After being derailed by the pandemic, the Mediterranean Diet Roundtable (MDR) reconvened at the University of Notre Dame this month to remind its audience of the healthful benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. (https://mdrproject.com/about-us/#team). The leading Dining Services from the University of Massachusetts and Yale showed how the menus they construct benefit and educate their students. Public Health and Dietary experts from Harvard, Virginia Tech and Brown corroborated the scientific evidence that supports the shift towards the top ranked diet in the USA (https://health.usnews.com/best-diet). Other panelists presented the metrics, menus and ingredients of the Med Diet. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) was singled out as its powering “fuel”.
Metrics show that olive oil imports in the USA exceeded 400,000 tons last year (of which 72% in EVOO), a 17.5% increase over the previous season and 32% in just the last 3 years, as the trend towards healthful eating is fast gaining share in the country. Which demonstrates the significant shift in dietary choices among the newer generations, as they also opt for vegetarian and vegan foods that need EVOO to enhance taste.
Gen Zs are today’s college students! Notre Dame has welcomed its students back to its dining halls. So have other colleges and universities, with more to follow. Our challenge is to see that students menus be infused with the EVOO that begins to approach the 8 liters annually, or 6 liters per Academic Year, which is the recommended consumption standard (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FS/FS28200.pdf)