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Traditional Versus Modern Diets

Foods from fertile soil which gave consistent yields of high quality

​Foods from depleted soil due to excessively intense cultivation and inadequate soil management

Products(including eggs) from animals on pasture with more readily available nutrients from fresh plants

Products from factory-farmed animals with poor living conditions and hygiene,with excessive use of agrochemicals,antibiotics and chemical hormones

The whole animal is consumed including muscle meat, organs, bones(eg broths) and fat

Muscle meats preferred,few organ meats

​Dairy products raw and/or fermented

Dairy products pasteurized or ultrapasteurized lacking valuable vitamins and enzymes,monocultural fermentation

​Natural animal and vegetable fats like butter,tallow,lard,goose fat,coconut oil,extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil

Processed - industrial fats like hydrogenated oils,corn, sunflower, cottonseed and canola oil

Wild fish, fish eggs and shellfish from un-polluted waters.

Farm-raised fish which is less nutrient dense and may contain antibiotics and chemicals

​Grains, seeds, legumes and nuts are soaked, fermented, sprouted, or naturally leavened to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid

Grains refined, and/or extruded altering proteins in food which becomes unrecognizable to the human body

Enzyme-rich lacto-fermented vegetables and condiments like sauerkraut

Processed, pasteurized with high amounts of corn syrup and sugar like pickles, ketchup and mayonnaise

Lacto-fermented beverages

Modern sugar-sweetened beverages

A great variety of more than 50 different plants consumed regularly including nutrient-dense wild plants

Poor variety and quantities in fruit and vegetable daily consumption

Soy foods prepared with long fermentation,methods, consumed in small amounts

Soy foods industrially processed with high isoflavone content due to lack of proper fermentation, consumed in large amounts

Unrefined salt with 80 important elements

Refined salt with poor value due to high temperature used during processing and potentially toxic overload

Natural sweeteners like honey,maple syrup and molasses

Artificial sweeteners leading to health hazards including carcinogenicity

Enhancement of flavor with salt and spices

Use of artificial flavoring from petroleum and other inedible substances

All six tastes (sweet,sour,salty,pungent,bitter and astringent),were present in meals

Modern diet favors sweet and salty taste

Diet based on local products, meals prepared in traditional ways with high culinary knowledge and confidence, consumed in a more ritualistic way with gratitude and sharing within the family and the community

Diet choices based on pleasure rather than nourishment following poorly researched trends imposed by the social media and financial interests. Overconsumption of calories, lack of knowledge regarding the origin and the production of the ingredients

Meals prepared at home

Industrially prepared highly processed meals commonly microwaved, irradiated and consumed under stress

Traditional diets appear with high content of micronutrients

Lack of natural micronutrients in modern diets,synthetic vitamins added

Seeds from organic conservation, use of traditional varieties, local animal breeds that are genetically adapted to their environment

Genetically modified seeds and farm animals

What does the word “diet” mean to you? For many people, it means following a specific food plan to lose weight or refers to food and drink regularly consumed. The word actually comes from the Greek word “diaita”(Δίαιτα) which means “way of life”. Diaita has a broader meaning corresponding to our food choices, lifestyle choices even our moral and political values. Our many paths in life.

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