Choose or constrain, the reasons of The Soft Protest Digest

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Azimut magazine

In parallel to our talk on food resiliency for the 11th internationale design Biennale of Saint-Étienne last May, we wrote a long article which was published in Azimut magazine titled: “Choose or constrain, the reasons of The Soft Protest Digest”.

This article attempts to understand the shifts which shook the food system in the last century, by confronting two notions: "choice" and "constraint”.

  • In a first part, the article focuses on the birth of agriculture as well as the technologies which allowed farmers to select and breed wild species in order to design new ones, which would have the optimal characteristics: domestic species.
  • In the following chapter, the article investigates how industrial production entailed a hyper-specialization of species turned towards an economy of time and space, to which artificial selection could not properly answer. The food industry had therefore to call on a technology of “constrain”, which would ultimately objectify the living: ergo the creation of mechanically, chemically and genetically modified crops.
  • The third and last chapter focuses on the actual repercussions of these industrial practices on the environment as well as on regional culinary cultures. Acknowledging the environmental and cultural impact of our contemporary food system, the article narrates how The Soft Protest, Digest came to be.

Where to find the magazine:
See the website of Azimut to purchase the magazine and read the original article. Click here.

ORIGINAL VERSION (french) đŸ‡«đŸ‡·

Introduction

A page of the article
C’est par le prisme des notions de choix et de contrainte que cet article tente de dĂ©crire les bouleversements qui Ă©branlĂšrent le systĂšme agro-alimentaire humain au cours du siĂšcle dernier.
Depuis la naissance de l’agriculture, la technologie du choix a permis aux paysans, agronomes et Ă©leveurs, de sĂ©lectionner et croiser des espĂšces sauvages pour designer (littĂ©ralement «dĂ©signer») des espĂšces aux caractĂ©ristiques choisies et dĂ©sirĂ©es : les espĂšces domestiques.
À la fin du XIXe siĂšcle, les impĂ©ratifs de production industrielle demandent une hyper-spĂ©cialisation des espĂšces tournĂ©e vers l’économie de temps et d’espace, Ă  laquelle la sĂ©lection artificielle ne peut pas rĂ©pondre. L’industrie agro-alimentaire entre alors dans la technologie de contrainte, objectivant plus encore le vivant : les espĂšces mĂ©caniquement, chimiquement et gĂ©nĂ©tiquement modifiĂ©es.
Ces transformations ont non seulement eu des effet sur l’environnement, mais aussi sur les cultures culinaires des pays industrialisĂ©s. DĂšs lors, comment le design de rĂ©gimes alimentaires peut-il avoir un effet de levier, Ă  l’échelle d’un modeste trio de designers, sur le paradigme controversĂ© actuel ? C’est la question Ă  laquelle The Soft Protest Digest s’affaire.

I. SĂ©lection artificielle : choisir

ÂźThe Soft Protest Digest for Azimut

a. Domestication des végétaux

Vavilov et le champs originel

En 1921, le gĂ©nĂ©ticien NikolaĂŻ I. Vavilov entreprend un long voyage Ă  travers 64 pays pour la gloire de l’URSS, jeune État aux ambitions rĂ©volutionnaires dans toutes les sciences — y compris l’agriculture. La quĂȘte de Vavilov est la constitution d’un rĂ©pertoire inĂ©dit des plantes domestiques, dans le but de donner Ă  l’URSS les meilleurs outils pour adapter au mieux ses semences aux terres de son vaste territoire. Sur sa route, le jeune gĂ©nĂ©ticien espĂšre Ă©tablir une gĂ©nĂ©alogie de certaines espĂšces et dĂ©terminer grĂące aux outils hĂ©ritĂ©s de Charles Darwin, l’origine de plantes domestiquĂ©es de longue date, comme le blĂ©, la pomme de terre ou le maĂŻs.
Entre 1926 et 1929, Vavilov dĂ©couvre dans la rĂ©gion du Croissant fertile, sur le pourtour mĂ©diterranĂ©en, de vastes champs sauvages d’épeautre, jamais semĂ©s par la main de l’ĂȘtre humain. Il imagine alors que ce type de champs «originels» avaient Ă©tĂ© exploitĂ©s par nos ancĂȘtres, mais ses Ă©tudes suggĂšrent qu’ils devaient ĂȘtre constituĂ©s d’amidonnier sauvage. En effet, en comparant espĂšces sauvages et domestiquĂ©es Ă  force de siĂšcles de sĂ©lection humaine, Vavilov dĂ©montre que l’amidonnier est la premiĂšre cĂ©rĂ©ale domestiquĂ©e avant l’orge, le blĂ© dur ou l’épeautre, tous originaires d’Eurasie.
C’est ainsi que le pain, premiĂšre nourriture transformĂ©e, nous aurait domestiquĂ© et sĂ©dentarisĂ© il y a 10000 ans en nous poussant Ă  sĂ©lectionner et semer les graines des Ă©pis les plus vigoureux, lĂ  oĂč aucun champs n’existait. À la fin des annĂ©es 70, toutes les semences d’URSS sont issues de l’extraordinaire collection de Vavilov.

