Nora goes on a food adventure

A food experience in the World Food Center Experience

"Look, that's nice!" Nora points to the screen of her cell phone. 'We can print food there, taste everything and do all kinds of tests. Super!' Nora is 11 years old and enthusiastic. Her parents saved points at the supermarket for tickets to the World Food Center Experience. Today she and her brother Ben have a study day, so they leave early with their mother Anna for the train to Ede.

When they arrive at Ede-Wageningen station they are looking for grandpa; He is also on the road today. He read about the Experience in the newspaper and wanted to go with his grandchildren. After a short search, they see Grandpa Jan standing by a wall of vegetables. He has printed a map of the Experience from this and is ready for what is to come. After a quick hug Nora and Ben rush to the entrance. "Hey, did you see that?" Nora nudges Ben. "That cow winked at me." Ben barely hears her because he examines the huge apple that passes by on the conveyor belt next to them. Didn't he really think the apple said "hi"?

At the ticket counter Anna shows the tickets on her phone, and everyone gets a cord with a card attached to it. "You need this, I will not tell you all about it," says the friendly gentleman at the counter, "but at least before dinner after your visit." He looks at Nora and Ben and says: "Have fun on your food adventure."

Nora, Ben, Anna and grandfather Jan walk into an enormous space. Grandpa's eye is drawn by a large photo that - on closer inspection - shows cultured meat. He looks at it and listens with what an English-speaking guide tells a group of - at first sight - business people about the latest developments in cultured meat at Wageningen University. Then grandpa has to move on quickly, because Nora and Ben have now entered space over the human body.

"Grandpa, look!" Nora jumps fanatically down on a device and pantingly says: "That way I will know what I can eat best for a football match." Anna is smiling and looking at it. In the meantime, she is entering all sorts of data to receive a personal dietary recommendation. Ben stands in front of a large screen and drags pictures with food in a sequence he has devised onto a bar that indicates the amount of land use per product. He also calls for grandfather's attention and points to a group of children standing around a workbench. "I just tasted something very bitter there." Ben still looks a bit difficult. "But did you know that you must have tasted something about 10 times to like it?" Grandpa laughingly notes that there is still hope for the chicory and the sprout. He then watches a film with Ben about the Ethiopian Kobe, which tells what she and her family eat and how they get their food. Nora also joins them and together they think that they are lucky with the varied food that they can afford. "Boring, rice rises every day," Nora notes.

Anna quickly checks how sustainable the weekly shopping is. She has just learned that as a family they can eat healthier with some easy to implement changes. But what impact do her choices have on the climate and on the availability of food for others? "Ha ha, mom, that's not just eating the cow's steak, but the whole beast from head to tail," laughs Nora, watching her. "Yes, it is not all that clear," Anna says to Grandpa Jan. 'I buy as little processed meat as possible from a health perspective. But if you look at it from the point of view of sustainability, I would have to eat sausage again; then less food is lost. "

The food chain is central in the next room. Nora and Ben drink a cup of chocolate milk and Anna and grandfather Jan a cup of coffee. Nora and Ben wear VR glasses that show them what ingredients are in their chocolate milk, where they come from and what happened to them before they ended up in their cups. "Yes, half the world is in this cup!", Nora remarks. Ben is surprised at all the quality and safety checks that the products undergo and how many people are busy with it.

'Did you know that in the Netherlands we throw away 40 kilos of food per year? That is more than you weigh, Nora. " Anna has already finished her coffee and is lifting different weights. 'In African countries, people throw very little food away. But a lot of food is lost there during production and transport. " Nora would also like to do something right away. She suggests: "Shall we pay close attention this month to what we throw away?"

Ben and Nora immediately jump on a bicycle in the next room. They are now in a zone that demands attention for global food challenges, grandpa says. While pedaling, the children read how much energy is needed every day to feed all people in the world. Anna reads what she reads about the influence of climate change, urbanization and a growing world population on the demand for food and on food production. Quite complicated, Nora and Ben think, but they understand best. 'How is that supposed to be? With more and more people and more drought, "Nora wonders. "Can't they invent something for that?" "Good question," one older boy remarks, laughing a little further. He tells Nora and Ben that he and a few other students are researching ways to use less water for growing tomatoes. 'And so there are many groups involved in research. We are now looking around, but we are here because we will be able to give a presentation later. To other researchers but also to a few people from large companies. "

While the children still play a number of games and physically enjoy themselves, Grandpa Jan and Anna look around in a part of the Experience about the role of the Netherlands. Grandpa Jan is impressed by the large Dutch role in global food production. Anna is particularly interested in the innovations that are also being developed in our country. "Nice to see that we are at the forefront in this area." She concludes: 'And how important that we not only look at the interests of residents and companies in our own country. I like that the Dutch government, researchers and some companies also work hard with people abroad to ensure that everyone - wherever in the world - can eat well in such a way that the earth remains livable. "

"Huh, a pizza crust of cauliflower?" Ben and Nora are now watching breathlessly in the lab where the food of the future is made. Nora can even lend a hand.
If they are then allowed to make a pizza for themselves in a supersonic machine, Ben and Nora understand quite well which products they should and which should not choose. Ben: Let's do mushrooms, not cheese. Nora agrees: "We have to make our pizzas in such a way that children in other places in the world will soon have enough to eat."

"I thought it was super fun and also educational," says Nora. Ben adds: "And delicious!". While they enjoy the pizza, Nora, Ben, Anna and grandfather discuss what they have seen and done. "Shall we go to the theatrical performance like that?", Anna suggests, "I saw that when we first arrived." "And I would like to go to the greenhouse with you," says Grandpa Jan. "I was just there when you made the pizzas, and you can also see, smell and taste everything there."

When the four of them leave in the middle of the afternoon, Nora and Ben are given the bag of seeds that came with their entry pass. "You can plant it at the World Food Center, but you can also do it at home," says the lady, who shakes hands when she leaves. And they will do that. They say goodbye to Grandpa Jan on the square. Satisfied, Nora notes that they have done a lot, but that there is also more to see and do. 'So we have to go again. Are you coming again, Grandpa? " Ben also wants sometimes. "I liked all things the most."

A few weeks later Nora takes arugula to school, from their own garden. She lets everyone taste as part of her talk about 'food for the whole world'.

Want to know more about the power of experience in the WFC Experience? Read the article by Harry Veldhuis here

The story of Nora is based on the concept designed by BRC Imagination Arts. The exact effect of the Experience can deviate from this.