Chefs play an important role (picture FAO)

That was the central message of an international symposium last friday hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Government of France, during "Goût de France" week currently being held in Paris.

"We have to educate and inspire people to adopt healthy diets," FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said. "Gastronomy is more and more an area of great interest, and chefs are among the actors who can shape public opinion and influence consumers."

"Food is since the dawn of time, an essential dimension of human exchanges, a major economic activity, and the foundation of the organization of societies. This legacy is passed on from generation to generation and is shared as communities meet. It weaves ties at the level of a society and increases the intercultural curiosity between countries," said Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO.

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