Why do we need Food Design?

At it’s most basic, food is essential to all human life, we cannot survive without it. Whether we eat for pleasure or to fuel our bodies, whether we love food or couldn’t care less about taste or look, regardless of being a clean eater or a junk food gorger, we all consume food.

On another level, food is an intrinsic part of our cultures, customs and rituals. I think most people are aware via American TV shows of the restorative qualities of a Jewish Mother’s Chicken Noodle Soup, or the role of Birthday Cake in celebrations. I am sure you can think of you own rituals which have food as an central part. This interaction with food keeps cultures, communities together.

On yet another level, Food as a commodity has been created through systems that favour a single outcome. The first big outcome I can think of is, deforestation of the Amazon due to palm kernel oil being a commercially desirable additive to human and animal food . It is this system of one track (usually profit driven) thinking which has led to global problems which affect us all; agriculture, landscape, health issues, politics and power.

We use Food Design thinking as a map to navigate the areas between problems and solutions. Everything is laid out, you see the terrain of the problem, the oceans of solutions, the scary “here be dragons” uncharted areas.

In a world full of Specialists, a food designer is a Generalist, we love the intersections of improbable things. We connect things, ideas, people, we question the status quo, shake up perspectives and look at new ways to express ideas. Food designers connect the Specialists, connect the ideas … we approach food with the perspective of creativity.

By using a Design thinking methodology we can tease out and unravel tiny personal food dilemmas or great big food problems, shedding light on the individual threads of a issue which enable us to find solutions. Click on the link below to see how Marathon organisers are doing away with thousands of single use plastic bottles.

Brilliant Solution to mass use of plastic bottles

In the increasingly complex world that we live in, we need Food Design to help simplify all things food related, so that we can get on with finding solutions to personal, local and global issues. Food Design = Problem solving.

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