Fuel Your Imagination

The V&A questions the future of food

FOOD: Bigger Than The Plate is a new exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, exploring the food cycle from compost to table. Designed to inspire and educate, this exhibition asks us to examine how, why and what we eat.

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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If food waste was a country it’d be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gas in the world behind the USA and China, according to a report from the United Nations. While difficult to imagine pollution on that scale, what we can see and do know about is the amount of food thrown away every day in our homes, schools and offices. Food that has spoiled because it was forgotten about; food that was bought in a hurry never to be eaten; or simply the leftovers from cooking too much.

FOOD: Bigger Than The Plate is a new exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, exploring the food cycle from compost to table. Inviting visitors to participate and debate, the exhibition “brings together the politics and pleasure of food to ask how the collective choices we make can lead to a more sustainable, just and delicious food future.”

From famous Instagram accounts like @symmetrybreakfast to edible water bottles and urban mushroom farms, the exhibition aims to examine our ever-changing relationship with food whilst showcasing the scientific experiments shaping the future of it. Developments such as the ones on show, that include around 70 projects from artists and designers, are exploring how a better food future could look and offering real world solutions.

The show is split into four parts - compost, farming, trading and eating - designed to inspire visitors to debate each area of food and to shift their perceptions of what each of those areas means. For example, Compost examines how what was once thought of as a polluter can actually be reused and turned into new objects, while Trading explores the history of supply chains and packaging.

Designed to inspire and educate, this exhibition asks us to examine how, why and what we eat. The focus for the future of food, says the exhibition, is on both sustainability and fairness, on the ecological, societal and technological changes that are and will happen.

While many policy decisions feel like they’re made by disassociated governing bodies, the reality is that when it comes to the changes we can make with food, we are able to make those incrementally. Little and often, as the saying goes.

FOOD: Bigger Than The Plate is on at the V&A from 18th May to 20th October 2019. Visit the museum’s website for more information and to book tickets.