Imagine a princess in jeans and a jacket exploring a dairy farm with three of her young children on a beautiful, sunny day.
In Denmark, you don’t have to imagine it. During the annual Eco Day celebrations in 2015, Crown Princess Mary and her three youngest children strolled between dozens of black and white Holstein Friesian dairy cows, cuddled crazy-cute calves and supported local agriculture.
You also don’t have to imagine a culture that holds organic farming on a pedestal—just hop onto a flight to Copenhagen to experience it first-hand.
Out of all food purchased in Denmark, almost 10% is organic. That’s the highest percentage in the world—and it is increasing every year. There are many reasons for the growth of the good food movement in the nordic country, but it’s partly because organic is seen as more than healthy—it’s the standard for what good food is supposed to be.
Oh, and the organic farm parties are pretty good, too.
“Øko-dag” (organic day) is a party on organic farms across Denmark on the third Sunday in April every year. Thousands of people make the trek to their local organic farm for a day with cows, fields and open air. When your culture values family and healthy food and a connection to where food comes from, you get happier people.
Ranked happiest nation on earth in the United Nations’ World Happiness Report 2016 and second happiest nation in 2017, Denmark continues to shine when it comes to measured happiness. Maybe it is the free healthcare, the five weeks of mandatory vacation time, or the year of maternity leave that gives the Danish people their bright outlook. One thing is certain, Denmark’s work-life balance beats out almost all other countries on earth.
Days like Øko-dag are a single example of a nation that makes food and family a priority. The Danish people even have a name for the warmth and joy of sharing coffee and baked goods with friend and family in a warm house on a cold day: Hygge. You might have even read an article or two about it. Denmark is building a happy nation that strives for something better, including a more sustainable food system.
Over 95% of Denmark recognizes the Organic Denmark symbol due in part to their great farm parties. Walking the streets of Copenhagen, you’ll see the iconic circle and crown in grocery stores, on restaurant menus and even in hotels. It’s everywhere, and the Danish people are happier for it.
When the royal family is out with the people exploring organic food and supporting local agriculture, it makes sense that their country buys twice as much organic food per person as people in the United States. Åbent Landbrug, or Open Farm Day, is yet another nationwide event where people from all areas of Denmark can use one of their two vacation days they earn per month to explore farms across the country. At least two times a year, the people and royalty of Denmark take time to recognize the importance of locally grown food.
Denmark is one of the happiest countries on earth, and you can see one big reason on dinner tables and restaurant menus from Aarhus to Copenhagen.