There is something odd about the TV series Fresco’s Paradise, which is currently being broadcast by Dutch humanist broadcasting company Human.
All thoroughly interesting subjects, and yet I feel a bit uneasy as I watch her in all those would-be relaxed poses, whether she’s leaning against a tree, halfway up an apple tree or sitting on the edge of a pavement. All that informality creates a strange tension. Or is there a hard clash in herself between Louise the novelist and Professor Fresco the food expert? Somehow the atmosphere stays superficial. I never see her really being moved by anything. All the time she projects the same cool, scientific, so-called objective tone over beautiful warm landscapes. A highly intelligent being interviewing eccentric and lively people from the field of practice. I see someone who is a slave to her own conviction but does not manage to impart it to others. I see no conflict or far-reaching disagreement; no emotion, no mildness, no doubt. Just a relentless distance with a touch of arrogance, as if she only finds people interesting who fit into her analysis and vision.
I don’t get it that the pigs in Umbria can live outside but those on a farm in the Netherlands cannot. If pigs were out of doors, as they are on organic farms, they would suddenly pose a danger to public health because they would contract salmonella infections. But not a word is spoken on this subject in Umbria: there it fits ‘so well in the culture, there people know the meaning of food and quality’!
She says she is looking for her paradise, which is a world in which everyone has enough to eat, and healthy food. A world in which links are restored between farmers and consumers, city and countryside. But it is Fresco’s Paradise, not mine!