Mediterranean diet verses Marche diet

Last night on the television it was reported that Italy had won its campaign to have the “Mediterranean diet” listed under Unesco’s list of “intangible cultural heritage”. This list was introduced 3 years ago and now includes the tango, the polyphonic singing of the Aka Pygmies of central Africa and Croatian lacemaking.

If the report is true then it will be the first diet on the list and Italy will have to take action to protect it from for example the spread of fast food in italian culture and resulting obesity of the population.

Even here in the Marche they pay lip service to the mediterranean diet and the benefits of olive oil. However it has been reported that the Marche forms part of the “cursed triangle” which covers areas in the Marche, Romagna and Umbria as in these areas the incidence of stomach cancer is the highest in Italy. The blame is being put on eating too much red meat (particularly if barbecued), salted foods and smoked foods. Another hypothesis links the high incidence of stomach cancer to the levels of nitrates (presumably due to farming practice) in the water.

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