U.S. News & World’s Report’s, globally renowned ranking and consumer advice service, has classified 39 diets based on input from a think tank of health experts. The result is hardly surprising: the Mediterranean diet was ranked as the world’s best diet for 2020 ahead of ‘dash’ and ‘flexitarian’, according to the ‘best diets ranking‘ compiled by the US media.

Its worldwide appreciation is also due to the studies of the American scientist Ancel Keys, who was the first to highlight its beneficial effects after living in Acciaroli (Salerno) for over 40 years.

Assuming that there is no single Mediterranean diet (the Greeks eat differently from the Italians, who eat differently from the Spanish), it is clear that the variations are based on the same principles: an active lifestyle, a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and rich in produce, nuts and other healthy foods. The Mediterranean diet is a guarantee of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, prevention of cancer, diabetes and many other chronic degenerative diseases.

Today more than yesterday, despite the crisis caused by the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, there has been a return to homemade cooking, favouring the Italian model. Sales of food and beverages with health slogans on the label to boost immune defences are soaring, with national sales jumping from +94% for milk and fresh cream to +48% for non-carbonated drinks and 28.6% for bakery products and cereals*.

In short, a new sensitivity of Italians towards healthier foods, which reveals a real sustainable and organic turn in consumption, as a result of the tendency of people to compensate for more time spent at home with a healthier diet. And, precisely because of this ever-increasing spread of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, it is increasingly important to pay the utmost attention to labels and the origin of products, choosing to buy those of short supply chain and always, unequivocally, 100% Made in Italy, traceable and of guaranteed quality, supporting, at the same time, the local economy in a difficult year.

ITA0039 helps to spread the awareness that we are what we eat. Traditions, culture, authenticity and health protection are closely linked: more than the Mediterranean diet, it is Italian food that is the true representative of a better lifestyle, which begins right at the table. Genuine Italian products, in their authenticity, are among the most effective disseminators of the culture of healthiness. The Italian food and wine heritage, which ITA0039 safeguards and disseminates, has no equal in the world.

The aim of ITA0039 is to promote and defend the authenticity and values of Italian agri-culture, with the strong awareness that they represent a strategic asset for Italy, especially abroad.

Thanks to the support of the valuable partners who are accompanying the ITA0039 protocol and the enthusiasm of the many Italian restaurateurs around the world, the certification is evolving from a tool of recognition and authenticity – the only one issued by an accredited professional body after a transparent and effective process – and is becoming a true network, dedicated to the promotion and diffusion of Italian food and wine products around the world. A virtuous circle, which entitles members and all consumers and connoisseurs of genuinely Made in Italy good food to take advantage of a series of benefits such as, for example, inclusion in the web and APP platform, with immediate visibility, discounts on the purchase of goods from guaranteed supply chains and many other advantages.

Finally, an effective tool for the image and reputation of the countless honest producers who export the authenticity and genuineness of real Italian products.

*Coldiretti analysis on the impact of the Covid emergency on Italians’ purchasing choices, based on data from the Osservatorio Immagino for the year ending June 2021