legacy is deeply rooted. The words by Edgar Morin, almost a psalm, illustrate this perfectly well: “My genes would tell you that all these consecutive Mediterranean identities have merged symbiotically in me, and, throughout this two thousand year journey, the Mediterranean has become a deep-rooted part of my being. The taste buds in my tongue are Mediterranean, and call for olive oil, they are excited by grilled aubergines and peppers, and yearn for tapas or mezzés. My ears adore flamenco! And the cities in the East. In my soul something leads me to be in harmony with its skies, its islands, its shores, its aridities and its fertilities Edgar Morin, “Matrice de cultures, zone de tempêtes. ...
40 Within the context of food and agriculture, to illustrate the ideas set out at the beginning of the previous paragraph, let us read the words of the historian Lucien Febvre Lucien Febvre, Annales, XII, 29. ...
suite who describes an imaginary voyage throughout the Mediterranean that Herodotus (480-420? B.C.) could repeat today: “How amazing! These golden fruits on shrubs of a dark shade of green, orange trees, lemon trees, mandarine trees…, but he did not recall them when he was alive. Brought by the Arabs from the Far East. These curious thorny plants of a unique shape, with flowering stems and strange names, cactus, agave, aloe, Barbary fig unobserved until now. From America. These pale-leaved trees bearing a Greek name: eucalyptus, never seen before, unequalled. From Australia, cypresses never seen before. From Persia. Even the humblest morsel, how many more surprises await us, whether they be tomatoes from Peru; aubergines from India, peppers from Guiana; maize from Mexico; rice from the Arabs, not to mention the bean, the potato, the peach, fruit of the mountains of China turned Iranian…” Today everybody “is tremendously” Mediterranean.
41 During polytheistic and monotheistic times the influence of the sacred and the liturgical on diets, production and habits has been substantial. Amongst the celebrations and deity festivities, the yumuaa, the shabbat, the dominica, saints’ feasts and other holy days of obligation, the Mediterranean has spent half its life offering up or praying… or disputing the monopoly of the divine truth. Foods here have been raised to the category of sacred. Bread, wine and oil the Mediterranean triad occupy a prominent place: Oils anoint the newborn, the king and the moribund; Athena’s olive tree founds the state-city and represents the most useful offering for humankind; the dove with the olive branch announces the end of the Flood; the olive of the Koran is the “the blessed tree which is neither from the East nor the West and whose oil seems to take light without coming into contact with fire”; the wine and bread at the Last Supper, are the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The list is endless, in all peoples and times of the Mediterranean. Today we have almost forgotten that when we refer to a companion we are referring to a cum panis, someone with whom we are sharing bread.
42 At all times this complex association of elements designated by the Mediterranean Diet has aroused the interest of philosophers, thinkers, writers, artists. They have not only supported this colossal legacy but have preserved it in their works. It is not by chance that cultivation of the land and the soul the cultura animi share the same root as do saber and sabor or the term gusto applied both to appreciate the taste as well as to feel beauty or art. There is extensive literature, apart from that which has been lost, and beyond sacred writings, in all ages, from treaties on agriculture to rituals at the table, including preparations, preservation and organoleptic and health properties of food, health, physical activities and sports. There we can discover the interest in the techniques, the origins, the qualities, the organoleptic nuances. “The old man prepared his guests a bowl of sweet wine that was eleven years old. The housekeeper took the lid off the jar that held it”, we can read in the Odyssey. Art is also present. Mesopotamian cylinders, Sumerian tablets, frescos in the Pharaohs’ burial chambers, frescos or mosaics in Greece or Rome, capitals in the Middle Ages… Modern times are no exception. New expressions have added to the classical, and artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, Monet, Sorolla, Maillol, Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Barceló “Painting and cooking, cooking and painting, I have always...
suite and many others have expressed their attraction to the agricultural landscape, the land, the sea, the light, the colours, the pleasure of being in contact with nature, the food, the classical roots of this basin. Photographs by Cartier-Bresson or an important number of films, an area in which the Mediterranean Diet has aroused great interest in the past years, with directors (Abdellatif Kechiche, Semi Kaplanoglu, Sandra Nettelbeck or Tassos Boulmetis among others) who illustrate this current and persistent attraction.
