Greenresilient at the Food Festival in Aarhus

On 6-8 September 2019, the Greenresilient project was showcased at the annual Food Festival in Aarhus, Denmark.

AU stand at Aarhus Food Festival 2019 with winter leafy crops displayed to the left. Photographer: Thayna Mendanha

The Food Festival takes place every year in the first weekend of September. It is the biggest food event in Northern Europe, hosting workshops, tastings, lectures, a chef’s scene, a food experimentarium, company stands, university stands, etc., especially targeted toward the Nordic food culture. Each year, around 30,000 people visit the Food Festival in one weekend.

Visitors at the Greenresilient stand were asked to taste six different winter leafy crops suitable for growing in unheated greenhouses (Namenia, brown mustard, wild rocket, Mizuna, winter purslane and winter cress). 112 visitors also filled in a questionnaire asking if they knew the vegetables, whether they liked them or not, whether they would buy them if available in the supermarket and if they knew how to cook with them. In Denmark, wild rocket is displayed in almost every supermarket, winter purslane and Mizuna appear in meal boxes whereas the remaining three are not very common.

Everyone that filled in the questionnaire knew wild rocket, 21 percent knew Mizuna, 12-15 percent knew brown mustard, winter purslane and winter cress but only 4% had seen Namenia before. Many people liked the mild winter leafy vegetables but, regarding wild rocket and winter cress opinions, they were split due to the pungent taste. When new vegetables are introduced, consumers are often a little reluctant to buy them, but 50 percent of the people asked said they would consider buying the new winter leafy vegetables even though not all knew how to cook with them.

While people were tasting, we explained the two production systems tested in Denmark: Business As Usual (BAU) versus the Innovative system (INN), which has energy savings and introduced agroecological principles in greenhouse production, thereby increasing above and below ground biodiversity. This led to some very good discussions.

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CORE Organic Cofund is an ERA-NET funded by the European Commission´s
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Contract No. 727495.