Thursday, November 11, 2010

Experiencing the new Nordic Diet at Noma restaurant

A few years ago, Dr. Elling Bere of Agder University in Kristiansand, Norway and myself published a paper in Public Health Nutrition, arguing in favour of regionally appropriate and sustainable health promoting diets ‘diets’.

We argued that because most of the key determinants of the world’s burden of disease are diet-related, the promotion of healthful diets is important for population health worldwide. Furthermore, we argued that changes in health promoting eating habits may also contribute to preservation of the environment. For that purpose, we believed that the translation of health-promoting dietary recommendations into practical recommendations for healthful eating should be more tailored to regional circumstances. This will promote population health as well as help preserve cultural diversity in eating habits and contribute to more environmentally friendly eating. We described a possible regional ‘Nordic’ diet, mimicking the Mediterranean diet to some extent, as an example of such regionally appropriate health promoting diets based on food stuffs readily available and culturally embedded in the Nordic countries of Europe.

The ‘Nordic Diet’ has received quite some attention in recent years and a Danish research project was started. Arguably the best advocate of Nordic eating is the famous Noma restaurant. Noma is a two Michelin star restaurant run by chef RenĂ© Redzepi in Copenhagen, Denmark. The name is an acronym of the two Danish words "nordisk" (Nordic) and "mad" (food), and the restaurant is known for its reinvention and interpretation of the Nordic Cuisine. In 2010, it was ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World.

Yesterday I was finally able to enjoy the Nordic diet in the very best possible way. With foods like fried reindeer moss, live shrimp (see picture!), goat butter, pine needle desert, wild duck, steamed oyster and much more, I had the best eating experience ever.