In Conversation with Scotland’s Youth Delegates – Georgia Forsyth Sijpestijn

Over the coming weeks before Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 commences we are sharing short interviews with some of the youth delegates and other Scottish food leaders attending the biggest global gathering of food communities in the world! 

Next up is Georgia Forsyth Sijpestijnis, a young Scot who is about to enrol in a double masters in agroecology and organic agriculture, having previously worked in agricultural research at the James Hutton Institute. Georgia is also passionate about food waste and has worked and volunteered in various environmental organisations including Granton Community Gardeners in north Edinburgh.


What’s your happiest food memory?

There are too many to choose but I like to look back on the time my dad and I used to sit on the kitchen floor drinking sugary buttermilk (a typically Dutch drink).

What originally inspired you to get involved in your work?

The dogged persistence of my mother to show me the true meaning of community.

How are you helping to or hoping to build a better food system?

I am working towards spreading the information on growing food. Encouraging people to build their confidence when it comes to knowing where their food comes from and how to grow it. I hope to work with more farmers in the future helping ensure that their knowledge is conserved, built-on and shared to build a more resilient food system.

What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved?

Giving people the time to cook and enjoy their food, with friends, family and others. The broken connection between people and their food culture is a core issue that leads to a number of larger issues such as not appreciating the true cost of producing food and the farmers who grow it.

How can we best stimulate young adults curiosity about food and agriculture and encourage their participation in building healthier food systems?

Giving them the opportunity to understand their food. Teaching them how to cook with it, experiment and share it. Empowering to grow and raise some of their own food so that they build a link and understanding of what it truly takes to feed us. This can be built in education systems, community groups and clubs. Also, importantly, teaching them about business and policy, and understanding of how the food system works.

Who are your food heroes?

My mum, and all the other parents out there that struggle through the torrents of information to try and find how best to feed their children. The parents that sit down with their kids, cook and bake with them, go shopping with them, or simply have fun with food with them are my food heroes. They taught me to love food, to care about food and they are the first step in inspiring all foodie heroes.

Which of this year’s Terra Madre themes most relates to your work and why?

Food and Health – working and growing-up within a deprived area has allowed me to see how the food system, education and societal norms have an effect on our health.

If you could travel to one country in the world to experience their food culture where would it be?

I would like to explore Latin America, countries such as México or Peru. This part of the world has a strong voice in food sovereignty and agroecology so I feel like there is much I can learn from its people.

You might not know this but…

I love plane food. It’s probably because it is always on the way to a culinary adventure but often gives you a wee taste of what you’ll explore!

You can find out a little more about our 19 delegates from Scotland and what they’re hoping to gain from attending Terra Madre Salone del Gusto this September in our earlier blog post!

Find out about what SFYN international will be doing at Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto by viewing the official events programme

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