Future Food Studio & What we will eat tomorrow

Following some links from the Lab-Grown Burger post, I got to know some of Hanni Rützler‘s work on food trends. Food future, it’s worth reading.



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Future expert for: food trends, food quality, health nutrition and dining culture.
Hanni Rützler studied nutrition science in Vienna, Austria and ecology at Michigan Technology University, USA. She is founding and board member of Austrian Society of Nutrition Scientists and a member of the board of Austrian Society for Nutrition.

She has published several studies and bookson food quality, healthy nutrition, dining cultures and consumer safety. She is author of „Food Trends“ published by German „Zukunftsinstitut“.

Hanni Rützler defines her role as a translator between nutrition scientists, responsible political and economic authorities and public organizations.
Her aim is to work on new strategies for a healthier and more enjoyable future of nutrition.


What we will eat tomorrow

Is it possible to predict what we will eat in the future? If so, what distinguishes serious scenarios from technocratic fantasies? What are the most important food trends? And what impact will they have on the restaurant industry? Trend expert Hanni Rützler takes a look into her gastronomic crystal ball for us.

If the technocratic fantasies for the future developed in the sixties had become reality, our diet today would consist primarily of pills. Eating out would, at best, be an exotic weekend pastime rather like visiting the zoo. This gourmet‘s nightmare has not come true and the restaurant sector has not degenerated into a branch of the pharmaceutical industry. On the contrary, restaurants have become an increasingly important aspect of our nutritional everyday life.

The moral of the story: it is not possible to tell the future. However, on the basis of complex analyses, it is possible to develop scenarios that make it easier to take a serious look at tomorrow‘s options. To this end, we must firstly try to understand the present more thoroughly. Not only, as in the future-oriented fantasies of the sixties, with an eye on the technically feasible but also, in particular, on the social and economic processes of change that affect our lives and which we always react to with new strategies.

Food trends are nothing more or less than strategies for coping with specific nutritional problems, problems that arise from social change and are then also reflected by certain products, in various foods and in the dishes offered in restaurants. In highly complex and differentiated societies, such as those in North America and Europe, these strategies are no less complex and differentiated. Thus, what we eat in the future will not be determined by one but by many trends, some of which will complement and reinforce each other while others will run counter to them. Some insights:

Eating and drinking hold an ambiguous position in our everyday life. They have come to be both a source of desire and sorrow. The one aspect corresponds to the on-going gourmet and pleasure boom (luxurious foodstuffs, starred restaurants, gourmet and wine magazines, etc.) while the other ties in with health and personal complaints about pandemic obesity and food scandals, etc. Aesthetic ambivalence, which is becoming clearer to us in connection with many foodstuffs, also underscores the fact that food is no longer something we take as a matter of course.

Additionally, eating and drinking no longer give structure to our everyday life. No more do we consciously stick to ’meal times‘. Our dining habits have become more spontaneous, more dependent on the situation and more individual. In everyday life, eating is frequently only of secondary importance: a snack between two appointments or during the news, a pizza during a meeting or while checking the latest e-mails. As a variety of studies show, this has relevant effects on the composition and consumption of food and, therefore, on our health. Only at weekends or in the evening, after work, do many people have the time to enjoy their meals consciously and to present it pleasingly, something that can also have compensatory aspects: in their own homes or by visiting a special restaurant.

Moreover, eating and drinking have become more public – the share of away-from-home diners in restaurants, canteens and snack bars has risen significantly – and, therefore, more communicative (socialising, distinction, lifestyle). In the minds of both producers and consumers, food is becoming more and more of a means of communication and a way of solving problems, i.e., products that, in a variety of situations, help us cope better with everyday life or give expression to our cares and joys; to improve our time and feeling management; to meet our need to be different, etc. We no longer eat primarily to still our hunger but to express, portray and delimit ourselves.

The decision what and how we eat is no longer delegated or simply accepted, as in times of material shortage or rigidly structured societies. Eating is no longer simply a matter of satisfying basic physiological needs but more of emphasising one‘s identity, creating social distinctions and obtaining aesthetic and sensuous pleasure (cf. Sensual Food). The trend to individualisation also means that people can choose who they want to dine with depending on the situation and their needs. Today, meals are increasingly taken with friends, customers, colleagues, etc., and no longer predominantly with the family. Accordingly, dinner in singles households is frequently cold. The younger and the smaller the household, the less is the inclination to cook. This holds particularly true of ’highly networked and mobile individualists‘, i.e., young singles who tend to eat more away from home or between traditional meal times (cf. Fast Good). The more irregularly or rarely people cook, the greater is the share of ready-to-eat and semi-finished products, as well as deep-frozen products, because keeping stocks of fresh produce in such households is neither economic nor practical.

