WHAT WILL OUR FUTURE TASTE LIKE?
By 2050, there will be 9 billion people on this planet and not enough land to grow food for them all.
According to the UN FAO and Wageningen University’s report on Edible Insects and Food Security, land is scarce and expanding the area devoted to farming is rarely a viable option. Oceans are overfished and climate change could have profound implications for food production. To meet the food and nutrition challenges of today – there are nearly 1 billion chronically hungry people worldwide – and tomorrow, what we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated. We need to find new ways of growing food.
The report acknowledges the crucial role insects play in building ecosystems, diversifying diets, ensuring food security and providing livelihood across the world.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Where does Boochi fit into the conversation?
Boochi is an investigation into the culture, challenges and future of edible insects in India. By collecting recipes, having conversations with chefs, entomologists, anthropologists and insect farmers, and experimenting with insect-based ferments, Boochi hopes to be a dynamic interface for a larger conversation on the future of food in India.
Boochi was initiated at the Serendipity Art Foundation's Food Lab, a residency program held over a 3 month period. The residency follows a hybrid model, being for virtual for 3 months with a physical outcome being showcased in early 2022.
The Serendipity Art Foundation is an arts and cultural development organisation which aims to promote new cultural partnerships, creative strategies and artistic interventions that are responsive to the social and cultural milieu.
THE QUESTIONS I'M EXPLORING
Who eats insects in India today?
Which insects are eaten?
How are they cooked?
What are the current challenges?
What would I make with insects in my own kitchen?
Boochi collaborated with Dr. Lobeno Mozhui (an entomologist) and Shiva Kant Vyas (a graphic designer) to collect insect recipes from across the country and document them visually. Through this process, I learnt of the different communities that eat insects, traditional harvesting and semi-domestication methods practiced by tribes in Nagaland, the habitats the insects are found in, seasonality, market value and preservation methods.
Getting access to these recipes showed how far entomophagy was from the mainstream national food identity. The communities that still eat insects today are not considered within this larger identity, and have been discriminated against on the basis of their food and their identity. Boochi hopes to cultivate a more inclusive conversation about the future of food, where these perspectives are valued through this process of creating new systems of food in the future.
Get in touch if you have your own insect recipe to add to this research.
The Boochi Bottle
What would I do with insects in my own kitchen? Teaming up with Payal Shah of Kobo Fermentary, Boochi is fermenting weaver ants, grasshoppers, black soldier fly and crickets to make insect-based garums and miso, that could possibly be alternatives to soy and fish based products.
Listen to my recent conversation about entomophagy on The Sandip Roy Show
Follow along as I journal my entomophagy experiments on MOLD
Get in on the conversation!
Boochi wishes to serve as a platform to engage with chefs, insect eaters, entomologists, researchers, and entopreneuers to gauge the landscape and assess where we are with insects on our plates today. If you want to talk entomophagy, reach out below and let's have a conversation!