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Exploring the food chain, one job at a time.
In this Newsletter: Crowdfunding & making a book// Ark of Taste// Things to read, watch & do// A small relief from an overall bad year.

On March 19th 2019 I received an email from the
University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. Would we (Slow Food Netherlands) be interested in co-producing a book on agro-biodiversity & gastronomic heritage in the Netherlands.

Of course yes.

But then, as they do, other things happened. For one, trying to make a living as a Food Chain Traveler was challenging. Also a pandemic

But, last oktober the wind caught our sails again. We started a crowdfunding with Voordekunst and threw ourselves out there to see if anyone else cared enough to put some of their money towards this endeavor.

28 Days in, I'm humbled & happy to say that we've already at 88% of our goal of €24.000!

It's extremely encouraging to see so many people willing to support biodiversity & food heritage. And a huge pleasure to be able to work together with a team of volunteers on this project, not in the least the students who started the work of gathering the information necessary for this book.
 
If you want to help? Share this campaign, make a donation here and of course, #supportyourlocals. 

Safe travels, stay curious, 
Maarten

ARK OF TASTE// The basis of our book is the Ark of Taste project, a global catalogue of heritage foods & food cultures that are at risk due to industrialization, genetic erosion, changing consumption patterns, climate change, the abandonment of rural areas, migration, and conflict.

One of the awesome things of working on the Dutch Ark of Taste - to me - is that it is part of a much larger whole. In the Netherlands we have 100 rare varieties, crops and traditional production methods in the Ark, worldwide there are 5372 in 150 countries. Each one of these a special story of connection with nature, culture and the future, through food.

If you want to know more about the Ark of Taste in the rest of the world, here are two suggestions:

The Food is Culture Project// As part of the international Slow Food event Terra Madre - Salone del Gusto (October 2020-April 2021), an online exhibition showcasing the Ark of Taste in Europe was launched this week. 

Podcast series BBC's The Food Program // The British radio program The Food Program made a series of more than 40 short episodes in 2015 about various Ark of Taste products around the world, including our own Stellendam shrimp. Listen to all episodes here.

THINGS TO READ, WATCH AND DO// Read or watch interesting things online about food, history and more, like this TED talk by architect Julia Watson about how ancient wisdom might help us build a resilient future// 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 (I'm recommending it twice because I really love it. I'll recommend it thrice, probably). // Listen to some great podcasts, like this podcast about the The Enslaved Man Who Taught Jack Daniel To Make Whiskey// Follow a farmer online, like like Amsterdam based CSA De Stadsgroenteboer, or Koeien van Jelle, both working with heritage seeds & breeds that can be found in our Ark of Taste.

Spend some time on a farm. If it feels unsafe, do so online for now.

Lastly: I know that up until now this has has been a shitty year. But as long as music like Olafur Arnalds' We Contain Multitudes is still released, and funny food people like Aunty Donna get their own Netflix shows, there is hope.

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