30 000 variétés de blés

De toutes les cĂ©rĂ©ales originaires du Croissant fertile, le blĂ© aura Ă©tĂ© sĂ©lectionnĂ© artificiellement par des gĂ©nĂ©rations d’agriculteurs et botanistes pour ses qualitĂ©s accumulĂ©es grĂące Ă  une caractĂ©ristique extraordinaire : son grand gĂ©nome. Le blĂ© tendre moderne contient le gĂ©nome complet de 3 espĂšces diffĂ©rentes, accumulant ainsi au fil des fusions et sĂ©lections pas moins de 42 chromosomes — 2 fois plus que l’ĂȘtre humain.
Parmi les premiers reprĂ©sentants du blĂ©, les blĂ©s sauvages comme le blĂ© dur et l’amidonnier ont Ă©tĂ© domestiquĂ©s pour donner naissance au blĂ© tendre, il y a 9000 ans. Les blĂ©s tendres, plus largement cultivĂ©s, dĂ©veloppent un grain mou Ă  l’origine de la farine ; et les blĂ©s durs, adaptĂ©s aux climats secs, dĂ©veloppent un grain dur adaptĂ© Ă  la production de semoule. Le blĂ© a, d’une certaine façon, utilisĂ© la mĂ©thode du fork[1] conçue par les dĂ©veloppeurs web, pour modifier et amĂ©liorer son gĂ©nome Ă  tel point que chaque Ă©pis contient le potentiel gĂ©nĂ©tique des espĂšces prĂ©cĂ©dentes. Ainsi, la sĂ©lection artificielle permet d’activer les qualitĂ©s dĂ©sirĂ©es dans le but d’adapter l’espĂšce Ă  un environnement et dans le mĂȘme mouvement concevoir un nouveau cultivar[2].

