Thought Leadership - Sharing insights

How many hands touch a banana?

From Ecuador to a supermarket in Iceland, the answer is bananas are touched 33 times in over 8800kms begging the question, how authentic is that food label?

Last week my daughter and I decided to attend “Food: Bigger than the plate” at the V&A museum in London. I have to say it wasn’t top of an A level students list of fun things to do to relieve revision boredom, but it did the trick.

If you have visited the V&A before you will know that the exhibition team have devised an exciting way to draw the visiting multi-cultural audience into an immersive experience irrespective of the subject. I would not have thought I would have been drawn into the Dior exhibition, but I did. Both of us found different aspects of this iconic brand fascinating. For me, the engineering of the gowns combined with the different fabrics captured my curiosity whereas my daughter was amazed at the elegance of the dresses, the celebrities who bought them and above all the move towards more environmentally sustainable materials.

The sustainability theme extended as we entered the Food exhibition. Bringing politics into food is never a good idea but it has been this way since the dawn of time. Since the collapse of financial markets in 2008 investment in global commodity markets has grown exponentially creating volatility in world food prices and challenging us all on our consumption behaviours.

In Bangalore, a simple home composting initiative encourages the local population to reduce the amount of household waste with the introduction of a home composting system. The Daily Dump started local and is now going global.

Everything on this picture is made from cow dung.  Cow waste is being used to power villages in the Netherlands thanks to EU funding and a revision of Dutch legislative policy.

As my daughter and I worked our way through the exhibition it was clear that how we view the food chain in years to come has to change, from baking a simple loaf of bread to how commodities are traded globally.

Blue Planet did it for our family. Plastics was at best a storage device in our house until David Attenborough brought the issue home. Single-use plastics are the answer petroleum-based products are not biodegradable. How can you craft plastics? Product designer Vlasta Kubušová and production designer Miroslav Král have one answer  We all know wine is made from grapes but could you extend that to wine bottle labels made from grapes as well? Apparently, you can and Ludovica Cantarelli is a pioneer.

The food chain is evolving or so we would think but as we left the V&A an 18-year-old concluded that local is best and how we make, store and consume our food will change.

Oh and the dresses… these clothes were made from cow poo too.

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