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Food Hacking

You are what you eat: In the era of mega-industrial food processing agribusiness and monsanto sized China melamine scares, food hacking has been a force behind exposing the food interfaces to our soylent green future. A survey exposes two camps whose goals, while having a similar effect, have different intentions and methods behind them.

>> Enter the Foodocrats

On the one hand, you have the foodocracts…. technocratic-like scientists, physicists, and biochemgeneticologists who revel in the joys of tinkering with the art of food creations. Home-spun and laboratory technology plays a big role in the pursuit of DIY foodie status. Science is COOL! The NyTimes has a good article on a survey of this camp. There is an overwhelming interest in how technology creates food, but the political analysis is usually somewhat limited to the coolness of technology in the normal domestic setting: how to make food preparation more enjoyable through science. This perspective creates a wealth of knowledge about new methods for food creation through gadgetry, do it yourself inventions, and science.

>> The Food Resistors?

The other sector is a quasi-activist anarchist syndico shadow group, who also uses food hacking and technology, to both create a more distributed, community driven foodie aesthetic, and, more than the foodocrats, to highlight the ways in which our current food is created out of an amalgamation of unexamined, huge corporate industrial food processors. Although its not promoted as a white-hat vs black-hat food hacking ethics debate, it may not be that far off, probably only requiring more media attention to drive a stronger partisan bifurcation. Technology is used across the board: but the analysis of the human use of technology differs between the foodocrats and the food resistors. As Micheal Pollen, the posterboy of food analysis and resistance, led the pack with his Big Corn agenda, they look at big companies like Cargill or the Rachel Ray franchise, with a deconstructive attitude. Although they still geek out. Although many locavores come from the educated class, it would be nice to see a stronger political analysis, and more organized resources, of the industrial food problems happen at this local foodhacking level.

>> Chart of organic food ownership (a little outdated):

Phil Howard, University of Michigan

Phil Howard, Univeristy of Michigan

>> More melamine, kids?

Especially in light of the China melamine scares, where melamine, an industrial protein filler thats actually toxic, has now found its way into the eggs laid by chickens fed with industrial animal feed. Not to mention the Mad Cow problem.

>> The meatrix:

October 29, 2008
Tax: » Leftovers , , , ,
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