According to a report in the Guardian, the Mediterranean Diet -- rich in olive oil, whole grains, fish, fruits, and vegetables -- will likely be granted "heritage" status by the UN agency UNESCO. The ratifying vote is expected to take place at the UNESCO’s November 14-19 meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
While the UNESCO world heritage list is typically associated with historic landmarks and ancient architecture, after four years of lobbying, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Morocco have prevailed upon UNESCO to include the Mediterranean Diet on its Cultural Heritage List, according to the Olive Oil Times.
Launched in 2003, The Cultural Heritage List comprises oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festivals. According to the Guardian: "A plate of pasta washed down with a glass of wine could join the list of 178 cultural experiences including the tango, the polyphonic singing of the Aka Pygmies of central Africa and Croatian lacemaking."
Anticipating the November vote, Giancarlo Galan, Italy's Minister of Agriculture, said, “It is a huge success for our country, our dietary traditions, and our culture.”