43 To all the material ingredients in this basin, the sacred trilogies, the landscapes, the millenary history, we have to add fundamental immaterial values: conviviality, sociability, hospitality, togetherness, the feast a fundamental value without which it is impossible to understand and explain the Mediterranean , the celebration, the creativity, etc. These are not archaic dreams or useless times, nor are they sterile or economically irrelevant vectors, They are the essential agglutinating elements of the complex Mediterranean universe. They are probably their soul or substantial and determining part of it. Let us invest too, as in the times of Homer partaking of and rejoicing in our food. Then, when we are satiated after supper we will ask ourselves who we are among men. As Edgar Morin proclaims “the Mediterranean is not only an area of tempests, it is still the cradle of some of the main civilisations in the world; still a melting pot. A place where it is still possible to reinvent an economy of conviviality Edgar Morin, “Matrice de cultures, zone de tempêtes. ...
44 In 1975 the American physiologist Ancel Keys (1904-2004) published, together with his wife Margaret, the book How to Eat well and Stay well. The Mediterranean Way, which talks about the diet of common people in Greece, Italy and along the Mediterranean coasts of France and Spain (Keys, 1975). Known as the Seven Countries Study, it was the result of more than 25 years of cross-national studies on the subject of diet-cholesterol-coronary diseases and became a bestseller. This book was already preceded by others: The Biology of Human Starvation (1950), Eat well and Stay well (1959), The Benevolent Bean (1972). A great scientist, in Jean Mayer’s words, who not only made great discoveries but who changed the way of thinking of scientists, doctors and finally the general public, about one of the most important issues of our daily life, the diet (Mayer, 2006). Ancel Keys can be considered, as has been so rightly pointed out by Gregorio Varela (2006), the discoverer Annie Hubert, in her document “Autour d’un concept:...
suite [not the inventor] from the scientific evidence, of the Mediterranean Diet and its benefits. In fact, as Lluís Serra-Majem (2006) states, if it had not been for someone as extraordinary as Ancel Keys, today perhaps we would not be speaking about the Mediterranean Diet.
45 In this chapter we are interested in revisiting, albeit briefly, the human and sociological record, very often poorly emphasized, contained in the book How to Eat well and Stay well. The Mediterranean Way, far beyond the specific description of the studies and their results or the recipes, since it could be very useful in order to understand the Mediterranean Diet from a cross-sectional and holistic perspective, tangible and intangible. Besides, because the work by Ancel Keys has to be considered as transcendental in learning of the long-standing trajectory of the dynamic Mediterranean lifestyle. This record offers the guarantee of the unique capacity, in Jean Mayer’s words, that “the Keys have to be able to go from the profound to the worldly, without deviating from what science and medicine establish as optimum […] pretending they are transforming virtue into something attractive, even glamorous” (Mayer, 2006).
46 According to Ancel Keys himself, although the story of this book could have started in the 1940s he decided to start on 4 February 1952. This is before his arrival, together with his wife, in the Mediterranean. This is how he recalls those moments: “Snowflakes were beginning to fall as we left Strasbourg on the fourth of February. All the way to Switzerland we drove in a snow-storm. The next morning Lausanne and the road up the valley was so deep in now that it was touch and go getting to Brig to load the car and ourselves on the train that goes through the twelve-mile tunnel to Italy. On the Italian side the air was mild, flowers were gay, birds were singing, and we basked at an outdoor table drinking our first espresso coffee at Domodossola. We felt warm all over, not only from the strong sun but also from a sense of the warmth of the people, a feeling we were later to experience in all of what we now call ‘our’ Mediterranean, that great stretch of land from the Strait of Gibraltar to where Europe ends at the cradle of European culture”.
