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mercredi 8 février 2012

Med diet and the agrofood industry

It is of great interest to read in this paper of the BMJ that med diet is difficult to follow in UK for several reasons: namely, availability, prices and taste of med nutrients. Except for taste, it seems to me that these obstacles are the same on the continent, especially in urban areas either in med countries or other non med countries even Spain.
To explain that one must describe the main obstacle to consuming a med diet and which is widely underestimated in the comments: I mean the present state of products from the agribusiness.
The production of agriculture and breeding were so deeply transformed since WWII, that our food environment is completely different. We don't eat grassfed meat of ruminants but processed products made of cornfed sedentary obese animals heavily transformed by heating, mincing, mixing, sterilising and so on. Wild meat is below 10% of fat and crops are now > 25% fat. We know that processed meat is a recognised factor for colon cancer and other chronic diseases. We don't eat the same cereals because they are now products made of refined corn or wheat, high temperature cooked, sugared, mixed with trans fats, with added multivitamins. Consumption of high GI foods and fructose is clearly associated with D2. We don't eat the same olive oil because med populations consume olives, non refined and unfiltered olive oil and a lot of wild greens or crops naturally rich in alphalinoleic acid. Instead at best we buy white salads like the iceberg one which is depleted in phytonutrients and alphalinoleic acid and we pour on it sunflower oil which is pure W6 linoleic acid. Consequently a dramatic change has occurred in the W6/W3 ratio of PUFA which is in favor of inflammation--a common final way of chronic diseases. We don't eat the same dairy products because more than 80% of them are sugared, flash pasteurised, and made with milk from cow fed cornstarch... 
This kind of examples are endless. 
But the question is: Why do we consume these foods? Is it a clear choice or a mandatory buying in the different supermarkets which sell the same industrialised products? Clearly the anwer is: the agrofood industry and the low cost of goods transportation (at least until oil reach new unsustainable prices) had standardised food in a way which is not compatible with our genome. It is impossible for our genome to adapt in only fifty years to those dramatic changes... 
Consequently med diet for all demands a change in agriculture and breeding. The recent policies toward more sustainable and energy efficient farming are in favor of the med diet. Other changes need to occur and it seems to me that medicine must take charge of them.

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