by Linda de Bruijn, Netherlands
I was invited to join the final gathering of the Future of Food Project in Hungary. Fifty years ago I was born on a farm in the south of the Netherlands. My parents had moved with their families as children from another part of the country to search for a better life as farmers. So my roots are very strongly connected with the farming life. My father is now 80 years old and he has a strong and healthy constitution. All his life he has had a daily schedule (milking cows twice a day) and he eats modestly (just enough to sustain himself). I think this is a good way to live a healthy life.
When he was young there were no pesticides spread on the land, but they were starting to use artificial fertilizers more and more. Of course in the beginning farmers thought it was amazing, but now we know that in the long term it will spoil the Earth.
Today it is difficult to be an eco farmer, most of them have borrowed money from the banks and also because they are paying high rents there is pressure to produce large quantities. That’s not easy, so I would like to invite everyone to take care of the future of food by working or participating in some way as an eco farmer. For example in the Netherlands it is possible to adopt an organic chicken or maybe a fruit tree by making a monthly donation to support the farmer . This system helps farmers to produce good sustainable foods and at the same time make a living from doing so.
I am thankful that the EU has given us the opportunity to to meet people from different European countries to discuss and share our ideas about food for the future and to preserve the knowledge from our past.