Traditional home cooking that, despite different facets and recipes, emerged over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries in (Central) Europe and was the root of our notion of what constitutes a good meal, is also based on specific household and kitchen practices. And these practices are not applicable to one or two person house-holds. Thus, traditional home cuisine is declining in significance for everyday cooking. At the same time, however, this trend is giving rise to compensatory developments. (cf. Authentic Food and Pure Food, page xx).

When choosing their food and deciding on their style of eating, an increasing number of people ask whether their choices are beneficial in terms of physical and psychological well being. ’Wellness‘ is the name given to this trend, which includes far more than the maintenance of health and fitness. The latter no longer refers simply to physical performance but also to intellectual agility. This opens the door to light dishes with lots of vegetables and reinforces the trend towards low-fat preparation, (cf. Health Food and Pure Food, page xx). In the medium term, particularly in the restaurant sector, this will lead to new menu concepts, different portion sizes and to a vegetable to meat ratio based on the latest findings of nutritional physiology. The seven most important food trends:

1. Sensual Food – the new desire for taste.

A large proportion of what we eat has been processed before it reaches us, so we cannot taste it in its original form. Thus, we forget how to use our senses and have increasing difficulty in tasting or smelling differences. This loss goes hand in hand with a diminution in our capacity for enjoyment because our ability to enjoy and differentiate are not automatic – they have to be learnt, something that calls for a willingness to be taught and the time to gather the necessary experience.

Today, more and more consumers are willing to do this – a reaction to the absence of different experiences and the increasing standardisation of the taste of industrial products. New gastronomic trends à la Ferran Adriá (“My recipes make you think”) and Heston Blumenthal take account of the need for greater sensory expertise. Whereas the taste and appearance of a foodstuff used to be fairly standard, today, nothing seems to taste like it looks. Molecular cuisine experiments with the boundaries of our sensory perception and invites us to once again taste food in a more conscious way.

2. Fast Good Food – quick and healthy pleasure.

The opening of the first American fast-food restaurants in Europe 35 years ago represented the beginning of a new cultural trend. The success of these restaurants is not only due to the attraction of Big Mac, Whopper & Co. among children and young people. These products also cater for our changing way of life. In Europe, however, fast food is still regarded as being of inferior quality and unhealthy. The contradiction between the frequent need to eat quickly and the desire for healthy nutrition with complete culinary pleasure promises to trigger a new food trend: fast good food combines the functionality of US fast-food restaurants with the culinary qualities of European and Asian cuisine. As a product of globalisation, the new trend draws on numerous traditional cuisines from all over the world, which ensure fresh and healthy variety (rich in carbohydrates) even in the case of fast food – and which makes the paradox possible: healthy junk food. With bio-burgers and bio-doner-kebab, Asian streetfood and organic vegetables and sushi from bio-aqua-farming, fast good food is taking up the trend towards organic food and wellness, and making the eternal bad conscience a thing of the past.

3. Health Food – new options for health-conscious diners.

In the past, health was regarded as the victory over suffering and pain. Today, it is a synonym for the quality of life. Lifestyle is developing into ’healthstyle‘. In this connection, nutrition plays a central role. For most consumers, perception is not determined by classic, scientific arguments but by practical, everyday knowledge, such as the consumption of plant foodstuffs. Nutritional systems from the Far East appear particularly well able to reconcile the cyclical, health-motivated ’go-without‘ trends in western societies: less fat, less salt or, most recently, less carbohydrates.

Moreover, Asian cuisine, in which elements and energy flows play a significant role, harmonises perfectly with the western trend towards esotericism and is thus becoming the dominant force in the health-food segment. Particularly important, especially in the German-speaking region, is product freshness, a factor that, besides the vegetable components, has become synonymous with healthy food. The trend towards health food has also led to a revival of gourmet whole-food cuisine (in distinction to traditional grey-beige vegetarian fare). Additionally, the fruit and vegetable juice segment continues to grow rapidly.

