On how this small country has something to show the whole world
I was shocked when I heard the Netherlands is one of the main global exporters of fresh produce. A Spaniard like me wondered how a country so grey and cold grow such quantities of fruits and vegetables? I recently learnt that not only do they grow global seeds, but they also distribute 60% of seeds used worldwide. Isn’t this fascinating? A country so small you can drive from one side to the other in just a couple of hours, which brings life and oxygen across the planet through its seeds and produce.
The World Food Center recently opened in Ede with the mission of conveying that message across the board. They aim at reconnecting eaters with the whole food chain through food-oriented educational experiences. The HQ of Food Inspiration Magazine are based inside this beautiful center located in the countryside.
Hans and Arjan, founders of Food Inspiration guided us through the FoodLov Lunch. A multi-course meal, that unveils the different motivations humans have developed throughout time for eating, starting from the basic biological need for energy and ending with the need for reconnecting with others and with the environment that surrounds us.
And when talking about the environment and sustainability, the word waste pops-up. And when waste and the Netherlands are in the same sentence, they are up to something good!
The Food Waste Factory plans on how to save the world through food. They have their own way of facing today’s challenges: they produce delicious and appealing food with the products the industry would otherwise throw away. Policy makers visit their facilities to learn about new ways of doing things with urgent optimism.
Some chefs are also bringing the concept of sustainability in their kitchens. Emile van der Staak, the botanical chef from De Niewe Winkel says that “waste” is an artifact created by human kind. In nature, you don’t find waste and the circular system is more than just a beautiful concept recurrently used to describe what we should be doing that is deeply rooted in nature. This chef sources his products from the Food Forest, just a couple of kilometers away from his restaurant.On the left, a photo of the dessert I had last year at his restaurant. I still keep the menu in my room! I can’t forget the flavors of the sea buckthorn powder on the yoghurt and hazelnut cream…
Also in the fields, we find best practices of farmers using ancient methods combined with deep knowledge and technology to bring us the best of nature in a sustainable manner.
At Remeker farms they raise happy cows in a happy environment. Only if you taste the cheese they make, will you understand the value of creating this unique environment.
And if all of this wasn’t enough, the Netherlands is not only at the forefront of farming, sustainable flavor and technolog, but it is also a best practice in what comes to food care in hospitals.
This is the second year we visit Bernhoven Hospital catered by Hutten .What anyone would say by entering this hospital is: “it doesn’t feel like a hospital.” It’s colorful, pleasant and served great food. Patients recieve a service that could be compared to a high-end restaurant that serves on-demand healthy food… Such an inspiration! They have designed menus to fight disease. The flavors are adjusted to the changing taste-buds of patients who are undergoing a treatment. These recipes may also be accesed online by patients and their families to make sure they continue a diet that will help them fight their illness when they get back home.
I’m leaving you for now but don’t expect this to be the last time to read about the Netherlands in this blog…I still have to talk about the master of flavor…Any idea of who it is?