We know that Greece has huge financial issues recently, but there is still a lot we can learn from this beautiful country. One of the sunniest places in the world, Greece is also home to 6000 beautiful islands and obviously gains a lot of money from its tourism industry. But most of the country is actually mountains, along with ancient cities like Athens. Santorini (image above) is home to beaches of different colours (white, red and black due to volcanic soil). Some beaches have black sand and pebbles that are so slippery that you may accidentally wade in and start swimming, so take great care.
Greek people eat proper food
We have all heard the adage that ‘we should eat like the Greeks’. Often health experts include oily fish in this, but the facts don’t pan out. Viva! Fish Report writes that like anything, vested interests have overtaken things, because you don’t need fish for omega 3 oils (and actually cooking them destroys them anyway). The reason why Greeks are so healthy is because they eat tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, real olives (over lots of olive oil) and fruit-based desserts.
A little fish likely won’t harm most people health-wise, but pregnant women are not allowed to eat certain types (and as one male vegan writer puts ‘if it’s not good enough for pregnant women, it’s not good enough for me!’) Also when Greek people eat fish, they are just eating a freshly-caught fish from local clean waters, not fish-farmed products from big multi-national companies that also trawl up other by-catch like sea turtles, dolphins, whales and sharks. If you want to take omega 3 supplements, No Fishy offer them straight from the source (algae) with no fishy burps afterwards!
A fisherman is enjoying the sun after catching just enough to feed his family and to sell for income. A businessman approaches and asks: ‘Why don’t you buy a bigger boat and catch more fish?’ The fisherman asks ‘why would I do that?’ The business says ‘Then you could make more money, employ more staff, make even more money to buy a bigger boat, then make more money and retire’. The fisherman asks ‘What would I do then?’ The businessman replies ‘You could lie on the beach and enjoy the sun’. The fisherman says ‘But I’m doing that now – without any of the stress!’
there are hardly any care homes in Greece
This is because the culture is that nearly all grandparents live with their families, until they die. No shoving people away to sit in circles watching TV, because nobody wants to look after them. In John Robbins’ book Healthy at 100, he found a similar culture when he visited the four longest-living cultures on earth (in Pakistan, Russia, Chile and a Japanese island). When someone was too old to live alone, the children would fight over who COULD look after the relative, as to not be chosen was shameful! He came away with the reason why these cultures lived so long was not just good food, fresh air and faith – but nobody felt lonely.
Greeks don’t knock don’t ancient buildings
Unlike here, old buildings are not bulldozed to make way for modern skyscrapers, as they appreciate their building heritage. In England, we have seen developers bulldoze Birmingam Central Library (a magnificent Victorian building), Euston Railway Station entrance (a magnificent architecture relic) and the art-deco Olympic pool where Johnny Weissmuller (who played Tarzan) used to swim. Recently, England’s second-oldest pear tree has been demolished to make way for the disastrous HS2 project (which will do nothing to stop climate change, and kill around 22,000 wildlife yearly once built, based on estimates from other high-speed train projects).
Old buildings are obviously also home to many roosting animals like bats and barn owls, which are losing their natural habitats, so rely on coves and eaves. Replacing old building facades with more glass also contributes to more bird strike. Read up on how to help stop birds flying into windows.