Author Archives: Nicola

Vegetable Tourism

The logical offspring of two recent food trends – gastro-tourism and heirloom fruit and veg – is clearly vegetable tourism. After all, if people will travel to Melton Mowbray for an authentic pork pie and pay extra for a Brandywine tomato, why not make a pilgrimage to the site where “one of the fastest growing […]

Edible Cellphones

The other week, Pia Ednie-Brown, editor of the recently released book Plastic Green: Designing Bio-spatial Futures, sent in a copy of Consumables, a pamphlet by artist Boo Chapple that imagines a world in which mobile phones are edible.

Biology at the Border: An Interview with Alison Bashford

Alison Bashford is Visiting Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science, as well as Associate Professor of History at the University of Sydney. Her work has examined the political, cultural, and spatial implications of quarantine at a variety of different scales, from immigration law and geopolitics to the design of nineteenth-century hospitals.

War on truffles

Truffles, I once read, used to be abundant and cheap enough to appear on almost every page in a cookbook intended for the lower and middle classes. In nineteenth-century France, truffles were regarded as an everyday food, rather than an elusive, expensive, and unquestionably elite treat. However, the trenches, tanks, and shrapnel of World War […]

The Last Town on Earth: An Interview with Thomas Mullen

This autumn in New York City, Edible Geography and BLDGBLOG have teamed up to lead an 8-week design studio focusing on the spatial implications of quarantine; you can read more about it here. For our studio participants, we have been assembling a course pack full of original content and interviews—but we decided that we should […]

Agricultural Asylum

“Non-GMO corn seeks asylum in France,” read the Agence France Presse headline (more or less, given my rusty French). The article went on to explain that on Tuesday, September 29, “non GMO ears of corn from Spain sought refuge in the arms of the French Embassy, petitioning for agricultural asylum.” Somewhat disappointingly, this turned out […]

Day Out | Sugar in the Raw

Last month, BLDGBLOG and I joined a small group (consisting mostly of wheat farmers on a busman’s holiday) to visit Mossman mill, which is just up the road from Cairns.

As it happens, we are apparently on the brink of a sugar crisis, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Americans might face an autumn without sugar

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Pig Futures

2009 has really not been the year of the pig. Despite the best efforts of the USDA and the EU’s Health Commissioner, the first pandemic of the twenty-first century is commonly known as swine flu – a negative association that hasn’t helped pork sales at all. IMAGE: Pigs on a farm, via Still, at least […]

The Taste of Climate Change

Beer enthusiasts, myself among them, were upset to read this week that our pints of pilsner lager might be the latest casualty of climate change. New Scientist reported the depressing news: it seems that the quality of Eastern European Saaz hops is going downhill each year. According to brewing suppliers Seven Bridges Cooperative, “Saaz hops […]