Emeritus professor Rudy Rabbinge is - once again - a member of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA). He revealed this yesterday morning in an interview in front of about thirty interested students who attended a lecture on food safety in the Ceres club.
In the rest of his lecture, Rabbinge gave examples of links between food supply on the one hand, and safety and freedom. That was how high food prices brought about the start of the Arab spring. In addition, authoritarian regimes cause farming hardships because they impose many restrictions on farmers. Rabbinge also showed his personal side, thanks to questions from moderator Frénk van der Linden. He talked about his idealism ('I hope that Africa will no longer be seen as a lost continent in the future') and desire to work ('I sleep four hours each night').
The students were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. 'I don't care which political party he votes for,' said Erika, third year student in Nutrition and Health. 'But to hear why he does so much was interesting.' Erika is among a group of students who are doing a course on food crises. Hein, first year Master's student of Environmental Sciences, was present because of interest: 'It's interesting that food is so important for stability, and it is nice that Rabbinge has put Wageningen on the map in this way.'
The Foodfight lecture was organized by the Wageningen 4-and-5-May Committee, in conjunction with the anniversary of the liberation of Eindhoven. Amateur athletes brought the freedom fire into Wageningen in the morning and 'refreshed' the flame of the monument in front of the Ceres club.