Listen again. Artist and food designer Alexandra Genis is set on challenging your notion of artificiality and what sustainability means in the context of food production. Are natural and wild foods really better? We explore her work and how artificial foods, technology, and art can help us reimagine a better food system.

  • 1:50 The Atoma project, turning individual molecules into spices
  • 2:48 The complexity of flavor and the limits of what we can taste
  • 10:45 The importance of artificial foods in a post-agricultural age 
  • 22:00 Other projects Alexandra’s worked on 
  • 24:00 Vision for the future food system

Episode Transcript

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🧪 Video of Alexandra’s 3D Printed Flavor Molecules

Episode Transcript

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  1:52

You did this big project called Atoma, which has gotten a lot of recognition in different places. What was that project about?

Alexandra Genis  2:02 

So, I created spices from the 24 main volatile organic compounds of the strawberry. Volatile organic compounds are basically flavoring molecules. So, when we eat something like an apple or coffee, or you know, a pizza, then we think it’s apple or coffee or pizza flavor, but that’s not the truth. It’s actually always a combination of different flavoring molecules. And in total, there are like 11,000 flavoring molecules that we know of, which are in everything we eat. So, they are in natural and artificial foods. They are even in petroleum or in old books.

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  2:44 

But we can’t taste all 11,000 of those, right?

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This episode was recorded on March 11, 2020 with the support of and is supported by the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture.