If you haven’t already tuned in to the BBC Food Programme, you are missing out. Every Sunday and Monday, Dan Saladino (Series Producer) and Shelia Dillon (Presenter) investigate every aspect of the food that we eat. From the humble origins of porridge to hunting with the Hazda in Tanzania this show is perfect for anyone who eats… that’s you, right?
My partner Roberto Flore and I were asked to participate in an upcoming episode of the programme that asks the question: What kind of delicious future? This episode is a response to the recent addition of a “future food” category in the BBC Food and Farming Awards.
I find the discussion of future food fascinating not only because it allows us to influence and imagine the evolution of the human diet over time, but also because of the spectrum of scenarios that are presented. Another thing that intrigues Roberto and I is how often we forget to reflect on the past when looking to the future. Roberto explains it like this: imagine a young man or woman aspiring to be an elite chef and to push the boundaries of gastronomy. Like many young chefs entering the culinary world, many of them forget the importance of learning the very basic techniques of their trade like how to master the multiple preparations of an egg. Without a strong knowledge base, it would be difficult for someone to make a meaningful contribution to new techniques in the future. We argue the same for insects. With so much hype in Europe and North America over insects being a “future food” we forget to look to the past and learn from it. Insects have been a part of different food cultures for thousands of years, yet the foods that are being developed right now in Europe are mainly protein bars and snacks (is this the future we want for our food?). Culture and history, we believe, are the points of departure in the development of innovative and sustainable future food systems. In fact, Roberto and his colleagues did a tremendous job in researching and shaping the future of insects in gastronomy in their book, On eat insects: essays, stories and recipes.
Curious to hear more? Listen in on Sunday, January 21st at 12:30 (London time)*.
*If you didn’t have time to listen in on January 21st, you can download the episode here.