Mediterranean Diet: Lifestyle for a Sustainable Future

UNESCO network of Emblematic Communities Italian delegation gifts seeds of the Mediterranean Diet for Bronx school garden in partnership with New York City Mayor’s office. 

School 55 of the South Bronx, School of Pollica (Italy), and the Future Food Institute’s Paideia Campus sign a Memorandum of Understanding to promote sustainable food initiatives.

South Bronx, New York: Monday, April 11, 2022, at an event entitled “The Power of Seeds – Growing Healthy Communities – Mediterranean Diet for a Sustainable Future,” jointly held by the New York City Mayor’s office, Green Bronx Machine, an Italian delegation of the UNESCO Mediterranean Diet Emblematic Communities Network, the Future Food Institute, and the UNESCO International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities, a school garden was planted with seeds of the Mediterranean Diet. 

The event commemorated the collaboration of the School IC Patroni of Pollica (Italy), the Community School 55 of the South Bronx, and the Future Food Institute to promote exchange activities, including a joint digital educational initiative, food and climate literacy workshops, and a summer school to be held at Future Food Institute’s Paideia Campus in Pollica, a sustainable development hub that hosts international programs on integral ecology, regenerative agriculture, and food systems transformation.

I am so excited to join Green Bronx Machine, our international colleagues from Italy, and the students of Community School 55 for today’s Power of Seeds – Growing Healthy Communities seed planting and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to promote future exchange opportunities,” said Kate MacKenzie, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy“Programs like this, that foster knowledge and appreciation of the intersection between the food we eat and where it came from, are critical to the health of our students and of our planet.”

Green Bronx Machine is all about harvesting minds and cultivating hope: we’re seed spreaders and peace promoters and our students and community are thrilled and honored to host the Italian Delegation and NYC Mayor’s Office for this historic event. From the Bronx to the world, we are all global citizens committed to inspiring healthy living, learning, and respecting our planet and each other!” says Stephen Ritz, Founder of Green Bronx Machine.

The event ended with the delivery of the seeds of the Mediterranean Diet by Pollica Mayor, Stefano Pisani, to Kate MacKenzie, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Food Policy, to emphasize the strong link that binds the City of Pollica with the United States, in the name of American scientists Ancel Keys and Margaret Haney, who studied and coined the concept of the “Mediterranean Diet” in Pollica in the 1960s.

The Mediterranean Diet represents a sustainable lifestyle that truly safeguards individual, community, and planetary health. We are thrilled to further strengthen Future Food’s relationship with Green Bronx Machine and the people of New York City through this shared exploration of Mediterranean values, climate literacy, and community development. Empowering youth to act for a better future is one of our main goals. That’s why the cornerstone of the Institute is Education through unique learning platforms, including K-12 programs and summer schools. Future Food is developing a series of experience-based classes, adopting creative learning methodologies, “prosperity thinking” and transformational experiences, and focusing on making the “Humana communitas” the center of the equation.” noted Sara Roversi, Founder and President of the Future Food Institute

Stefano Pisani – Mayor of Pollica, Emblematic Community UNESCO for Mediterranean Diet stated, “We are happy to kick off the international missions of 2022 with New York City. An event that emphasizes the great sensitivity of NYC to the issues of health and sustainability, but also highlights the great closeness between our countries. The two scientists who first studied the effects of our lifestyle (Ancel and Margaret Keys) lived many years in our dear Pollica and this relationship gave rise to an exceptional discovery that today is the Intangible Heritage of Humanity: The Mediterranean Diet. Today we symbolically reconnect Italy to the United States through the Mediterranean Diet, starting from young people and schools thanks to the twinning between the Institute of Pollica and the Community School 55.”


About the Future Food Institute: The Future Food Institute exists to make exponential positive change, to sustainably improve life on earth, through education and innovation in global food systems. By training the next generation of change-makers, empowering communities, and engaging government and industry in actionable innovation, Future Food catalyzes progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more at

About Green Bronx Machine: Green Bronx Machine is an impact-driven, for-purpose organization that builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. Learn more at

About UNESCO Mediterranean Diet Emblematic Communities Network: Recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, the Mediterranean Diet is supported and promoted by a Network comprising the seven emblematic Communities of Agros (Cyprus) · Brac and Hvar (Croatia) · Chefchaouen (Morocco) · Cilento (Italy) · Koroni (Greece) · Soria (Spain) · Tavira (Portugal). Learn more at

About the New York City Mayor’s Office of Food Policy:  Working to advance the City’s efforts to increase food security, promote access to and consumption of healthy foods, and support economic opportunity and environmental sustainability in the food system,  the Office plays a critical role in integrating an equity frame into food policy priorities and solutions.  For more information. Learn more at