4. Ethic Food – eating with a good conscience.

What use is it to gourmets when, although turbot, bass and sole can be obtained in places hundreds of miles away from the sea thanks to perfect cold chains, industrial fishing is endangering the survival of these species in the short to medium term? In recent years, we have been made aware of ethical quality criteria not only through the efforts of environmental organisations but also, and in particular, by the numerous food scandals, which have focused attention on the ecologically doubtful breeding and husbandry methods employed for beef, pork and poultry. This is opening up ever more opportunities for products distinguished by ethical production criteria, which can be enjoyed with a clear conscience.

The new ecological trend has cast off the tight-lipped image of the fundamentalists. And thus, via more room for manoeuvre and interaction, paved the way for a much larger group of producers and consumers. Demand has risen significantly thanks to a broader assortment and greater accessibility for ecological and fair-trade products, which are also packaged and presented in a more appealing way. The LOHAS target group (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability), which is expanding rapidly, especially in urban areas, stands for a new type of consumer who is oriented towards health and sustainability. And not just in Europe but also in the USA, where market leader Whole Foods has been remarkably successfully by exploiting the ’moral hedonism‘ of better educated and earning consumers. Today, the US market for biodynamic food is worth US $ 25-30 billion per year. Although this represents only 6 % of the total food market, this share is growing five times faster than the rest of the sector.

5. Authentic Food – the yearning for handicrafts and originality.

Food and beverages are not only for consumption. They also tell a story. In modern everyday life, this story is not particularly exciting. What else should standardised, industrially produced meals, also known as UFOs (unidentified food objects), tell us? The situation is different when it comes to produce from regional farms that are closely bound up with the ’terroir‘ and the people that grow them. These stories satisfy our desire for intimacy, closeness and home or our yearning for new experiences when travelling. The trend towards authentic food is a reaction to globalisation and the fears it causes. Authentic food offers consumers orientation and gives them a feeling of security. Traceability (guaranteeing product origins) and authenticity (original and handicraft production) are gaining continuously in significance.

Foodstuffs with protected names, such as Parma ham, ’Diepholzer Moorschnucke‘ (lamb), ’Thüringer Leberwurst‘ (liver sausage) and ’Steirisches Kürbiskernöl‘ (pumpkin-seed oil) continue to rank among the winners on the market. Today, there are more than 600 products on the European market with protected places of origin or place names – especially from tourist regions with a special culinary image, where it has been possible to incorporate the specific features of the landscape in the product. This trend also favours the rediscovery of regional dishes and opens up new marketing opportunities for the restaurant sector. Thus, the region gains in significance compared to the nation as a whole. No longer is the focus on Italian, German, Austrian or French cooking but on, for example, Umbrian, Piedmontese, Alsatian, Styrian or Pannonian cuisine.

6. Pure Food – absolutely safe even for allergy sufferers.

The number of people suffering from food allergies is increasing markedly. In Switzerland, 2 to 4 % of the population is affected clinically. Subjectively, the number of allergy sufferers is considerably larger. Experts predict a further increase in food intolerance, especially among children and young people. In principle, any food or ingredient can cause an allergy. What makes a diagnosis so difficult is that most foods contain several proteins, any of which could be the allergen. Thus, foodstuffs that are free of (certain) allergens have bright perspectives for the future.

Additionally, the continuing debate about chronic obesity is having a positive impact on the ’no foods‘ segment (food without sugar, fat, salt, etc.). The trend to pure, basic foods – a striking countertrend to food presentations and molecular cuisine – is also influencing the restaurant sector: simple recipes and very gentle, non-adulterating cooking methods appeal even to typical slow and organic food consumers who appreciate pure food and an unequivocal product philosophy.

7. Mood Food – Eating as emotion management.

Eating is increasingly being used as a mood regulator. Scientific studies are also on the track of the connections between psychological moods and the consumption of certain foods or the influence of certain ingredients on changes in mood. Nutritional factors that seem to stabilise moods have been found, especially in the case of people who are prone to stress or depressive. The food industry has commissioned research into natural human psychoactive substances, such as serotonin, a hormone, or dopamine, a neurotransmitter, to develop foodstuffs specifically for better emotion management. The aim: to be able to supply the ever-growing target group of people who are prone to stress or depressive with therapeutically effective mood-food products. Classic mood foods, such as chocolate, will be produced and marketed for specific target groups. Depending on whether the product is aimed at men, women or children, the outer layer is made of milk or plain chocolate and the filling of cream or fruit and nuts.

