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1. You are part of the historical Accademia

dei Georgofili: can you explain what it is

and why it is so important?

The Accademia dei Georgofili, based in

Florence, was founded in 1753 and it is the

oldest institution of its kind, concerning

itself with agriculture, the environment and

foodstuffs as a way of promoting greater

knowledge, the development of technical

and economic activities and the growth of

social awareness in full respect of the motto

“Prosperatati Publicae Augendae” (in favour

of public prosperity). The strategic role of

agriculture emerges in this contest, not only in

the “primary”sector in terms of the time frame

involved in production activities, but also

because it is the principal source of nutritional

sustenance as well as being an equilibrium

for the biosphere of which man is an integral

part and from which his survival depends.

It should not be forgotten that industrial

manufacturing development was born from

agriculture, which supplied the raw materials,

workforce and capital.

2. Is there any correlation between what we

eat and diseases that we might develop?

It has been demonstrated that there is a

correlation between nutrition and health.

At this point I would like to highlight that

the Mediterranean Diet, considered world

heritage by UNESCO, represents a real

lifestyle, characterised by a nutritional model

that has remained constant over time, where

vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, pulses, cereals

and extra virgin olive oil are the key players,

along with good quantities of fish, little dairy,

meat and saturated fats. All of which can

be accompanied by a glass of wine during

meal times. What benefits there are from

the Mediterranean diet can be understood

from a recent article in 2014 in the British

Medical Journal where it was demonstrated

that following the lifestyle proposed by the

Mediterranean diet extends lifespan.

3. Living a healthy life and eating well

should help us live longer...

Nutrition is important, but everythingdepends

on the telomeres, sequences of DNA situated

in the end of the chromosomes, considered

natural markers of aging. Unfortunately the

length of the telomeres decreases naturally

with age and it is personal to the individual.

However, lifestyles, such as that proposed

by the Mediterranean diet, can help us stay

“young” for longer.

Silvia Carraro

Anna Lante, lecturer in Alimentary Science and Technology at the Department of Agronomy Animals Natural

Nutritional Resources and Environment at the Agripolis of Padova talks to us about health. The one that starts

at the table…