Mediterranean Food and Diet

Mediterranean Food and Diet
Mediterranean Food and Diet
A multidisciplinary Historic, Cultural, Environmental and Dietary Overview

The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating foods that mainly come from plants, such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables. It also suggests eating healthy fats like olive oil instead of butter, replacing salt with herbs and spices and consuming mostly white meat like fish and chicken, instead of red *meat.

This online course aims to introduce participants to and raise their awareness about the typical Mediterranean food products and diet, as well as the intangible cultural heritage and goods that are related to food: customs, traditions, social status, culinary practices and tools, ceremonies, and values. This course is ideal for anyone interested in nutrition and its multicultural dimensions.

Furthermore, the course offers you an exciting journey to explore cultures and traditions of the Mediterranean countries and how they differ when it comes to recipes, food production and ways of cooking. All of the above will be analyzed further and in detail in this online course part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage category. After successfully completing the lessons, the participant will receive a training certificate.


Professor Emeritus University of Athens, UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean

This e-learning programme is addressing whoever wishes to learn about the Mediterranean food products and diet, their historical evolution and related “immaterial” cultural goods as well as the central role of food in sustainable development. 




The programme aims are:
-To make the links between the Mediterranean landscapes and resources to the production of food and the formation of the Mediterranean diet.
-To explore cultures and traditions of the Mediterranean countries related to food production and cooking and trace similarities and differences among Mediterranean countries. 
-To trace the influence of the Mediterranean diet to the rest of the world.
-To appreciate the importance of the Mediterranean diet to human health. 
-To be aware of food sustainable production and realize its links with the traditional practices of food production -agriculture, fishing, livestock, etc. 
-To be aware of the role and responsibilities of consumers within the life-cycle of food. 
-To recognize the quality of Mediterranean food as a valuable source of income.
-To adopt positive behaviour and attitudes towards the Mediterranean food products & cuisine.


In this section the basic Mediterranean food dimensions will be  presented, along with the scope of the e-course, the main objectives of the e-course and the content – structure of the e-course. 

Lesson 1 Introduction

Food, biodiversity and the Mediterranean landscapes
How the landscape and the environment (the climate and the natural resources, water, biodiversity) “shaped” and “defined” the production of food in the Mediterranean region (based on particular cases from agriculture, livestock and fisheries).

Lesson 1 Food, biodiversity & the Mediterranean terrestrial environment & landscapes
Lesson 2 Food, biodiversity & the Mediterranean aquatic environment & landscapes

Evolution of food and nutrition in the Mediterranean

A historical overview of the evolution of food and diet from antiquity to our days, with a particular focus on the establishment of the famous Mediterranean "triad": vine & wine, olives & oil, bread & cereals.  

Lesson 1 The natural evolution of human activities directly related to food
Lesson 2 Impacts of history on the Mediterranean Food I
Lesson 3 Impacts of history on the Mediterranean Food II
Lesson 4 The Mediterranean triad I: the vine & the wine, the olive tree & oil
Lesson 5 The Mediterranean triad II: cereals & their products  
Lesson 6 Other characteristic Mediterranean foodstuff and products

Importance of the mediterranean diet to human health

The principles of a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet pyramid. The significance of the Mediterranean diet to human health.

Lesson 1 Importance of the Mediterranean diet to human health

Food security within sustainable development

The "nexus" of food, energy, water and ecosystem security. The environmental impact of food production. The sustainable production of food. The impact of consumers’ choices when it comes to diet and food. 

Lesson 1 Food security within sustainable development

The assessment methods that will be used are targeted tests at the end of each Lesson including close-ended questions  (list matching, multiple choice, true/false) while at the end of the course you will be asked to complete the final learning tasks/essay. 

The e-learning programme is implemented via a user-friendly educational platform adjusted to the Distance Learning Principles. The programme is designed to fit around your schedule, therefore, is self-paced and a-synchronous, so that you can access the course whenever it is convenient for you. It will last 9 weeks; however, 1-2 extra weeks will be given to learners in order to complete tests and the final essay.

The programme includes 5 main modules that are unfolded in 19 video lessons.  In each video lesson you will find: 
• Contents
• Objectives/Learning outcomes
• Texts
• A rich variety of visuals (photos, tables, sketches) 
• Resources
• Tests 
• Lesson’s material and references (downloadable in PDF files).

Τhrough your personal e-mail account (or using the platform) you can contact the authors of the course and share any concerns. Additionally, you will be able to interact with your e-classmates using the platform through a special forum dedicated to the course.

At the end of each video lesson you will be asked to submit the corresponding tests, within the deadline given by the instructors (the score fluctuates from 0 to 100%). If the score on one or more lessons of the programme does not exceed 50%, you may ask for reassessment.   The overall grade in the programme will be calculated based on your score on the tests in combination with a final assessment (essay) at the end of the programme.