The Kogis escaped colonization by retreating high up into the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains of Colombia. This is nothing short of a miracle. Their ancient, indigenous culture has been preserved since pre-Colombian times giving us a glimpse of what life would have been like when the Incans, Mayans, and Aztecs ruled and we interacted with the world in another way. They recently started traveling and connecting with us – The Little Brothers as they like to call us – to raise awareness about climate change, biodiversity loss, and the need for us to come together and create a new, third world that brings together indigenous wisdom with modern science and technology. In today’s episode, I speak with Lucas Buchholz who has written a book for the Kogi and traveled the world with them as their translator. We discuss the Kogi’s message and what a food system that supports life looks like from their point of view.

Episode Transcript

A big thank you to Mac Krol for sponsoring this episode. Mac is the Director of the European Institute of Miso, the Founder of a startup that produces miso from European ingredients, and a passionate advocate for all fermented food products and has spoken about miso all around the world from Chicago to Berlin. If you are looking for a speaker for your next event, consider getting in touch with him at He’ll tell you the story of how miso is becoming a household staple just like the salt, pepper, and sugar in your pantry.

Episode Transcript

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  4:44

Hi, Lucas, and welcome to the Nordic FoodTech Podcast. I would love to start with your story of how you went to Colombia and met the Kogi people.

Lucas Buchholz, Kogi  4:54 

Hey, Analisa. Yes, thank you for the invitation. Well, yeah, it’s been quite an adventure to go there. I saw I think in the newspaper that they were coming here for an event and asked the organizer if they needed a translator for them because I speak Spanish. And they said, “Yeah, we need a translator. And by the way, we need a place to stay.” I was like, “Okay. I mean, feel free to come to our house.” And they came to our house and I translated for them for a few weeks. And we had all sorts of funny intercultural misunderstandings. And then, at the end of this time, they invited me to come to Colombia to their village in a time of my life when I was trying to figure out what to do with my future. I thought I had my dream job working for the European Union in Pakistan, just to find out that’s absolutely not what I want to do.