Exploring the potential of microalgae to regenerate extinct flavour families and revive culinary traditions.
Imagine that it is the year 2050. Agriculture, as we used to know it, barely exists anymore. The Earth’s biodiversity has deteriorated thanks to the impacts of human consumerism and climate change. The crisis was compounded by the overfishing of depleted fish stocks, and the extinction of bees caused the disappearance of many flowering plants and herbs. In this reality, the spectrum of natural flavours available to humans is significantly reduced. This loss of agro-biodiversity not only endangers human health, but also the spirituality and cultural importance of culinary traditions. Landless Food is a project that proposes a regeneration of humanity’s food system by introducing a new family of timely flavours that bring our culinary memories back to the table. These flavours are based on micro algae, a natural resource which has come into focus for a number of reasons. This includes the fact that it presents a variety of tastes that can be further diversified and refined through the manipulation of their metabolism. The first outcomes of Landless Food include a range of seafood flavours and a floral spice. For this, local strains of micro algae have been cultivated on edible gel-like objects. After a period of two weeks, the algae can be harvested and consumed freshly. Landless Food presents six food objects as reincarnations of three types of lost flavours. While the shapes of the food remain partly unfamiliar, the tools that are designed to eat these objects relate back to the long-extinct origins of each flavour.