For years nutritionists have extolled the virtues of a Mediterranean diet, now environmental NGOs like WWF are calling for us to improve our health and the environment by following the Med.

#MedFoodHeroes shows us the true meaning of “good food”

The #MedFoodHeroes campaign from 15-27 June coordinated by @RootedEveryday celebrates the rich cuisine the Mediterranean has to offer and the benefits to people and planet when we buy from small sustainable producers.

Recipes for la dolce vita

Mediterranean chefs and food bloggers have got on board as ambassadors sharing recipes for how to make the most of regional ethical delicacies from artisan producers (ever tried Portuguese Mushroom and Acorn bread?). All #MedFoodHeroes recipes available for free on rootedeveryday.org Why not try a few…

Raheb Salad (the Priest’s Salad) – created by communities who lived in the Lebanese mountains as a substitute for meat and dairy by Ali Fakhry using pomegranate

Remojon Andaluz – a refreshing, cold Spanish salad made with cod, salty olives and lots of fresh citrus and a healthy helping of olive oil by Renato Álvarez.

Boletus Mushroom Bread – using Portuguese Boletus mushrooms by Fábio Bernardino

70% of your immune system is in your gut

Give your immune system an instant boost for long-term health benefits. A true Mediterranean diet is based on the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy. It can help fight against heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and cognitive decline. You could instantly improve what you eat by adding in olive oil, walnuts and legumes.

Olive oil is like liquid gold – Olive oil is a good fat and it also helps you absorb the natural food colours.

Try putting a table spoon in practically everything.

Walnuts boost brain power – Start the day with brain power.

Walnuts are high in omega 3. Add a thumb sized portion to your breakfast cereal like the Moroccans from the High Atlas.

Save pounds with legumes – Eating more legumes and particularly pulses as a source of protein instead of meat is not only healthy but also environmentally friendly and an inexpensive meat alternative.

In Lemnos islanders enjoy a healthy portion of a local variety called Afkos. Legumes have been linked to various health benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels.

For a “good” tasty treat

For those looking for the more decadent side of Mediterranean life #MedFoodHeroes recipes include almond sweets treats from Morocco, rich Red Cow Cheese from Menorca and sumptuous Samsades from the Greek Island of Lemnos.

Almond Ghoriba Cookies – yummy bite size Moroccan pastries.

Flao Menorcan Pastry – a savoury pastry typical of Menorcan gastronomy by Rosa Rotger

Samsades – a traditional Greek dessert made of golden pastry encased around nuts and soaked in a sweet, sticky syrup.

Cook with Us on Share a Dish Night

Join food lovers from across the globe cooking up sustainable ingredients into delicious Mediterranean meals and share your photos, cooking tips and love of good food during the parties on Share A Dish Night by joining one of our #MedFoodHeroes online events on Facebook Live on Friday 26 June and Instagram Live on Saturday 27 June 2020 @RootedEveryday.

We’ve all been missing out on sharing meals with friends and loved ones for weeks so what better way to spread the love for people and planet. By joining you’ll be showing your support for shopping and eating sustainably because the small choices we make in our day-to-day lives can have a positive impact on the environment and people.

@RootedEveryday #MedFoodHeroes

Meet #MedFoodHero Ambassador: Renato Álvarez

Renato Álvarez was born into a “neo-rural” family who were trailblazers of organic farming in Andalusia. They were also members of the first social movements and associations dedicated to the production and organic food. Since he was little he was involved in agriculture until he decided to study Environmental Sciences at the Pablo de Olavide University (Seville).

Meet #MedFoodHero Ambassador: Fábio Bernadino

Fábio Bernardino is a Chef, the CEO of Travel & Flavours, a teacher, gastronomic consultant, trainer and event organizer; a young Chef whose excellence opened the doors to major Portuguese hotels and restaurants, like the Pestana Hotéis & Resorts group or the Heritage Lisboa Hotels, where he left his mark of professionalism and rigour. With a great passion for cooking, and especially for pastry, he started his career at the age of 14, when he attended the Professional Cooking and Pastry Course of the Lisbon Hotel and Tourism School.

Meet #MedFoodHero Ambassador: Alfredo Sendim

Alfredo Cunhal Sendim was born in Porto and spent his childhood between Lisbon (the city), Montemor-o-Novo (the countryside) and Ferragudo (the sea). Studied veterinary and zoo technical. In 1990 he moved to the Monte of Herdade do Freixo do Meio, a territory where, step by step, he has been developing a structural project in the agricultural and social field.

Meet #MedFoodHeroes Ambassador: Sahar Elhallak

Nine years ago, Sahar left her home in California and landed in Morocco in a quest to find herself. While she started a new life in Marrakech, she found some challenges to find restaurants that catered to vegetarians like herself. Since she always enjoyed hosting dinner parties and food-related fundraising events, she started cooking for friends which grew into welcoming people into her beautifully restored hundred-year-old house, for unique culinary experiences.

Meet #MedFoodHeroes Ambassador: Najat Kaanache

Born to Moroccan parents in a small town near San Sebastian in Spain, Najat Kaanache has been cooking at home since childhood. Now based between the US, Mexico and Morocco. She now creates magic in the kitchen as the owner and chef of the beautiful restaurant Nur in the ancient medina of Fez, named World’s Best Moroccan Restaurant in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She also opened CÚS (a Moroccan bistro in the heart of Mexico City) and Nacho Mama (a funky Mexican cantina in the medina of Fez).

Meet #MedFoodHeroes Ambassador: Driss Mellal

Driss Mellal was born in a small town in the south of Morocco, near the beautiful Dades valley. His love for cooking started at the age of 20, when he was in art school in southern France. He missed Moroccan food and flavours and so started cooking and experimenting himself. After graduating from art school, he didn’t work in the arts as planned, but instead went to culinary school. “I finally got to combine my art background with new cooking skills, and it became the start of a new life for me,” Driss says.

Sheep to Combat Climate Change

Asociación Trashumancia y Naturaleza collaborated with the city council of Madrid to organise the annual Fiesta de la Trashumancia Madrid 2019 (Transhumance Festival)—which saw 1800 sheep and 200 goats pass through the centre of Spain’s capital city. The event, now in its 26th year, was successful in creating awareness on the importance of maintaining this ancestral practice of which Spain is a global example and that is a very valuable tool in the fight against climate change and rural depopulation, among other benefits.

Travelling with Birds

In September last year, we set out to observe and learn about migratory birds and their flight paths. Joined by local and international bird experts, we worked alongside the Hima Hammana community to observe the birds that flew overhead, while learning from the experts about bird monitoring processes.