The Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures is a not for profit cultural association established legally in 2016.
The Forum started its activities in 2002 under the umbrella of Plexus International Forum Onlus.
The Forum is fostering an enduring international multi-sectorial dialogue on the Mediterranean diet towards its revitalization as a contemporary sustainable life style, an under-estimated sustainable development resource for all Mediterranean countries, and he has published several articles on Mediterranean diet as a case study for the assessment of the diets sustainability.
The purpose of the Forum is: to develop activities in the sector of project development, study, research, promotion and communication towards the enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage of the different food cultures in the Mediterranean; to develop activities in the sector of project development, study, research, promotion and communication towards the revitalization of the Mediterranean diets, as a sustainable diet model in the context of the improvement of the sustainability of the Mediterranean food systems. Its aim is to enhance an effective sustainable development in the entire Mediterranean region.
The Forum is chaired by Dr. Sandro Dernini, Ph.D
In 2014, Dr. Dernini received the IACON-SENC award for excellence on food sustainability at the III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition, held in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Dr. Sandro Dernini cofounded in 2014 the International Foundation of the Mediterranean Diet (IFMeD) in which he serves as Secretary-General.
He received in 1974 his Doctor’s degree in Biology from the University of Cagliari (Italy) and in 1997 his Ph.D. from the School of Education of New York University.
In the early 80s, in New York, dr. Dernini created Plexus International, a network of artists and scientists, still active in the organization of interactive art & science events.
In 1989, he co-founded and coordinated the 1992 Christopher Columbus Consortium and, in 1992, on the occasion of 500th Anniversary of Columbus’, he organized the International Columbus Reconciliation Forum on the Well-Being in the XXI Century. As follow up of it, he conceived and coordinated, from 1994 to 1999, the Interdepartmental Well-Being Study Centre on the Quality of Life of the University of Cagliari, where he organized three international symposia on the well-being in the XXI Century
In 1995, dr. Dernini conceived and coordinated the Consortium on the Well-Being in the XXI Century, and, on the occasion of the 1996 World Food Summit, he organized in collaboration with the FAO Food and Nutrition Division, the special parallel event” From Welfare to Well Being: Eating Art, Get the Best From Your Food, Food For All”, at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni of Rome.
From to 2000 to 2002, as a FAO consultant, he developed a concept framework for the creation of a FAO Network of the Centres of Excellences on Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition.
In 2002, dr. Dernini created the Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures which lead to the organization of three international conferences and to the issue in 2005 of the Rome Call for a Common Action on Food in the Mediterranean, and, in 2009, to an international consensus position towards the revision of the Mediterranean Diet’s pyramid in the light of modernity and sustainability, as a lifestyle sustainable model for today.
In 2004, he conceived the CIISCAM (International Interuniversity Centre for Mediterranean Food Cultures Studies), among the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the University of Tuscia in Viterbo, the University of Calabria, and the University of Parma, that he coordinated until 2011.
In 2007, he was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture of Italy as a member of the Italian Technical Committee for the inclusion of the Mediterranean Diet in the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
From 2007 to 2010, dr. Dernini was the Head of the Office of the President of the Italian National Research Institute on Food and Nutrition.
From 2010 to 2017, dr. Dernini worked at FAO as international consultant on sustainable diets and sustainable food systems.
Since 2013, he was appointed by CIHEAM-Bari as the international expert for the development of the White Paper Priority 5 on Mediterranean food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society economy and health, for the EXPO 2015 Milan Feeding Knowledge Project.
In 2013, dr. Dernini initiated a joint agreement among the main Italian research institutions (CNR, ENEA, CRA and CIHEAM-Bari) for the presentation at the EXPO 2015 of Milan of a collaborative project on the Mediterranean Diet as a model of sustainable diet as well as a contemporary sustainable life style.
He is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Society for the Advancement of the Living Traditions in Arts, and of International Scientific Committee of Nutricion sin Fronteras.