What’s on the table is what’s eaten (Part 3: Future)

What’s on the table is what’s eaten (Part 3: Future)

Excerpt from: »WHAT’S ON THE TABLE IS WHAT’S EATEN: A text seem­ing­ly about recal­ci­trant cows, ver­ti­cal farms and unrecog­nis­able future habi­tats for sapi­ens«. Reflec­tions by Daniel Pod­mirseg, Vien­na August 25th 2023

Procrastination and fascination

Cur­rent­ly, the food val­ue chain accounts for about one third of pri­ma­ry ener­gy demand glob­al­ly. Pro­duc­tion, wash­ing, pro­cess­ing, pack­ag­ing, to name just a few ele­ments, are linked via trans­port and sup­port­ed by large-vol­ume stor­age and cold stor­age facil­i­ties with all its fos­sil fuel con­sump­tions. The implo­sion of the food val­ue chain cre­ates pos­i­tive exter­nal­i­ties. With every square metre of food pro­duc­tion on land already sealed, we leave some­where at least 120 m² of the remain­ing nat­ur­al area with all its ser­vices to the world. This is the design task, it must be visu­al­ized and made trans­par­ent. The trans­la­tion of struc­tur­al ele­ments into spa­tial expe­ri­ences, facil­i­tate an under­stand­ing and fas­ci­na­tion for the essence of the Neolith­ic Revolution.

Trans­paren­cy in this con­text must be seen from two per­spec­tives: First, in the con­sumer’s abil­i­ty to estab­lish con­tact with the pro­duc­er again and the spa­tial pres­ence of the implod­ed food val­ue chain between and from sweat­ing to mas­ti­cat­ing by mak­ing all struc­tur­al units of the food val­ue chain visible.

Visu­al­i­sa­tion, per­cep­tion, and expe­ri­ence leads to under­stand­ing. There is an explod­ing pool of exam­ples of suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tions of urban- and/ or ver­ti­cal farm­ing projects ready to inspire or wait­ing to be copied. Sub­se­quent­ly gen­er­at­ing trust and impact. This is a call to free rid­ers hop­ping up on fron­trun­ner cities.

All these fac­tors indi­vid­u­al­ly hold poten­tial to counter not only cli­mate change. The inter­play of these cre­ates syn­er­gy poten­tials and achieves an expo­nen­tial­ly grow­ing pos­i­tive effect. Quan­tifi­able and mea­sur­able. One of the strengths of Homo Sapi­ens is coop­er­a­tion - beyond the trib­al affil­i­a­tion of 150 indi­vid­u­als. We have many sys­temic changes behind us. The re-inte­gra­tion of pro­duc­tion into the urban envi­ron­ment right into the heart of the city, holds great poten­tial to relieve the cur­rent agri­cul­tur­al sys­tem and make it more social­ly equi­table. Get rid of the fear of com­plex­i­ty and stop the search for the seem­ing­ly sim­ple solution.

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