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Published on : Jan 19, 2015

Beirut held a food and food production conference between January 14 and 17 in the light of the ongoing turmoil regarding the food insecurity threats in the Arab region and other food safety in Lebanon. With an effective presentation of the “Food for Thought” the topic was presented at the Goethe-Institut in Gemmayzeh during the opening night of the forum. The event arrested an expressive photo exhibition that held photos of Marwan Tahtah of the Lebanese food traditions expressed in a wide array of contexts. 

The participants of the event keenly examined the cooking and dining cultures, various food trends, as well as the eating habits and the relation between arts and foods in the region. 

The Goethe-Institut and Orient-Institut Beirut  are the two renowned Food Fabrication forums. They are responsible in taking a deeper look into the food heritage, food politics, and food culture in the given region. 

Tahtah told The Daily Star that food as a topic is a very vast subject and thus, he wanted to identify the difference between urban and rural food traditions in Lebanon. Tahtah said that we all consume the same food products but the sources varies and counts the most. It also decides the quality in terms of production and affecting. Tahtah captured different methods to purchase the food products such as big shops against small time grocery stores and local butcher consumption versus purchase of packaged goods from huge supermarkets, he added. 

Tahtah further explained that his photo work could pay more credit in terms of thorough segregation. The photos could be divided into various categories, including bread, fruits and vegetables, fish, and poultry. 

Tahtah’s photos include the famous khadarji, sandwich traditions, and transportation of poultry to slaughterhouses. He photographed all the pictures before the Health Ministry officially launched their food safety drive because that would have made his task more difficult.  

The Food Fabrication forum took place around many locations in Beirut. It is aimed to contribute to food safety, current debates on food, food globalization, food security, and culinary practices that brings together activists, entrepreneurs, chefs, politicians, farmers, and academics implicated in the food debate.  

The photo exhibition on the premises of Goethe-Institut in Gemmayzeh “Food for Thought” runs until the end of January.