ALMERE: The Low Food Lab launched recently in Almere in the Netherlands. This open-source platform is an initiative of the Low Food movement – set up by chefs and food entrepreneurs Joris Bijdendijk, Samuel Levie and Joris Lohman. It investigates how gastronomy can offer solutions to societal challenges in the food system.
Chefs, farmers, food producers and scientists will work together in the next two years in the Low Food Lab to explore the potential of new, forgotten, not-yet-explored and undervalued products in the Netherlands. Low Food Lab is powered by Flevo Campus. It will get a physical space at Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere.
The first ideas for the programme were presented on Friday 29 November at the Stadsboerderij in Almere in the presence of Alderperson Roelie Bosch. In a world where food security and the sustainability of the food and agricultural systems are two big themes, Low Food believes that the food movement – and specifically gastronomy – has an important role in the changing food culture.
Low Food has set itself the goal of putting Dutch gastronomy on the map. It is committed to make Dutch food culture lead on forward-thinking topics such as sustainability and inclusion.
Chef Joris Bijdendijk is pleased with the establishment of the Low Food Lab: “To accelerate the progress on important social themes, Low Food Lab will have an open source character and chefs, food producers, scientists and designers are invited to carry Low Food Lab together.”
Low Food Lab will run for the period 2020-2022 and will be given a physical place during Floriade Expo 2022, the world horticultural exhibition that will take place in Almere.
Following international examples
The founders of Low Food got inspired by culinary movements around the world that also played a role during the launch. Diego Prado led the BCulinaryLAB – the gastronomic research platform of the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian – until recently and gave a presentation about the operation of a gastronomic lab.
Benedict Reade was present to share his experiences and reflections as a former head of Nordic Food Lab. Nordic Food Lab was founded by culinary entrepreneur Claus Meyer and René Redzepi, chef of the renowned restaurant NOMA in Copenhagen, four-time ranked the best restaurant in the world by ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’.
Nordic Food Lab combines scientific and humanistic perspectives with culinary techniques from all over the world to explore the edible potential of the Nordic region and recently became part of the food science department at the University of Copenhagen.
Low Food Lunch
During the festive launch, lunch was provided in the cowshed of the Stadsboerderij Almere by Dutch chefs Emile van der Staak, Guillaume de Beer, Merijn van Berlo, Vanja van der Leeden, Nadia Zerouali, baker Alice de Boer and hunter-gatherer Ellen Mookhoek. Several Dutch food producers were also present to introduce the guests to some special Dutch products made with the same mindset Low Food has.
About the organization
The Low Food Movement has set the goal to change Dutch gastronomy. We want to make Dutch food culture leading when it comes to forward thinking on subjects as sustainability and inclusion. In a world where food security and the sustainability of the food and agricultural system are two of the big themes we believe that the food movement has an important role in changing food culture. The Low Food Movement will therefore act as a networking agent and platform where new ideas are created and implemented. This year, Low Food will organise different workshops, a symposium and will start with the foundation of Low Food Lab.