Hanni Rützler has made an international name for herself as a pioneering dietician, a researcher with a multi-disciplinary approach to eating and drinking behaviour. Her expertise is in demand not only by food companies and health politicians but also by multi-national food groups and big system caterers.


Edible Insects


It’s been from May 13th that eating insects is again in the buzz of the specialized media because of a work presented in the FAO’s International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition. The work is Edible insects – Future prospects for food and feed security.

It shows the many traditional and potential new uses of insects for direct human consumption and the opportunities for and constraints to farming them for food and feed. It examines the body of research on issues such as insect nutrition and food safety, the use of insects as animal feed, and the processing and preservation of insects and their products.

FAO made also available this information guide: The contribution of insects to food security, livelihoods and the environment.

Here in our Food Design Association, we have Giulia Tachini. She took her Product Design Master’s Degree in the Polytechnic of Milan presenting her final project: A Hypothesis of Food System Compensation: Eating Insects for Food Security and a Sustainable Future. The work got good critics and she kept on with the theme organizing other projects supporting her aims. Like this insect biscuits presented in the Milan Design Week 2013. Get to know more on her site.

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Another nice project I found on the web is this one by Monica Martinez & Rosanna Yau, take a look here.


Here’s an interesting video… “FAO consultant, Afton Halloran, describes the use of insects as food in developing nations to provide nutrients missed in local food supplies and how the practice is spreading globally. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”

An Expert’s Theory of Food Television’s Appeal


bruni_foodtv_post.jpgBrad Barket/Getty Images

At drinks with a friend the other night, the subject of “Top Chef” and other food television came up, and he remarked that his early twentysomething sons watch more than a few cooking programs, as do many of their friends. He’d overheard the discussions that attested to that. But none of these young men, he said, were home cooks. Nor did they seem to aspire to be. They just like the programs, and not solely the ones, like “Top Chef” and its imitators, that have elimination-competition suspense built into them. They like more straightforward cooking demonstrations, too.

That shouldn’t really be surprising. The proliferation of food television suggests that its audience is not only huge but also varied; otherwise, there wouldn’t be such a vigorous push to conceive and distribute so many food-related programs on the Food Network and on its relatively new spawn, the Cooking Channel, and on Fox (Gordon Ramsay screams some more!) and on Bravo and, well, I could keep going like this for several paragraphs. It now seems that at any hour on any day, you can choose among a half dozen shows that will let you admire (or gasp at) someone’s culinary efforts and ogle the food he or she produces.

It’s a banquet of colorful, seductive, and familiar images, presented rhythmically, with a soundtrack of oohs and aahs.

But how many of the people doing the admiring, gasping, and ogling like to cook, dream of cooking, or want to know more about the mechanics of cooking? Even if it’s a majority, that still leaves a lot of non-cooks in the audience. What prompts THEM to tune into food television?

My friend has a theory I find interesting. He wonders if there’s a sort of broad cultural nostalgia at work. By that he means: as fewer and fewer young people know the much-talked-about ideal of home-cooked meals and of families gathering at the table at night to eat them, do the glossy, dreamy culinary demonstrations on TV tap into, and satisfy, a kind of curiosity and longing? For these young people, does the televised cooking have the appeal of a missive from a lost utopia? Is it like an artifact from a bygone era?

The lifestyle porn of food television is more often discussed in terms of aspiration: would-be home cooks with limited budgets and time watch Martha and Ina and Giada go through their fluid, calm, dexterous paces and fantasize that they can or someday will do the same. But for younger viewers, is this same lifestyle porn more of a “Little House on the Prarie” or “Leave it to Beaver” experience?

As my friend was laying out this theory for me, I remembered a conversation a year ago with a recent college grad working for a glossy men’s magazine. He wasn’t a big home cook. He wasn’t a big restaurantgoer. He didn’t have the money to make those things happen, and beyond that, his culinary curiosity wasn’t all that keen.

But he was a committed fan of “The Barefoot Contessa” on TV. Why? He just loved Ina’s kitchen. He just loved the idea that he was in there, with her, watching her cook, presumably for him. It pleased him. Lulled him.

This leads me to one of my own theories about the popularity of food television among those who don’t cook. When many people turn on the television set, as opposed to picking up a book or doing something more interactive, they’re looking for a passive, mind-resting experience. They want something that doesn’t require close attention, the way a twisty plot might. Something akin to visual music. Something ambient, in a way.

Much food television gives them that. It’s a banquet of colorful, seductive, and familiar images, presented rhythmically, with a soundtrack of oohs and aahs.

