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Vegan banquet at Windsor Castle
By Emma Midgley
BBC Berkshire

The Rt Reverend Richard Chatres
The Bishop of London has become a vegetarian for ecological reasons

When people from nine faiths with special dietary requirements visit for a banquet, what should be on the menu?

That is the dilemma facing the Royal Family as Windsor Castle hosts an international conference to celebrate different faiths and the environment.

The banquet will be held on Tuesday 4 November and hosted by Prince Philip and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Faiths will include Baha'ism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Sikhism.

Jewish conference visitors will require food which is kosher, whereas others will need halal meat. People from many faiths follow a vegetarian diet and daoists prohibit the use of ingredients from endangered animals and plants.

The result has been the first vegan banquet in Windsor Castle's history. All the food will be free-range, and most organic, local and fair-trade. No bottled water will be provided.

The menu for the vegan banquet at Windsor Castle

STARTER

Salad of roasted English pear, steamed celeriac and oven roasted cobnuts

Frisee leaves tossed with a hazelnut oil and lemon oil dressing

Served with a red grape reduction

Ciabatta bread served with olive oil

MAIN COURSE

Portabello mushroom stuffed with artichoke, red onion and thyme, set on pearl barley and butternut squash risotto with gremolata oil

Roasted root vegetables to include carrots, parsnips and beetroot turned with baby chard

DRINKS

Cranberry and fresh orange cocktail

Jugs of iced tap water and lemon on the tables

(No dessert due to extremely tight schedule)

Thames Valley Vegans

Sophie Fenwick-Paul, vegetarian and environmental campaigner for Thames Valley Vegans, said she was happy that the Palace were turning vegan for the banquet.

"I think it's a lovely idea," she said. "Vegan food is suitable for everybody, whatever their religious diet or their food intolerances.

"A report that came out last week showed that 51% of global warming effect is caused by livestock farming, so if people just cut down on the meat and dairy they eat would have a huge effect on global warming."




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