47 For them, a film narrative and vision of contrast, as unequivocal as it is between two entrances of a tunnel opening onto two different universes, close and distant at the same time but not without multiple and important historical exchanges. A landscape, a place, where the intangible is at least as prominent as the tangible, the worldly as much as the scientific. After twenty-five years that wonderful piece of land was “theirs” too and they already formed part of it. They will often insist on “their” Mediterranean. Their Mediterranean is however limited. As he himself stated, “[For us the Mediterranean world] centers on only four countries […] to restrict it to the areas of those countries bordering on the sea”. His conceptual idea is defined when he says: “Mountains behind and the sea in front, all bathed in shimmering sunshine that is the Mediterranean to us”. Almost an exact replica of the Phoenician village in the eastern Mediterranean.
48 “Our” (their) Mediterranean has diverse interpretations according to Ancel Keys. He does not hesitate to call it “universe”, i.e. vision of a whole made up of all the elements, although later he argues some segregation. For him all these lands divided by borders, that constitute the Mediterranean, “are united” by 3,000 years of trade, migration, wars and sea. He considers the diet as one of the many cultural aspects of the basin and points out that Greece, Italy, the South of France and Spain’s Mediterranean coast contrast tremendously with the countries of North Africa. Thus, according to him, in order to assure culinary coherence he does not take this cuisine into account, with the exception of some specialties such as couscous, nor does he take into account Turkey and Lebanon because “the cookery of those countries does not quite fit”. The Israeli cuisine is likewise excluded since the author considers that it is “even farther from what we think of as Mediterranean”. The four countries of our focus in the Mediterranean are by no means uniform in culture. “[…] These differences are only variations in a common cultural pattern, a pattern distinct from Central Europe, the Scandinavian Countries, Britain and the United States.”
49 And as for the Mediterranean Diet, he believes that “it would be wrong to insist too much about uniformity”. We fully share this idea. He thinks it is a common pattern with variations and recognises the existence of at least similar features although there are also differences between and within countries. Keys states that: “The Main meals in our four Mediterranean countries share many similarities (the similarities are too many to list) but each of the countries has interesting predilections”. He also observes variations over time, that have “not necessarily [been] for the better”.
50 Ancel Keys calls the Mediterranean foods “the shared delights”. Indeed this is a significant expression which summarises two key values: on the one hand, delights, i.e. pleasures (a term he frequently uses when referring to the Mediterranean and its Diet), especially in this specific case the pleasures of the senses but also of the spirit; on the other, shared, i.e. participated, in no few occasions celebrated and commemorated (let us remember Plutarch: “We do not sit at the table only to eat, but to eat together”). Celebration is a fundamental component of the Mediterranean “lifestyle”. The great valuation Ancel Keys makes of the Mediterranean Diet, prompts him to state, after a quarter of a century of research, that “The Mediterranean kitchen offers such a wealth of gustatory delights, so many happy surprises at the dinner table, so much pure eating pleasure in dishes for the most part both economical and easy to prepare, that it would warrant enthusiastic praise even if there were no evidence that it is particularly healthful”. And he completes this forceful statement with another one, no less unequivocal: “The Mediterranean pattern of cooking and eating is nothing like a ‘diet’ in the current American sense”.
51 Probably because of this last reason and of the confusion in the use of this term, the title of his book refers to the “Mediterranean Way” and not to the “Mediterranean Diet”, although as described by Rafael Carmena, one of Keys’ collaborators, the term “Mediterranean Diet” was coined by Ancel Keys far away from the Mediterranean, in his laboratory at the University of Minnesota in the 1960s (Carmena, 2006). Regarding the use of this term, Keys states: “We deny this but hesitate to talk much about it as a diet for health for fear of frightening away people who are more interested in the pleasure of eating”. He insists: “A ‘diet’ is commonly thought of as an unnatural pattern of eating […] and a ‘dieter’ is a poor soul who forgoes the pleasure of allowing appetite, taste preference, and opportunity to dictate what is eaten.”
