It’s a kind kind of world

Video of a talk on how we see the world: Today – as an enemy to be controlled by our technology. Tomorrow – as a friend to be explored by our appetite. From a symposium for chefs, here is a story about a forager in a kindergarden.

The world is not a desert, devoid of edible stuff. It is a welcoming, blossoming and rich world full of plants, animals and insects that we can eat as food. But we seem to have forgotten what is there. We have forgotten that we are natives belonging to this world.

We treat the world as if it was hostile and unfriendly. Our technology reflects that attitude. We try to control the world because we are afraid of it. That is a major mistake. We have to learn that it is a kind kind of world.

A kind kind of world was my punchline in my opening talk at this summers’ MAD Food Symposium on Refshaleøen in Copenhagen, July 1-2 2012. Some 500 chefs and food people from all over the world gathered to discuss the future of food under the theme of appetite. Rene Redzepi from restaurant noma is the convener of this spectacular annual event.

  Audience going MAD

My talk this year exemplified the kindness of the world  by the story of a foraging tour with the kindergarten Skovbo from Taarbæk, north of Copenhagen and British forager Miles Irving. The extraordinary experience of seeing the edibility of the wild plants of the world  through the eyes of kids developed my thinking into three basic “kindergarden rules” for how to go about the world:

Everything is everywhere (the world is rich)

• Go look (we are blind)

Eat together (we need to share)

British forager Miles Irving speaking at Mad 1

The videos of this summers’ talks from chefs and other explorers of the dealing  food of the planet are now up at the website The site is rich in great talks also from  last year. New videos from this years’ talks are added on a daily basis with half the talks up by now – with my kindergarden stories here:

The video pretty much shows the slides of the talks, but in case you would like to see them, they are here: Talk at MAD 2 010712 q

BTW, the theme of kindness of the world is also dominant in my talk on “verdens venlighed” (the kindness of the world) from this spring – availlable in Danish only.

PS: So you say that it is spelled “kindergarten”? The English word kindergarten comes from German, meaning children’s garden. So I spell it in English, even if the English do not.

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