‘The Garden of Holland’ builds local healthy food chain
A healthy kitchen for everyone, that is the dream of the Green Circle ‘De Tuin van Holland’ or translated ‘The Garden of Holland’. On 29 September, 17 leading chain parties ratified their cooperation by signing a covenant. Together, chefs, farmers and doctors are developing guidelines for tasty, healthy cuisine, strongly linked to the land, inspired by the culinary history.
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‘The Garden of Holland’ is the garden of the future
In the 17th century, a true food revolution took place in South Holland, especially in the region around the city Leiden. Today’s food issues, as in the 17th century, require the use of innovation and craftsmanship to renew our relationship with food. Urgent climate issues call for a new food system. To invest in it, a sustainable revenue model for producers is essential. The Green Circle – ‘The Garden of Holland’ – is therefore committed to linking high-quality, sustainable products from the region to hotels, restaurants, caterers and work locations. By increasing the demand for sustainable seasonal products, the buyers offer more and more producers the opportunity to join ‘De Tuin van Holland‘, to become more sustainable and grow more diverse. This way, the chain parties contribute to the foundations of our landscape: healthy soil, clean water and flourishing biodiversity.
National deputy Meindert Stolk “With perspective on a sustainable food system also comes a market demand that stimulates this. No single party can do this alone, which is precisely why a chain cooperation like the Green Circle ‘De Tuin van Holland’ is important. With this initiative, we are taking a step in the right direction.”
Food as a boost for health
Besides a sustainable food system, health is also at the heart of ‘The Garden of Holland’. Lifestyle expert Hanno Pijl explains that the choice of food is an important factor in a person’s health. As in the 17th century, we need to regain awareness of the preventive effects of healthy food: “We really exist by what we eat and nothing else. What we need to do for our health is also good for the health of our planet. Healthier soil leads to a healthier plate. We need to value healthy food and pay for it according to its value. In short: with ‘The Garden of Holland’ we eat ourselves and our environment healthy again.”
The first ‘The Garden of Holland’ menus are in development. Much is being learned from this practical experience, with opportunities and bottlenecks coming to light. This will be worked on together with the partners in the coming period to bring their common dream closer.
Green Circles realise shared dream
Green Circles is a unique and extensive network in which innovative companies, knowledge institutions, governments and civil society organizations work together on a shared dream on the basis of equality. Nature is also an equal partner. The aim is to better balance nature and economy and actively contribute to a better living environment, a circular economy and a healthy future.
Participating partners are BI-JOVERA, Dutch Cuisine, Groene Hart Streekpoducten, HAS University of Applied Sciences, Hoeve Biesland, Horesca Horecavo, Huis ter Duin, Hutten Catering, Koninklijke Horeca Noordwijk, LUMC, Naturalis, Noordwijde, ROC van Amsterdam, Slow Food Groene Hart, TU Delft, Voedselfamilies ZuidHolland.
Inspiration from Holland’s agricultural and culinary past
The source of inspiration for the Green Circle is the historical Garden of Holland. The growth of cities gave an impulse to the development of agriculture and horticulture. Countless botanical gardens were created, the first cultivation under glass developed and the region also led the way in the field of dairy. Doctors and scientists began to realize the importance of healthy food. Driven by the new scientific insights and the availability of numerous fresh products, the eating habits of those who can afford went through a major change. Fruit and vegetables gained an important role on the menu. Raw and fermented became fashionable and sugar was used much less. This forgotten food revolution laid the foundations for the characteristic Dutch polder landscape and modern agriculture and horticulture in the region.