52 A rigorous and excellent scientist, the qualitative variables of his Mediterranean did not escape Ancel Keys. His book is a homage to them, yet does not abandon his scientific objective: “Still, while our love affair with the cookery from the Greek islands to the Strait of Gibraltar is more reason than enough for this book, the urgency of our message comes from considerations of health”.
53 Ancel Keys also identifies the three sacred foods of the Mediterranean as the three characteristics common to the Mediterranean zone and its diet: the oil, of which “an enthusiastic use” is made, understandable in the case of Crete “Cooking in Crete is really drenched in olive oil” originated in customs inherited from the Minoan civilisation; “the great place of bread” in this area is highlighted and which is described, in the liturgy of sharing it, as “supreme pleasure”, claiming that: “It is no wonder that to offer and ‘break’ bread together is an age-old symbol of friendship”; the wine, which is defined as “A third common feature of the diet in all of our Mediterranean countries”, and it is pointed out that in these countries, however, “drunkenness is very uncommon”.
54 Ancel Keys left fundamental scientific evidence about the Mediterranean Diet, but beyond the purely scientific approach, he was clever and sensitive enough to capture, value and integrate those things that weights, measurements and graphs are still unable to address. He started the book with the conclusions from his works that there is, indeed, “a Mediterranean Way to Eat Well and Stay Well”. Feeling well has, in Keys’ language, a much broader range than that of being medically well.
55 Probably no other passage of the book like the one on the “tapas” from the Mediterranean Levante coast, described by Ancel Keys as “an almost infinite assortment of snacks and tidbits, mostly cold but some served hot”, illustrates so well the ideas we have just discussed. Ancel Keys writes: “Besides the variety of zestful foods, the attraction of the tapa shops is not in the décor there is none but in the friendly informality of the people who stand two or three deep at the bars […] Here people from all classes spend a relaxed hour or two, eating and drinking, greeting friends and exchanging comments. […] one may combine the Mediterranean custom of the evening stroll with such inviting temptations to snack. […] Eating at tapa bars is a treat, not a daily habit of the population, and the total of what is eaten, made up of a number of little samples, is not large, so the tapa custom does not have much effect on the total dietary pattern. It is unnecessary to ask what tapas may do to dietary health, it is enough to enjoy them.”
56 Throughout the book Ancel Keys unfolds an image taken very slowly over twenty-five years of in-depth immersion which provides the Keys with precise knowledge of “their” Mediterranean as confirmed by the accuracy of its recipes and observations. In his account scientific evidence and knowledge are interwoven with human and social records. This fine-grained image explains how that moment helps to better understand the present and perhaps even protect the future of the Mediterranean Diet, a dynamic cultural complex in a moving space.
57 It is clear that in the past we had access in the Mediterranean to more reliable global data on transport, production, water consumption, trade, public health issues… than to perceptions and value systems of the ordinary people in the Mediterranean. More numerous than words; more statements than opinions; more institutional messages than personal emotions; more stereotypes than realities; more inertias than innovations.
58 The Anna Lindh Report Anna Lindh Foundation (http:/ / www. euromedalex. org/ ). ...
suite, submitted in September 2010 signifies a breath of fresh air in social research in the Mediterranean and in particular it opens up a line of great interest for reliable knowledge about intercultural trends in the basin. It is the voice of a sample of 13,000 people who represent nine Mediterranean and four European countries. It is a first step, certainly limited, but a giant one at the same time because it adds a wealth of knowledge that had been previously nonexistent, it leaves a reference, it reveals perceptions and relationships of great interest and it makes the voice of the Mediterranean audible. We share the opinion of André Azoulay, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation, that this Report will be a turning point.
59 The Mediterranean Diet, explicitly, has an outstanding presence in this study. Amongst the items considered we can name the “Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle”, but also “hospitality”, “shared history and cultural legacy”, “creativity”, besides “religious beliefs”, “respect for other cultures”, “family solidarity” among others.