I don’t watch a lot of it, but when I do happen to turn to a cooking program and then get distracted. I sometimes lose any active awareness of it and don’t even remember, for hours, that it or the cooking programs that follow it are on. I don’t change the channel. I sit at the nearby computer while, just 12 feet away, chops are being grilled and vegetables sautéed and potatoes mashed. Is this footage not so much exhorting me to the stove or priming my appetite but, in some corner of my brain, simply putting me at peace?

This article also appears on bornround.com.

Eat Dirt: The Mainstreaming of a Curious Craving



One of my favorite scent memories is the wet red mud in Nairobi. I’ve always thought that the earth there, right after it rains, smells good enough to eat. Though I’ve never eaten it, last year when I was doing some research, I chatted with a guy in Georgia who carries white clay in his store. He sells it in two-pound bags to people who crave the flavor or swear by the health benefits. He told me that despite marketing it as a novelty, he’d sent the soil as far as Alaska to be eaten.

Here’s a bit from an old Time magazine piece on American mud-eating, published in 1942:

Many a homesick or sardonic Northern Negro, writing to Southern friends, says “Ship me a bag of good dirt to eat.” Sometimes he means it. Even in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, Negroes and whites send requests to their upcountry friends for a bit of red clay, declaring that black Delta soil is “right bad eating.” In certain parts of Mississippi, poor whites will walk miles for a spoonful of dirt from a favorite bank of clay, because it “tastes sour, like a lemon.” In other sections of the South, some top their meals with a savory tablespoon of dirt, believing that it is “good for them,” despite its constipating effects.

There’s something about missing a place so dearly that you actually want to consume its earth. It seems like the most perfect expression of homesickness. By the way, The Oxford American has a really wonderful piece about the Southern tradition of geophagy (the official term for dirt-eating).

But to the point: A few weeks ago, Time magazine wrote about eating dirt again! This time it’s about fine dining restaurants like Copenhagen’s Noma, San Francisco’s Marlowe, New York’s Gilt, and Silicon Valley’s Manresa all using dirt for garnish and flavor, or to anchor components onto the plate. But the dishes the author mentions in the article don’t use actual soil:

Edible dirt—perhaps one of the strangest fads to hit haute cuisine since sous vide—is not actual dirt but rather dried or charred ingredients used to give menu items an extra-earthy kick.

Drying and charring ingredients is neither strange nor a fad. We’ve been drying and charring ingredients since we could cook! In a sense, that’s what cooking is. What the Time article is really referring to is using powders, specifically, in a way that might look and taste a little like earth.

There are chefs cooking with actual dirt too. Like, from the ground. Though these chefs aren’t mentioned in the article, Elena Arzak of Restaurante Arzak makes a sauce in which a tiny amount of composted dirt is an ingredient, and one of the more iconic dishes by Andoni Aduriz at Mugaritz involves potatoes painted with clay to look like stones.

When Time last wrote about eating dirt, the Southerners who enjoyed it were considered quaint. This happens all the time, but isn’t it amazing how an ingredient—a cut of meat, a shellfish, you name it—can cross the borders between high and low culture?

If dirt is on a plate at a fine dining restaurant, I don’t think it’s to get away with feeding people mud. Nor do I think it’s a flippant reference to the cultures of eating mud, which are often rooted in starvation, or in desperation.

But then why? The article suggests that it’s because right now, and especially at the restaurants mentioned, there’s a celebration of the soil and what it yields. There’s a fascination with ingredients’ origins.

Maybe. But putting dirt on a plate also reveals the chef’s superpower, which is to alter the value of something just by including it on a plate. In the case of dirt, I hope it tastes as good as it smells.

What do you think about dirt—actual and trompe l’oeil—on the plate?

Via The Atlantic

Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden

The makers say the ice cream is pure, organic and totally natural

A restaurant in London’s Covent Garden is serving a new range of ice cream, made with breast milk.

The dessert, called Baby Gaga, is churned with donations from London mother Victoria Hiley, and served with a rusk and an optional shot of Calpol or Bonjela.

Mrs Hiley, 35, said if adults realised how tasty breast milk was more new mothers would be encouraged to breastfeed.

Each serving of Baby Gaga at Icecreamists costs £14.

Mrs Hiley’s donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.

Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor placed an advert appealing for breast milk donations and believes his new recipe will be a success.

