Like the historic centre of Florence, the Roman Forum, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge or the Pyramids in Egypt, the Mediterranean diet may soon have World Heritage status. Together with Greece, Morocco and Spain, Italy has applied to Unesco's cultural heritage committee in hopes the Mediterranean diet will be voted onto the list of ‘intangible cultural heritage' at a conference in Nairobi next November, where Unesco will examine a total of 58 applications.
Because of its centuries-long tradition, taste, and health benefits, supporters argue that the Mediterranean diet deserves World Heritage status and needs to be protected from the threat of counterfeits.
Unesco introduced the ‘intangible cultural heritage' designation two years ago to safeguard traditions such as the Argentine tango, Croatian lace-making and numerous endangered languages. Along with the Mediterranean diet, Italy has also asked the committee to consider Sicilian puppet theatre and Sardinian pastoral songs.
DO YOU THINK...
World Heritage status would sufficiently protect the Mediterranean diet? Which other culinary traditions should apply for protection? Email firstname.lastname@example.org