60 We should like to highlight three aspects we consider relevant for the subject dealt with in this article. First, the fact that despite the increased movements of people, due both to migration and to travel, there is still an important number of clichés regarding the knowledge of each other; however, eighty percent of the respondents express their sincere desire to discover the “other” as well as their conviction that there is a proximity that feeds on the roots of the common patrimony and history, recognising the Mediterranean and a common legacy too. Second, for most inhabitants in the region, the Mediterranean exists in as much as socio-cultural category: four out of five respondents associate the basin with values such as hospitality, diet and lifestyle, shared patrimony and history. Third, the moderate recognition of the collective advantages of a greater rapprochement and strengthening of ties and cooperation between all the peoples in the basin.
61 The Mediterranean Diet can draw many lessons from this report. We have to be on the alert and endow ourselves with strategies and suitable and proportionate capacity of response, we have to be prudent both when celebrating progress and amplifying emergencies. We should distinguish scales and times very clearly microscope and telescope, second and decade in order not to live in a permanent state of alarm. The Mediterranean Diet also conveys tranquility and serenity, perseverance and tenacity. Its great complexity and transversality are its biggest strengths and where its great capacity lies. Its biological, environmental and cultural diversity is its main asset. All of these can only live on the collective conviction and ambition of the Mediterranean peoples. More than ever, today we have to be actors and not passive observers. This means being creative, educational, working for the future. We may imagine, ponder, write or sing, even represent, the Mediterranean Diet but only with continuing practice will it live and persist. Full confidence, but above all effort. An effort that is greatly recompensed, since in our Mediterranean Diet such effort always brings with it a great many pleasures.
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“The 2005 Rome Call. For a Common Action in the Year of The Mediterranean”, 3rd EuroMed Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures, Rome, 2005 (http://www.ciiscam.org /files /download /documenti /02-PDF%20final%20Document%20Rome%20Call%202005.pdf).
 This term will be addressed afterwards.
 It is essential to point out that when we speak of the Mediterranean Diet we refer to that which is practised in the Mediterranean. Another thing which neither excludes nor modifies what we have just underlined, is that this lifestyle is adopted in other places. Nor do we refer to the other four Mediterranean bioclimatic regions in the world (the Cape region, the coast of California, the low lands of central Chile, the Australian coasts of Perth and Adelaide). As can be easily appreciated, beyond this climatic coincidence that may imply similar landscapes, the processes of acculturation and anthropization do not bear the slightest resemblance.
 Aristotle, Physics, Ph. 3.5 (204b), Paris, Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, coll. “Bibliothèque des textes philosophiques-Poche”, 1999.
 This term appears for the first time in Etymologies of Saint Isidore of Seville, written between the years 627 and 630. “Mediterraneus, quia per mediam terram usque ad orientem perfunditur, Europam et Africam Asiamque disterminans” (Saint Isidore of Seville, Etymologies, vol. II, Madrid, Library of Christian Authors, 1983).
 The Environmental Atlas of Mediterrània considers that this territory is formed by [literal transcription] “Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Cyprus, plus the microstates of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican, and the British Colony of Gibraltar; 17% of the total territory of these states can be considered to be Mediterranean proper”. And he adds: “By extension, the basin of the Black Sea can be assimilated to the eastern Mediterranean; in this case Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldavia, Rumania, Russia and Ukraine can also participate in the Mediterranean space. Portugal does not have a Mediterranean coastline, nor does it belong to the sea basin, but a large part of its territory is bionomically Mediterranean” (Ramon Folch [ed.], Mediterrània. Territori i Paisatge. Atlas Ambiental de la Mediterrània, Barcelona, Fundació Territori i Paisatge, 1999).
