A new “MedDiet Quality Label” has been granted to over 300 restaurants located in six countries: Egypt, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Spain, and Tunisia.
The MedDiet label certifies that restaurants offer authentic Mediterranean dishes that comply with the criteria which have been established by MedDiet, an EU-funded project.
The criteria include:
- The use of olive oil, preferably extra virgin, as the main source of added fat;
- The use of local and seasonal products which include fruits and vegetables;
- Dishes are cooked according to traditional recipes and/or adhere to the main components making up the Mediterranean diet;
- Transparent information about the food is available to customers;
- Activities are offered promoting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
The list of certified restaurants has not yet been made publicly available as of press time. A smartphone app is currently being developed to help people find restaurants which have been granted the MedDiet label.
The MedDiet project aims to promote the benefits of the Mediterranean diet by educating consumers on healthy eating through educational activities in schools, establishing information points, and training the staff of local authorities.
Funded by the EU’s Cross Border Cooperation Programme in the Mediterranean (CBCMed), the project also advocates for a common legal framework to safeguard and promote the Mediterranean diet.
A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), warned that the Mediterranean diet is going through a decline due to changing eating habits across the region.
Supporters say initiatives like the MedDiet Label will raise awareness about the positive health benefits of consuming a traditional Mediterranean diet.