“If it’s good enough for our children, it’s good enough for the rest of us,” he said.

“Some people will hear about it and go yuck – but actually it’s pure organic, free-range and totally natural.”

He added that the ice cream was not certified organic.

Mrs Hiley, who gets £15 for every 10 ounces of milk she donates to the company, said it was a great “recession beater”.

“What’s the harm in using my assets for a bit of extra cash?” she added.

“I teach women how to get started on breastfeeding their babies. There’s very little support for women and every little helps.”

Mr O’Connor said 14 other women had come forward to offer their services. Health checks for the lactating women were the same used by hospitals to screen blood donors.

“No-one’s done anything interesting with ice cream in the last hundred years,” he added.


Baby Gaga breast milk ice cream seized for safety tests

Matt O’Connor from The Icecreamists insists the Baby Gaga dessert is safe

Ice cream made from breast milk has been removed from a central London restaurant on health grounds following complaints by members of the public.

The dessert, called Baby Gaga, went on sale at ice cream parlour Icecreamists in Covent Garden in February.

But Westminster Council officers removed the product to make sure it was “fit for human consumption”.

Icecreamist founder Matt O’Connor said the donor was medically screened and the milk mixture was pasteurised.

‘Amazing response’

The ice cream was churned with donations from London mother Victoria Hiley, and served with a rusk and an optional shot of Calpol or Bonjela. Each serving costs £14.

Westminster council said it had received two complaints from members of the public and concerns were raised by the Health Protection Agency and Food Standards Agency.

Tory Westminster Councillor Brian Connell said: “Selling foodstuffs made from another person’s bodily fluids can lead to viruses being passed on and, in this case, potentially hepatitis.

“As the local authority we will support small businesses and applaud innovative ideas wherever possible, but must protect the health of consumers.”

Mr O’Connor, said: “We have had an amazing response – many women have come forward and offer to give us milk.

“You can buy alcohol and tobacco but not breast milk in Westminster.

“If Westminster bans this then I am going to begin a protest with mums who have already shown support.”


Baby Gaga breast milk ice cream ‘seized’ by council

Ice cream made from human breast milk has been removed from a restaurant in London, following complaints by members of the public.

The Baby Gaga dessert went on sale at ice cream parlour Icecreamists in Covent Garden in February.

The product sold out hours after it went on sale and up to 200 women have asked if they can donate.

Richard Block from Westminster Council has told the BBC that there are risks if the breast milk isn’t adequately screened.

But Matt O’Connor, the man behind the idea, says they have followed all the correct screening procedures and that the product is safe.

Matt Cooke reports.

Via | BBC

Orrore a Firenze: ragazzo uccide e mangia il suo cane

Le indagini della Guardie Zoofile Enpa di Firenze sono partite a seguito della segnalazione di un intervento su Facebook. “Scuoiarli (i cani, ndr) è eticamente ammesso ? – scriveva un utente anonimo all’interno di un gruppo di discussione dedicato proprio ai quattrozampe -….. ha ucciso capretti e polli (il cane, ndr) e ho preso la decisione più truce … ho ucciso il mio cane.” Dopo alcune veloci ma accurate verifiche, le Guardie Zoofile dell’Enpa di Firenze hanno verificato l’attendibilità dell’intervento (analoga segnalazione era stata inoltrata anche ai Carabinieri) e sono riuscite ad identificarne l’autore.

Il 7 marzo è scattato il blitz presso un casolare semiabbandonato nella zona collinare di Firenze; si tratta di una struttura occupata da alcuni giovani senza fissa dimora che si sono divisi spazi abitativi e aree verdi. Ai volontari della Protezione Animali si è presentato uno spettacolo agghiacciante con i resti del povero animale disseminati sia all’interno che all’esterno della struttura.

Incalzato dalle macabre evidenze e dalle domande delle Guardie Zoofile, un 23 enne che risiede nel casolare ha compituo un estremo tentativo di difesa, giustificando il ritrovamento dei resti con un presunto incidente stradale nel quale sarebbe rimasto coinvolto il suo cane, una femmina di corso. Ma il racconto non ha convinto i volontari Enpa: era pieno di contraddizioni e non trovava riscontri oggettivi. La verità – hanno scoperto poco dopo coprono le Guardie Zoofile – è che l’animale sarebbe stato strangolato. “Una punizione – dice l’Enpa di Firenze – per avere inseguito e ucciso i capretti e i polli di un vicino”. E alla fine il 23enne ha abbandonato ogni remora. “Ho ucciso l’animale e l’ho mangiato”, ha ammesso con fredda tranquillità il ragazzo.

