La fortune de la diète méditerranéenne


This article describes the recent registration of Mediterranean Diet in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage as an historic issue of an approval process involving medicine, politics and myths about food. Indeed, the medico-scientific « discovery » of the benefits of this diet is coupled with social and political contexts focused on public health emergencies about « bad » food habits (mainly overweight and cardiovascular diseases). Thus, we will try to demonstrate how this patrimonialisation process implyied a global restyling of the so called Mediterranean way of eating, involving both a selection and reorganisation of its tangible (olive oil especially) and intangible components (historic transmission, healthy cuisine…) as an unique cultural pattern. The following analysis therefore deals with three interrelated social frames – public health counseling, political agenda setting, territorial redefining – that produce the « symbolic edibility » of the modern Mediterranean Diet.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22804250v4i1p315

Keywords: Mediterranean Diet; Food; Intangible Heritage; Unesco; Public Health; Olive Oil.

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