Greatergood visits: Food: Bigger Than The Plate, Victoria & Albert Museum

This weekend we had the pleasure of visiting the new V&A exhibition, Food: Bigger Than The Plate. Running until 17th November 2019 – the exhibition focuses on current issues facing our food industry, food ethics and sustainability, technology and consumer demand driving innovative new products and trends.

Here we’ve selected a few pieces from the exhibition which caught our eye:

  1. Loowatt – A waterless toilet system
    A new flushless toilet technology which uses sealed biodegradable bags as opposed to traditional water flush systems. The excrement bags are then converted into energy and fertiliser – safely and efficiently reclaiming excrement nutrients, whilst also saving immeasurable amounts of water. The nature of the toilets and no requirement of plumbed in sewage systems makes them perfect for festivals, and environments where sewage is limited or not available at all.
  2. Urban Mushroom (GroCycle) – Using an abundant waste product to close a consumer loop
    With venues like the V&A serving 1000 cups of coffee a day, 99% of the biomass of coffee is wasted. Used coffee grounds are rich in nutrients but nearly always end up in landfill. The Urban Mushroom project aims to close this loop by using the waste grounds within urban farming, such as the mushrooms pictured below. The harvested mushrooms will then return to the V&A café to be used in dishes, closing the nutrient loop and achieving a state of sustainability.
  3. Project 374 (Alice V Robinson) – Nose to tail principles for the fashion industry
    Project 374 uses the food principles of nose to tail eating and applies them to the fashion industry – creating a fashion collection from a single cow. Alice documented the journey of the bullock, from life in the fields to death in the slaughterhouse, honouring the life of the cow by minimising waste. Each item has been designed and cut to make the most of its particular hide and physical features, unique to Bullock 374.
  4. The Human Pollination Project (Laura Allcorn) – The tools humans would need to carry out the pollination process if bees become extinct
    With bee numbers on the decline a future with no bees altogether may seem unthinkable but could one day become a reality. In this project Laura Allcorn has imagined the tools we would need as humans to take on the enormous workload of honey bees to keep our food ecosystem alive.
  5. Ooho! – An alternative to bottled water
    A sustainable and plastic free solution to our bottled water waste – the circular pods are made from seaweed and can either be eaten, or bitten into and discarded. The remaining packaging pod  breaks down in around 4 to 6 weeks – roughly the same time as a piece of fruit.
  6. Loci Food Lab – A restaurant which personalises its menu to your food values
    Loci Food Lab serves up a selection of snacks tailored to your own individual food values. Orders are placed interactively, focusing on food which is: Cutting-Edge, Nutritious, Resilient, Open-Source, Profitable, Zero Waste, Affordable, Transparent, Delicious, Vegan, Wild, Traditional, Protein-Rich, Efficient, and Biodiverse. Upon selecting three categories, a snack is tailor made for you based on these principles. With personalised nutrition and individual microbiome measuring set to make waves in food and drink – could this be the future of food selection? We sampled a rather delicious vat-grown mould discovered in the soil of Marlow, and a dried and powdered anchovy – both of which were delicious and definitely left us with some food for thought.



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