WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Hy-Vee Stores, based here, and Giant Eagle Stores, Pittsburgh, Pa., will be celebrating May Is Mediterranean Month in their produce departments with demos featuring “Mediterranean potato salad.”
Working in conjunction with Oldways, a Boston-based, non-profit, educational organization and the Mediterranean Food Alliance, the U.S. Potato Board developed the recipe for the salad.
During May, the demos, in selected stores, will be augmented by POS materials calling attention to Mediterranean Month and to the Mediterranean Diet — both of which are promoted by Oldways, and the MFA.
The salad's ingredients, in addition to potatoes, include cucumbers, feta cheese, kalamata olives and Greek-style yogurt, which is used instead of mayonnaise.
Convenience will be highlighted by how quickly the salad can be made using microwaved potatoes, Potato Board spokeswoman Meredith Myers told SN. The Potato Board recipe and others supplied by Oldways will be made available.
Last year, Oldways unveiled a new version of its Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, which reflects recent changes made to the Mediterranean diet during an international meeting of leading nutritionists.
The diet, which is really more of a way of life, has gained wide recognition and has become more popular as consumers have become increasingly health-conscious.
“The exciting thing is that, as the diet continues to gain momentum, new research keeps confirming the remarkable health benefits of following this way of eating,” Oldways program director, Georgia Orcutt, told SN last week.
Oldways and the MFA this year are offering a number of resources, many of them downloadable, to help retailers and their customers celebrate Mediterranean Month.
They've prepared downloadable recipes (with approximate ingredient prices) for main dishes and sides, and have made available information on recent health studies. Studies consistently report that healthy diet and lifestyle practices, like those associated with the Mediterranean Diet, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and more.
Inspired by traditional dietary patterns in the coastal regions of Spain, southern Italy and Greece, the Mediterranean way of eating recommends making olive oil the primary source of dietary fat; eating food primarily from plant sources; low to moderate consumption of fish and poultry weekly; and low to moderate amounts of cheese and yogurt daily. It also supports moderate wine consumption.