 It was in the heart of this landscape of dry stone of Rosellón that Arístides Maillol (1861-1944) created the two key works The Mediterranean (1900-1902) and Harmony (1940-1944), the latter, in the words of Éric Elevergeois, “a music in tune with the world that has to be listened to infinitely, in order to reach a type of harmony from by-gone days that has arisen in the midst of the 20 century” ((http://elevergois.over-blog.com /article-l-harmonie-la-derniere-statue-d-aristide-maillol—43786750.html). “I wanted to reproduce a modern form from an ancient instrument” Maillol would say. Roots, creativity and future.
 Many are the examples of cities that still vibrate today, like a pastry with layer upon layer laid down over thousands of years by a multitude of cultures and diverse cultures. Beit She’an, in the Near East, is one of the many examples with roots in the V millenium A.C., the remains of the Bronze Age, and its passage through Egyptian, Biblical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, of the Crusades, Mamluke, Ottoman times.
 Marco Terenzio Varrone (116 B.C.-27 B.C.), Rerum Rusticarum libri.
 Claude Lévy-Strauss, Les Structures élémentaires de la parenté, Paris, The Hague, Mouton-De Gruyter, 2002 [2nd ed.].
 Rome, University La Sapienza (exhibition in Rome organised by the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra), Barcelona, University of Barcelona (exhibition held by CEIPAC; http://ceipac.gh.ub.es /MOSTRA /e_ expo.htm).
 The amphorae have turned out to be a genuine archive thanks to the inscriptions that remain upon them and contain detailed precious information: owner of the oil, date and year of manufacture and names of those controlling production, the rare oil, the name of the merchant, the net weight. Labelled in this way, the amphorae were submitted to controls carried out by the tax officers. Once the weight was checked, they would write in italics, normally under one of the handles, the name of the place of control, the consular year, exact weight and name of the controller (Rome, University La Sapienza [exhibition in Rome organised by the Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra], Barcelona, University of Barcelona [exhibition held by CEIPAC; http://ceipac.gh.ub.es /MOSTRA /e_ expo.htm]).
 Joan Corominas, Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua española, Madrid, Gredos, 2000 [3rd ed.].
 Anatole Bally, Le Grand Bally Dictionnaire grec-français, Paris, Hachette Éducation, 2000
 There is no doubt about the holistic nature of the term which includes both tangible and intangible aspects.
 Some contributions by Ancel Keys will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
 Edgar Morin, “Matrice de cultures, zone de tempêtes. Mère Méditerranée”, Le Monde diplomatique, August 1995.
 Lucien Febvre, Annales, XII, 29.
 “Painting and cooking, cooking and painting, I have always liked this idea” (Miquel Barceló. 1983-2009. La solitude organisative, Obra Social “la Caixa”, Catherine Lampert [comisaría], Barcelona, 16 July 2010-9 January 2011). Miquel Barceló, versatile Majorcan artist, expresses in this way this intimate relationship between art and cuisine. In this same exhibition you can also read: “Barceló establishes analogies between painting and cooking and describes gastronomy as an activity as refined as painting”.
 Edgar Morin, “Matrice de cultures, zone de tempêtes. Mère Méditerranée”, op. cit.
 Annie Hubert, in her document “Autour d’un concept: l’alimentation méditerranéenne” (Hubert, 1999) tells us that “The idea of the Mediterranean Diet was first mentioned in the works of an English doctor who accompanied bathers to Australia. He recommended this type of diet as suitable for the Australian weather”.
PLAN DE L'ARTICLE
- Beyond words
- The Mediterranean, much more than a sea
- A space with slippery limits
- A sculptured landscape
- A sea of achievements
- The Mediterranean Diet, much more than a nutritional guideline
- The Mediterranean, alive and dynamic
- Revisiting Ancel Keys
- Voices of the Mediterranean today
POUR CITER CET ARTICLE
Joan Reguant-Aleix « Chapter 1. The Mediterranean Diet: designed for the future », in MediTERRA 2012 (english), Presses de Sciences Po, 2012, p. 29-50.
URL : www.cairn.info/mediterra-2012-english--9782724612486-page-29.htm.