Author Photo
Tarek Soliman
Agroecologist

In a few hours the adventure will come to a conclusion, so many mixed feelings, their intensity matching the intensity of those last ten days. We shared life experiences, academic backgrounds, opinions, great meals in that magical space called La Bergerie de Villarceaux.

Domaine de Villarceaux is the proud witness of centuries old episodes of French history, and not too far from them we were working diligently on the future of the most important thing in the human existence: Food, as sustenance and nourishment, with all the pleasure and pain it entails.

We started our journey seeing how water, air, fire and earth interact within the food system, and explored how the food system affects all four of them. From the world of phytoplanktons with Pierre Mollo, the threats of climate change with Lučka Bogataj, to how much energy goes into our food with Alessandro Cerutti, and soil degradation with Boris Boincean. These intense eye openers fuelled the group discussions, fostered by participation and sharing, and led eventually to thinking of the Fifth element, the ether, the human spirit, the essence of life, that happens to be the missing ingredient in all our food related arguments. As concious beings we need nourishment, that we cannot acheive by tampering with the four elements in order to produce food and bring it to our tables.

And so a declaration was signed to reflect the aspirations and hopes of 42 young people who only want the best for themselves and the world around them, encompassing not only humans, not only sentient beings, but all of existence that surrounds us. It doesn’t end there though, as we are devoting the morning of our last day together to disseminate this powerful message through all the channels that matter, and create a mechanism by which we could really remain united for food.

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