Taking a broad view of different aspects has been part of my life’s experience. I had the privilege to grow up on a farm and go to school in the city. This allowed me to see my then small world from the rural and also the urban perspectives. After school I was an apprentice and journeyman in different regions in Germany and Switzerland as a gardener, which deepened my insights in nature in general and my knowledge about the practical aspects of food production in particular. My university training at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio in chemistry, and the University of Minnesota in microbiology and biochemistry including nutrition science, was a contrasting theoretical programme.
After twelve years in the new world (USA), working among others at the University of California, Los Angeles (with the biochemist and Nobel laureate Paul Boyer), and surrounded by obesity, I worked for five years with malnourished children in Thailand –two totally different worlds. After returning to Germany in 1974 I taught students – also from abroad – and carried out research projects in various countries around the globe, which has kept my view open and comprehensive. My interest in wholesome nutrition, vegetarianism and nutrition ecology reflects my concern about the sustainability of our food systems and ways of life – and the future of mankind. This concern was the deciding factor to initiate together with Geoffrey Cannon the concept of The New Nutrition Science project.