Two years ago, the cost of peanut butter went up, due to a lower supply of peanuts due to severe heat and drought. In the discussion about climate change, our food supply and food security are named as a growing problem, and that 2050 is the tipping point for when our supply will not meet our demand.
GhostFood is an interactive art project created by artists Miriam Simun and Miriam Songster which presents an experience of how we might eat in the future. For the project, a food truck offers a menu with food substitutes for 3 foods that would be affected by global warming. The menu lists cod, chocolate, and peanut butter. A visitor can order a food sample, which comes in a white tray and a thin tubelike mask that allows you to smell what you are supposed to eat.
Once the mask is on, the visitor is able to smell the food that they ordered, in a small round piece that is soaked in synthetic chocolate, cod, or peanut butter.
Both Simun and Songster have done past projects with food and smell. GhostFood is meant to present a simulation of how food might be experienced if it is no longer available.
The press release for the project describes the experience as:
“When you get to the front of the line, ask for the cod, and rest assured that the food substitute served is fish-less and made from climate-change resilient ingredients. Your flavor experience will be delivered by a GhostFood server.
If you inquire, you might learn that the potential future of the codfish as an ocean ghost is the result of a future mass drowning. Cod eggs that the female fish release into our oceans can no longer float in surface waters due to decreasing salinity levels in an Atlantic that is warming.
GhostFood serves this post-extinction sidewalk snack hoping that when you float in the ocean next summer you will consider that buoyant feeling a little differently.”
The project premiered as part of the DesignPhilly event on October 9, 2013.
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