My first meeting with Moritz was at a friends home. He made delicious vegetarian burgers with some raw, fermented sauerkraut on top (or do I say Sauercrowd )? The evening was full of talks about fermentation, the mind-gut Connection, improved gut health derived from his raw, fermented foods, and talking about our food system. After that first meeting we went to different parties and for what I saw was Moritz is a very special kind of being. He makes everybody feel at home, takes care and creates beautiful conversations & connections about life. Moritz is someone who knows a lot about the what he wants to do and change in this life for the “crowd”, and isn't shy to talk about that. When we talk about connection, we talk about the connection with ourself and the people around us. Together with his co-founder Claire they are on a mission to make gut-healthy raw, organic, fermented food accessible to everyone. In doing so they support local farmers by using as many ingredients as possible from around Amsterdam. The topic of fermentation is like alchemy and becomes increasingly popular again. Good care for ourself and the world around us starts with health, local food. Because of this I wanted to know more about Moritz and his beautiful mission.
Who are you and how does your life look like?
I am Moritz Huber soon to be 26-year-old foodie living in Amsterdam. I am about to graduate from my two bachelor programs here in the Netherlands where I've learned all about the food transition, sustainability, and circular agribusiness practices. My life is all about food and the connection to our soil and the crowd living on this soil. My mission in life is to bring positive long-term change to a food system that is corrupt and unsustainable and thereby connecting with many people which strive for the same future, a future in which our grandchildren still find access to healthy, local, food from a healthy soil all around Europe.
Furthermore, I am studying a lot about the mind-gut connection and how our emotions, feelings, and actions are related to our diet and stress levels. It all starts on the land, goes through our form of cooking, preserving, and eating and ends up in the digestive system where our food serves as a holistic energy source influencing all aspects of our emotional life as well. Knowing what is going on in your body and mind is crucial to a happier and more compassionate life. I love to share my knowledge in regards to these topics and learn from others by listening to their experiences and wisdom.
Who is your inspiration and why?
First and foremost Mother nature. We are visitors to a wonderful ecosystem which exist for thousands of years already. Our species is so young and has to learn so much still, I believe that our planet earth (and all the microbes and species, as well as nature inhabiting this planet) are the ideal teacher to learn from. We just have to observe and listen carefully with patience and creativity to solve our most current challenges.
How does your ideal world looks like?
A circular economy in which we learn from mother nature and bring our own intelligence and innovation into an existing system. Generations X, Y, Z will shape the future with their actions, demands, and voice so that our species can live in co-existence with all other souls on this planet.
Why is this your perfect world?
Because I believe that "together as a crowd we will make a change". This is not only the slogan of our Food Start-up "SauerCrowd" but it also summarizes many ideas which shape my life. The crowd is a symbol for collectivity, belonging to something, identification, and appreciation. These are the values, we humans strive for once we reached a higher stage on the pyramid of needs. And reaching this higher level (Maslow's example attached) brings a new responsibility to individuals. To give an example from nature: Trees are the best example of sustainable supporting growth. A tree in the forest tries to grow as fast as possible to ensure he reaches the canopy in no time and therefor reach the important sun rays, irrigation, as well as space he needs to evolve (99.5% of a piece of wood is made from only Air and Water by the tree). But other than us humans, a tree directly starts supporting the rest of the forest once he reached his pre-determined maximum growth. If we would live like trees (which by the way grow way older than us), supporting others and sharing our energy instead of always just looking into our own front yard, I could imagine a better world. It all starts with awareness and compassion for the world and the souls around us.
How did you find your passion?
From a young age onwards, while having counter-culture hippie parents, I have had this passion. I forever have to thank my parents for their way of raising and therefor also positively conditioning. Living a compassionate, sustainable, aware life is what now makes me the happiest version of myself. The passion for cooking, food, and the environment came also from my family which was always very close to nature, culture and food.
When was the first moment you realized this what it for you?
When searching for a path after my first degree with 16 years, I knew right away I want to create and be close to natural resources. This is why I became a professional chef and afterward started working in Michelin star restaurants all over Europe. At 21 years age, I was already head chef of the executive kitchen at the world's largest ship engine and truck producing companies in the world. I could have stayed there, but the higher I climbed up the career letter the more I realized that our food system is unsustainable, corrupt and based on international trade instead of sourcing locally and seasonal. This is why I chose to move to Amsterdam and start an environmental entrepreneurship based study program in order to become an entrepreneur myself. After 3 years living and studying abroad I have now settled in Amsterdam and started up a wonderful raw, local, organic, fermentation business together with my partner in crime Claire.
Who helped you by making these choices?
My parents, Claire, my teachers, and of course my beloved "crowd" all the wonderful friends supporting me taking these huge life decisions.
What where the difficult moments and hard lines?
Oh, they still appear regularly, especially now in the first year of starting up, mostly related to a lack of finance. Starting-up a business means mostly a one (or in our case two) people show running every part of a "real" business yourself. Without friends, family, and all the Amsterdam community support we would probably be burned out 3x already. Especially, the challenge of communication, since many people do not yet have interest and knowledge in raw, fermented foods and the mind-gut connection.
what goals do you still want to achieve?
Spreading the word of the health, and environmental benefits of raw, fermented vegetables and the power of sourcing local and seasonal when it comes to the most current global climate issues. We vote every day with our fork and purchase decisions in the supermarket and on our plates. The mind set of cheap and mass has to be changed in order to make a turn towards a circular world of food flow. Large cooperations still have most of the bargaining power because we consumers love the cheap prices and convenience in our "plastic supermarkets". My mission is also to spread knowledge and give easy suggestions on how to change your everyday decisions towards more sustainable choices for all.
How do you take sustainability into account or make conscious choices? or don't you take this into account?
At SauerCrowd we aim to be carbon neutral as fast as possible. In sourcing most of our ingredients from local organic and biodynamic farmers, as well as processing our vegetables with the most sustainable preservation technique of fermentation we do great already. Furthermore, we are working in a community kitchen (Kitchen Republic) where we lower our impact on sharing all tools, fridges, etc. with 30 other start.ups. Our shipping will be within cool chain keeping straw and hemp filling and packaging and gogreen certified delivered. Furthermore, we support the local farming community by helping during harvest, processing fresh from the field, and keeping the supply chain short and decentralized. All of this is of course only possible if consumers are willing to pay a little bit higher price (the normal price which food should cost) for the end products - our fermented veggies.
What is your favorite quote?
Not a quote but a universal rule (in all religious present): The golden rule - "one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself".
Sauercrowd mission: We want to make raw, organic, fermented vegetables accessible to everyone and to build a connection with "The Crowd" by sharing amazing food, knowledge, recipes, upcycling ideas, and gut-health related topics.
Do you want to support Sauercrowd their crowdfunding? You can!