About Food and Future
About the creation of Food and Future
It was in 2016 when the government first communicated the environmentally harmful effects of eating meat. That was the time when Erik Lu came up with the idea to organize a school trip to promote vegetarian food. At that time Erik was a student of Environmental Sciences at the Wageningen University.
Together with friends from various schools, they gave information about the positive effects of eating less or no meat; lower water consumption, less CO2 emissions and less animal suffering. The feedback was good and that gave energy.
They all lived around Arnhem/Nijmegen/Wageningen and met every month. The conversations during these meetings gave energy to start other projects to promote a more sustainable lifestyle. They started informing people on the street about investing sustainably and zero-waste tours. Part of these tours was visiting stores where you can bring your own refillable packaging.
As a young child, Erik Lu was more interested in removing chewing gum than swimming with his classmates. His intuitive feeling about an ideal environment in which nature, animals and people are in balance with each other was already there. If it was up to Erik Lu he would give animals and fish rights and he would stop catching, breeding and consuming them.
Later on, Erik Lu got in touch with the Feed our Future team, which focused on the realization of plant-based canteens in schools, companies and organisations. During this meeting, the foundation was laid for a collaboration. Both groups of volunteers joined forces in the Food and Future movement.
The original philosophy of Food and Future was to promote a sustainable lifestyle through information (presentations and workshops), activities (zero-waste tour, cooking courses) and changing the immediate environment to make it easier to choose plant-based food (vegetable canteens). The renewed Food and Future aims to focus on the transition to a (more) plant-based food system.
Sarah Kate studies Ecology and Science in Society. Among other things, she is concerned with the question ‘How do you communicate scientific knowledge to politics and society, so that it is understandable for a large part of people and their behavior can be influenced’. She communicates in a positive way, shares her knowledge from a broad vision and context and she has an eye for global differences between population groups and living conditions. A pleasant woman to work with and to exchange ideas with!
She was involved in Food and Future quite early, around 2016/2017 and provided information to students about the positive effects of eating fewer animal products, such as reducing animal suffering, using raw materials more efficiently and reducing harmful methane emissions. She also made people on the street aware of the environmentally harmful investments of banks and insurance companies in e.g. the fossil fuel industry and the possibility of switching to a more sustainable bank or insurance company. Food and Future then consisted of a group of students who ate together every month, shared their vision and discussed projects. Very cozy and valuable!
Sarah Kate had decided as a young girl of 6 years old not to eat meat anymore, when she realized that these are dead animals. The realization that lambs, the young of her favorite animal ‘the sheep’, were eaten preceded this decision.
As she grew older and developed, the insight came that individual behavior is not enough to achieve a more plant-based food system. Systemic changes in food production and consumption are needed. These can differ per population group, partly depending on culture, history and living conditions.
In addition to the plant-based food transition, Sarah Kate is also committed to making the mobility infrastructure more sustainable and the associated human behavioral changes. An inner conviction of wanting to save the world, wanting to narrow the gap between rich and poor and limit global warming motivate her.
Sarah Kate is and remains active for Food and Future and likes to focus on changing our behaviour, working closely with educational institutions such as the Biology teacher training course at HAN: young people being an important target group for the future and small-scale projects.
Riki studied Applied Mathematics at Delft University of Technology and works as a BI consultant. After watching the documentary Dominion and realizing how much suffering is required for animal products, he decided to become vegan, and soon after that he started doing animal rights activism in the form of outreach and from there he developed an interest in other forms of activism for animals and climate. Since 2021 he has been helping to build the Food & Future site as a website manager.
Riki thinks it’s very important to spread activism, as your own social consciousness is only the beginning. The impact is in raising this awareness within society: this creates change. It always starts with a small group or individual people spreading awareness so that the group grows. Ultimately, the change is implemented by a power, so that it is made easier for the rest of society.
Social consciousness can also be spread by simply setting a good example yourself, for example your friends and family who see how you can cook well and live a healthy life without meat and dairy and know why you are doing this. Through activism you learn to use this actively with people or groups you normally do not come into contact with, so that it does not just remain within its own bubble. The nice thing about Food & Future is that we make this possible on a large scale, so that this awareness – desiring and implementing a plant-based food system – flows more quickly and better into society, and so this transition also becomes easier for others.
If you stand together for a mission, you will receive fun social activities in return and, most importantly, the change in society that you want to see and which you are actively contributing to.
Riki can fill in his working time for Food & Future himself, so he can combine it well with his full-time job. Incidentally, his working hours are also flexible, which means that he can also voluntarily give tutoring and homework classes at an organization of youth coaches on a fixed day.
He would like to say to his generation: ‘Go Vegan and just for fun try some volunteering or activism with a positive cause you stand for’. From there you will learn new skills and you naturally become open to other good ideas to which you can contribute.
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