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Sour Dough Bread

As with other foods, the confusion about sourdough bread is in the modern language misuse (“Dispute over whether ‘breads ain’t breads’ leaves sour taste”, The Age, 14/7/13). For thousands of years bread was made with flour – plain grounded grain, not the modern highly refined flour; water; salt – unrefined sea salt; and natural yeast – not the modern highly refined commercial yeast.

The bible’s daily bread has now become sourdough bread and the name bread is reserved for a product that is deprived of nutrients and contains many additives. One of the additives is the keep bread fresh, yet, astonishingly, the bread is collected from the supermarkets the following day because it is old! In contrast, the traditional bread was made once a week, even less often, it lasted well and was nutritious – without added nutrients.

Olive oil is another victim of modern definitions. It has now become virgin or extra virgin olive oil and because of modern production practices its natural water-soluble antioxidant content is reduced and its nutritional value and storage life is compromised. As with bread, according to modern regulations, today’s olive oil category is a highly refined product.

Mark Dymiotis,


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The traditional Mediterranean Diet

The traditional Mediterranean diet (i.e. the diet of this region before the 1960’s) is promoted as healthy and protective against disease. The Greek diet is regarded as the prototype Mediterranean diet. Traditionally, due to their dietary and lifestyle practices, the Greeks have very good health and life expectancy – without an expensive health care system. In Greece, the people of the island of Crete have a better health record and perhaps not surprisingly, the highest consumption of olive oil (25 litres per capita) in the world.

The Greek traditional diet is based largely on fresh, unprocessed seasonal plant foods. It is low in saturated fat and high in dietary fibre, starch, antioxidant vitamins (from cereals, fruit and vegetables) and polyphenols (from wine and olive oil).