A conclusione della perquisizione le guardie Zoofile hanno sequestrato i reperti anatomici del povero animale provocando però le ire del suo carnefice, il quale voleva conservarli in ricordo di un cane … che aveva tanto amato (sic). Ulteriori indagini svolte dalla Guardie Zoofile hanno accertato che la femmina di corso era stata temporaneamente affidata al 23enne da un suo familiare, all’oscuro della tremendo destino riservato al proprio cane.

L’Enpa di Firenze, che ha chiesto e ottenuto la convalida del sequestri dei poveri resti dell’animale, ha denunciato a piede libero il 23enne – per i reati di uccisione e maltrattamento non è previsto l’arresto – il quale rischia ora una condanna fino a tre anni di carcere. (9 marzo)

Via http://www.enpa.it/it/

Augmented Reality – Playing with your food

honeyarIf someone had told me back in April last year when I started this blog that I would be talking about breakfast cereal in a blog dedicated to augmented reality, I would had said they were two shredded wheat short of a breakfast. Still it’s a funny old world.

Not so long back there was a breakfast cereal that contained an augmented reality game on the back of the box. Keeping up the trend Boffswana have created a game for Saatchi & Saatchi NY and their client General Mills that enables kids to get a healthy breakfast and more importantly, 15 minutes of gaming before they go off to school.

Seriously though, the video below which I assume is the TV ad looks pretty impressive. When I go out to the US in June to speak at the are2010 event I’ll be picking up a box. (Further below is a link to play the game).



Il 13 di Giugno si chiuderà la Milano Food Week. Per l’occasione FOODA organizza uno speed date gastronomico a cui puoi partecipare da solo o con i tuoi amici.

Basterà inviare una mail a info@fooda.org e recarsi il 13/06 dalle 12:00 in avanti presso l’Acquario civico di Milano con due cestini pranzo.

Per maggiori informazioni consulta:


Il progetto FOOD IN THE CITY nasce da una riflessione sulla natura delle implicazioni sociali del convivio e dalla volontà di sperimentare nuove forme conviviali estese portadole nella città come risposta materiale alla diffusione dei social network. Un esperimento e un primo passo che FOODA muove nellaricerca progettuale del linguaggio degli Atti Alimentari (o food design).

Il linguaggio degli Atti Alimentari è un complesso sistema di segni e simboli dove gli atti conviviali, il cum vivere, contribuisce a costruirne la manifestazione estetica. Più che in ogni altro luogo della casa è infatti a tavola che le relazioni e le strutture gerarchiche, i rapporti e le problematiche vengono manifestate e regolarizzate sul piano dei rapporti sociali.

E’ nei riti che circondano la tavola che l’uomo manifesta la propria natura sociale. Celebrando in un rituale collettivo la propria rigenerazione quotidiana, egli impiega il gesto della comunione alimentare come veicolo di comunicazione. La mensa e la tavola hanno infatti, un forte valore simbolico che ci permette di manifestare la nostra identità, quella del sistema sociale cui aderiamo e il nostro modo di intendere la vita.

Sin dall’antichità, dall’agorà greca, dal foro romano e, ancor prima fino agli spazi virtuali delle piattaforme virtuali di socializzazione, la piazza ha mantenuto, pur mutando in modelli e sistemi differenti, la sua caratteristica principale di luogo di forti concentrazioni culturali e sociali.
La piazza è dunque, prima di ogni altra cosa, scena della vita collettiva mezzo per la celebrazione di miti e di riti e per questo scelta da FOODA come scenario “naturale” in cui realizzare un evento di socia(bi)lità, con cui rendere evidente il rapporto indivisibile che esiste tra il linguaggio (nelle sue forme e soprattutto in quella culinaria) e la creazione dei rapporti sociali.

Attualizzando il pensiero, potremmo definirlo un evento di materializzazione delle nuove forme della socialità che i social network rendono possibile con la condivisione estemporanea di forme di linguaggio complementari alla parola e al convivio.

The taste of others

img: Zhu Yu (artist), controversial modern Chinese artist

FOR THE CONFERENCE IN BAKU (AZERBAIJAN), MID-OCTOBER 2010The Taste of OthersFrom the experience of Otherness to gastronomic appropriation inEurope from the 18th to the 21st Century