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From the Mediterranean Diet to the Diaita: The Epistemic Making of a Food Label

  • Antonio José Marques da Silva (a1)

Abstract:

The Mediterranean Diet was one of the first food-related nominations on the international cultural heritage list. By introducing the concepts of “epistemic community” and “governmentality” to analyze this heritagization process, I will evaluate the participation and consent of “the Mediterranean people” and their belief in a common identity based in a holistic conception of this food tradition—the so-called diaita. My goal is to demonstrate that the inscription’s proposal was motivated first by a long-term strategy aimed at promoting an “umbrella brand” of agro-food products extended to the whole Mediterranean space. Then, I will emphasize the attempt to design a model of property rights protection that is adequate for this food label, which was later presented within the realm of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as a measure for safeguarding the diaita as an item of intangible cultural heritage. Finally, I will argue that this claim totally omits the rights of the numerous expatriates living outside this region.

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From the Mediterranean Diet to the Diaita: The Epistemic Making of a Food Label

  • Antonio José Marques da Silva (a1)

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