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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK
Food festival has peace on menu
By Mark Duff
BBC News, Milan, Italy

A selection of oils and fresh ingredients
The Exhibition of Taste is a gourmet's dream
One of the world's most famous food festivals is celebrating its 10th anniversary by trying to promote not only good taste, but peace.

The Salone del Gusto - the Exhibition of Taste - is the showcase of the Slow Food movement, which was founded to counter the spread of fast food.

Over the next five days in Turin, Italy, it will celebrate fine food, biodiversity and good farming practice.

But it will also see Palestinian and Israeli chefs creating a joint feast.

Food does not often feature as an instrument of peace.

More often than not, it is the lack of food which makes the news - either as a result of war, or because of natural calamity.

But the festival will feature chefs from both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict working together to create a fine meal using the best of both communities' culinary traditions.

They are part of the Chefs for Peace association, which for five years now has been trying to promote dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians through their shared love of good food.

A vintner picks grapes in Tuscany
The Slow Food movement promotes fresh, quality ingredients

The peace meal is one of the highlights of the 10th biennial Slow Food festival.

But it is more than a gimmick. Other events include talks on both the immediate impact of war on agricultural communities - and the longer-term devastation caused by the destruction of crops and livestock.

The Slow Food movement - which is 20 years old this year - aims to promote traditional farming techniques and products, to counter the spread of factory farming.

It also aims to promote biodiversity and environmental responsibility on the part of consumers - an objective given added piquancy by this week's warning by environmentalists that the planet's resources are being consumed faster than they can be replaced.

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