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Exploring the food chain, one job at a time.
In this Newsletter: On the value in local food chains// Come sell milk with me// World Food Day// Crowdfunding Sneak Peak// Things to read, watch and do// Hot Buttered Boogie.

Dear friends and fellow travelers,

When I started traveling the food chain, it was my intention to spend more time on farms than behind my computer.

However, there will always be periods when I find myself behind my laptop for multiple weeks on end. For one, because we're in a pandemic and are told to stay indoors as much as possible. Second, because unfortunately it’s still easier for me to make a decent living behind my laptop than it is picking weeds from between radishes. 

But the third and best reason is that sometimes I’m offered a job too interesting to say no to. 

The last three months were like that. I landed a job doing research for a video series on local food supply chains in the Netherlands. 

That gave me an opportunity to learn a lot in a short period of time, and to do one of my favorite things in the world: talking to food people about something they’re passionate about. 

People like pig farmer Ruud van Dijck who’s been working tirelessly to make his farm more sustainable and circular, one step at a time. Like Henno and Femke Hak who’ve created a space in Abcoude where fellow dairy makers can share machines, ideas and knowledge about their craft.

Like Bart van Olphen who’s helping fishermen in Zeeland to get their shellfish and stories to market.

Like Syrian Cheese maker Abdul Chaban, who revived his family tradition 10 years after arriving in the Netherlands, and growing a thriving business out of it.

Like so many more, only a few of whom are portrayed in this video series

Most of all, I found there is real momentum in local, short food supply chains. These people I spoke to are just the tip of the iceberg, and I am very eager to find out how this development will fit into our global food supply. I might rebrand to Short Food Chain Traveler :D

Hope you all stay healthy and have a great weekend!

Maarten

COME SELL WITH ME// Since June, I’ve been accompanied on my dairy selling Saturdays by friends and fellow food enthusiasts. When November ends, my days as a milkman will come to an end. If you want to join me for a day of Food Chain Traveling Fun, I still have a few days open until the end of November, so shoot me a message!

One of my most recent co-hosts was good friend and talented writer Revka. She wrote a short piece about her experience which you can read here.

WORLD FOOD DAY// Today is World Food Day, an international day celebrated every year around the world on 16 October, in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. Like previous years, our friends at Food Cabinet have prepared a  brilliant program to introduce and talk to changemakers in the world of food.

Tune in to the show today (16th of October) from 16.00-17.30.

SNEAK PREVIEW - CROWDFUNDING SLOW FOOD BOOK// For the past four years I’ve been a board member for the Slow Food movement in the Netherlands. In the past few months we’ve been working on a book that tells the stories of 100 of Slow Food products in the Netherlands: rare heritage breeds and seeds that connect us to our food culture, history and to the landscapes around us.

The crowdfunding will start next Thurday the 22nd of October. If you want to support us, that’d be greatly appreciated. Sign up here!

THINGS TO READ, WATCH AND DO// Read or watch interesting things online about food, history and more, like this one of these three food documentaries that are made available online especially for world food day (only 16-18th of October). // Read some of the good food books I'm collecting and reviewing on Goodreads. Like ‘Braiding Sweetgrass’, an intriguing effort by botanist & member of the Potawami nation to combine indigenous wisdom & scientific knowledge of plants into one perception of the world around us.// Listen to some great podcasts, like this one by the BBC Food Programme imagining Carolyn Steel as Great Britain's future prime minister, or these two podcasts by the Correspondent and the BBC about the role of artificial fertilizer in our current and future food system.
Follow a farmer online, like James Rebanks aka the HerdySheperd. James just published a followup to his amazing first book, which I can’t wait to read.
Go visit a farm. If it feels unsafe, do so online for now.
Support your locals.
If you have to eat at home, add a little hot buttered boogie to work up an appetite ;)

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De Seizoensarbeider · Hoofdweg 229-2 · Amsterdam, Netherlands, Noord Holland 1057CV · Netherlands

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