Thursday, December 16, 2010

Revamp and Other Cultures' Diets

So much for keeping record of my wine drinking.

This is a blog I definitely do not want to discontinue, but I am not as ambitious in recording my beverages as I originally thought I was. However, I am finding that I am passionate and interested in food (wine included), and so I've decided to use this blog to preserve my thoughts and insights about all things food - and that includes the great grape.


Here's my latest mental meanderings:

My parents are coming to my house for Christmas Day dinner, and this year, my mom wanted to really do something different. I suggested doing a Mediterranean meal, and she was all for it. As I researched, I found (and it's really not new news to me) that Mediterraneans eat much differently than we do.

For example, this is our food pyramid, courtesy of the USDA:

At first glance, it seems to tell you so much...but then you realize it's telling you so little.

1. What does it mean to "go easy" on juices?
2. Choose foods low in "added sugar"? Like what?
3. 5.5 oz. of meat daily? How much is that?
4. Oil is the tiniest sliver of the pyramid.
5. What's up with new design anyway?

As a contrast, take a look at the Mediterranean diet food pyramid, courtesy of

A couple of points of interest here:

1. No confusing oz. portions.
2. Red meat ONCE a MONTH!? (Sweets can be eaten more often than that!)
3. Olive oil - daily?!
4. The Western idea that meat should be the basis of every meal - not so in the Meditteranean.
5. No harping about serving sizes, cups, ounces, etc. The implied advice is MODERATION.

Mediterraneans generally have less chronic diseases, heart issues, and live a little longer. Whether that is attributable wholly to the food is unclear. All I know is this: I am dissatisfied with the Western diet...we depend too much on meat and processed foods.

Maybe in this case, it's best to do as the Romans do?