Food Phreaking – 38 Stories of Experimenting with Food

The Center for Genomic Gastronomy is an independent research institute that examines the technology, ecology, diversity and open culture of human food systems.  Their mission is to map food controversies, prototype alternative culinary futures and to imagine a more just, biodiverse, and beautiful food system.

Recently they put out a new publication called Food Phreaking – issue #0, which outlines stories of  what Food Phreaking is and is not.  In the book, Artists Cat Kramer and Zack Denfield share stories about Colony Collapse Cuisine (eating non-bee- pollinated ingredients), raw milk vending machines, seed saving clubs, and beans tattooed with DNA-laced ink.

Food Phreakers are defined as individuals interested in experimenting with human food systems and promoting open, free and accessible knowledge about food.  The introduction to the book talks about how farmers, chefs, biohackers, food scientists, and people who have chickens in the yard, can pickles, or love to grow are doing Food Phreaking.

The book is organized into four sections:

LEGAL & OPEN  – Open Source Food Science & Participatory Food Design
ILLEGAL & OPEN  – Culinary Civil Disobedience & Outlaw Ingredients
ILLEGAL & CLOSED – Black Hat Food Hacking & Food Crime
LEGAL & CLOSED – Proprietary Food Engineering & Closed Source Food Design

I took a peek at the free .pdf of the book and found the stories and images to be some of the most engaging ideas about food that I have seen this year.  Some of the stories included direction on how to make Beet Petals (kind of like beet chips), informatoin about the  United Nations 2013  International Year of Quinoa, directions on how to limit your diet to non-bee-pollinated ingredients, and how to make open source mineral water.

As the authors write, “ Taste the future, today. And be prepared.”

This is one of the most interesting food books I have seen for a while, and you can download for free as a PDF of FoodPhreaking #0. (15 mb) or order online.

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