The Mediterranean Diet, long known as the “ideal” diet to follow , is problematic for those who live in countries where some ingredients, olive oil for example, are not readily available. So, researchers in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark and Finland came up with a dietary regime based on local foods and tested the results on two groups of people: one of which was put on the local foods based diet with the added rule of no red meat and no sugar; and another which consumed red meat and white bread as is normally done in these countries. Not surprisingly, the people in the first group showed an improved good cholesterol/bad cholesterol ratio and also changes in a marker for inflammation.
The benefits of a diet based on local food are not only financial and environmental but are also reflected in improved health outcomes as we eat the diet best suited for the conditions in which we are living. But pursuing the goal of local eating alone is not enough, even better is to eat in season. When we explore, as this chef did, what is actually growing around us, we will discover foods we did not even know existed. Case in point: I could not have identified the greens in the image above last month but have just discovered how delicious these garlic scapes can be! This is the top part of the plant, we normally use the bulb, and; here is the best part: by using every bit of the plant we reduce food waste and crucially, a waste of the water that went into growing that plant.