Stimulating, thought-provoking, delicious
On a planet faced with growing environmental challenges, global agriculture remains the largest. Conversion of forests and grasslands for crops and pasture is the leading cause of habitat and biodiversity loss. Agriculture accounts for roughly a quarter of human greenhouse gas emissions. Overfishing has decimated marine habitats and biodiversity around the world.
In recent years, many prominent chefs and food writers have, to their credit, become increasingly focused on these problems, offering small-scale, locavore, organic production as the answer. But while farm-to-table cuisine has played an important role in getting people to pay attention to where their food comes from, by most of the metrics that matter to the global environment, small-scale, organic, and local agriculture substantially underperform large-scale, industrial, commercial agriculture.
So what sort of gastronomic cuisine might point the way toward a food system that could feed a global population of 9 billion on an ecologically vibrant planet?
We believe it would be global, technological, optimistic, and creative. It would not assume that local and small scale are a proxy for either sustainability or deliciousness and would bring technology, efficiency, and scale back into the conversation. It would honor the past but also remember that nostalgia, romanticism, and invocations of nature have frequently justified regressive social arrangements and destructive environmental practices. And it would value craft and artisanship while recognizing that labor intensive food production is often a poverty trap for the poor who labor and a luxury product for the rich who consume.