On 25th May 2012, at 6.00 p.m., within the Med-Italian Diet Festival, an official document will be signed which will award the American First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama, with a large olive tree from Salento called “La Regina” (the Queen).
The reason for this award is the important engagement lately shown by the President’s wife to encourage American people and the children and their families, to follow a healthier lifestyle based on the main principles of the Mediterranean Diet.
Such principles defend a proper way of eating as well as an intense physical activity.
Besides the symbolic aspect of such award, all the extra virgin olive oil that the tree will yield next autumn will be sent to the Obamas at the White House.
The parties involved in the project are many, each one with their own competences.
There is the Province Council of Lecce represented by the President, Antonio Gabellone, and by the Chairman of agriculture, Francesco Pacella; there is the Chamber of Commerce of Lecce; there is the Istituto Costa of Lecce, the organizer and promoter of the project “Med-Italian Diet”; there is Coldiretti of Lecce, representing the farmers; there is the Cooperative Sant’Anna of Vernole, the producer of the oil obtained from the tree, and last but not least, Mrs. Ines Maria Antonucci, the owner of the land around the tree.
Recently the Province Council of Lecce has sent both to the First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington and to the American ambassador to Italy, Mr. David Thorne, an official message announcing such award.
It is worth remembering that the olive tree is the symbol of peace, of sustainable nutrition and wellness.
The official motivation is the following:
“Because she has conceived, launched and promoted the fitness campaign called “Let’s move”, through which a very important social service has been carried out in order to help the American families and their kids to grow up in a healthier way, achieving a lifestyle based on a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and natural products as well as based on an intense physical activity.
“This lifestyle blends well with the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, discovered in Italy by the American scientist Ancel Keys, which has lately deserved the important Unesco award as ”Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
“Because she has given a strong example of virtuous behavior, by creating a vegetable garden full of vegetables inside the White House, which she cares personally, and because her idea has spread all over the world a message aiming at improving people’s eating habits, which should become more eco-friendly and healthier though being, at the same time, tasty and nourishing.”
The food and drink innovation network is hosting a seminar entitled ‘The Mediterranean Diet - The Next Big Trend” looking at the rise and rise of Mediterranean food and drink.
For more information or to book a place click here to visit the website.