I have participated in two Youth Exchanges before. I am intrigued about new technologies that make our food more sustainable. I wanted to get to know different cultures from different places and educate myself about their traditions. I learned about other cultures and traditions as well as sustainability in the food industry. In my school we have touched on this topic but not thoroughly. I aimed to change that and be more aware of the food industry’s impact on climate change. I plan to implement these new ways of thinking further in my field of study, and in Estonia. I shared knowledge on how we deal with food waste in Estonia, and what we should change. As my field of study is environmental technology, I also contributed all the knowledge I have gained from there.
I got a lot of new insight on the social aspect of the food industry. Mainly about what is going on outside of Europe, but also within Italy. It really made me think critically about different certificates, and how you can never fully trust a products packaging. It is always better to trust, and buy, from local and transparent industries. During this exchange I had the opportunity to discuss different topics with an international group. It gave me more experience in expressing myself in another language. In a sense it challenged my critical thinking, everyone has a different view on subjects, and you must think clearly on what is true and what is not. I was pleased with this exchange. Although the time schedule could be a bit clearer and punctual. Following on from the topics we discussed during the exchange, I would recommend talking about greenwashing. It is a very important topic in sustainability and critical thinking. At times it seemed to me like a lot of the participants did not know about it at all. I would recommend it to my peers, who are also interested in sustainability. The most emotional was the experiment on food rights. Also, all the farm visits were very memorable and watching the chocolate documentary, as I love documentaries.