b. Domestication des animaux

L’ocĂ©an Ă  venir

De la mĂȘme façon qu’ont les Ă©tales de fromagers de dĂ©montrer la diversitĂ© des produits laitiers, les Ă©tales des poissonniers regorgent d’espĂšces diffĂ©rentes : des crustacĂ©s et mollusques occupant fonds et rĂ©cifs (crabes, moules, etc.), aux poissons de pleine mer (sardines, thons, etc.), en passant par les poissons de fonds et rĂ©cifs (sole, saint pierre, etc.) et d’eau douce (truites, brochets, etc.). Mais lorsqu’on se dirige vers l’étale du boucher, que constate-t-on ? Beaucoup de morceaux diffĂ©rents, y compris des abats, mais pas plus de 5 espĂšces gĂ©nĂ©ralement : vache (veau, bƓuf et taureau, mais pas d’autres bovins), mouton (agneau et brebis y compris, autres ovins comme la chĂšvre plus rarement), poulet et dinde, souvent pintade et canard, porc (autres suidĂ©s comme le cochon corse trĂšs rarement), et parfois lapin. Pourquoi un tel Ă©cart entre le nombre d’espĂšces consommĂ©es ? Il semblerait que la domestication extrĂȘme des animaux terrestres, commencĂ©e il y a plus de 8500 ans, nous ait menĂ© Ă  une telle homogĂ©nĂ©itĂ© : l’industrialisation et la rentabilitĂ© de certaines espĂšces favorise, grĂące Ă  des prix compĂ©titifs, une agriculture «unique» dans le contexte globalisĂ© actuel. Ainsi, bƓuf, poulet, porc et — dans une moindre mesure — mouton ont vu leur Ă©levage et abattage optimisĂ© en faisant fi de toute territorialitĂ©, homogĂ©nĂ©isant dans un mĂȘme mouvement l’alimentation humaine[3].
De son cĂŽtĂ©, l’évolution de la pĂȘche maritime montre que, malgrĂ© l’amĂ©lioration des technologies depuis les annĂ©es 50 grĂące Ă  la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, le nombre de poissons pĂȘchĂ© chaque annĂ©e stagne quand la demande augmente. De la mĂȘme façon que la sur-chasse aura guidĂ© Sapiens vers la domestication et l’élevage, on observe depuis 2000 ans de nombreuses tentatives de domestication des espĂšces aquatiques pour se passer de la pĂȘche : c’est l’aquaculture.
La domestication de l’ocĂ©an commence Ă  peine, et de nouvelles espĂšces sont en cours de production, avec pour horizon une aquaculture aussi «mature» que l’agriculture intensive : des Ă©levages plus grands en pleine mer, et des espĂšce adaptĂ©es Ă  toujours plus de promiscuitĂ©[4]. Conjointement, une homogĂ©nĂ©isation similaire Ă  celle des bouchers devrait se produire sur les Ă©tales de poissons dans les annĂ©es Ă  venir — pour preuve, 2 espĂšces seulement de crevettes reprĂ©sentent dĂ©jĂ  80% de tous les Ă©levages depuis la fin des annĂ©es 90.

c. Accepter la nouveauté

C’est lorsque la division du travail est bien Ă©tablie que les choix de l’agriculteur et de l’éleveur conditionnent ceux du reste de la population. L’agriculture a indĂ©niablement offert Ă  ces populations rĂ©cemment sĂ©dentarisĂ©es une sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire qu’ils n’avaient pas jusqu’alors : la consommation de plantes sauvages dĂ©pend de connaissances, de la gĂ©ographie et des saisons ; la chasse n’est pas toujours fructueuse et la concurrence d’autres espĂšces n’est pas nĂ©gligeable ; les fruits de mer et poissons peuvent rester inaccessibles pendant de longues tempĂȘtes.
DĂšs lors, le pain et les produits laitiers pouvaient ĂȘtre conservĂ©s plusieurs jours et le travail d’une partie seulement de la population assurait la subsistance des autres, libres de s’occuper autrement. La dĂ©pendance d’un grand nombre envers les producteurs et leurs seigneurs relativise cependant la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire dont disposaient ces peuples : ils ont vu un dĂ©placement des famines Ă  cause «environnementales» vers des famines Ă  causes «anthropologiques».
Pour exemple, aprĂšs l’acceptation massive des pommes de terre en Europe, le dĂ©sastre des grandes famines irlandaises montre les limites de la solution «tout - pomme de terre», adoptĂ©e pour nourrir les populations pauvres au XIXe siĂšcle. Dans un contexte de guerre de religion entre catholiques et protestants, une vague de mildiou provoque en 1845 la chute de la production de pomme de terre en Irlande. Comme l’Angleterre s’opposait Ă  l’émancipation des catholiques en Irlande, elle encouragea les nĂ©gociants protestants irlandais Ă  poursuivre l’export de pommes de terre, tandis que la famine grandissait. D’autre part, la reine Victoria dĂ©couragea les aides internationales, et dĂ©cida ainsi du sort du million de personnes mortes de faim entre 1846 et 1851.

II. Mutation artificielle : contraindre

ÂźThe Soft Protest Digest for Azimut

a. RĂ©volution verte

Nourrir l’humanitĂ©

En 1970, Norman Borlaug, gĂ©nĂ©ticien et agronome amĂ©ricain, reçoit le Prix Nobel de la Paix pour avoir mis en oeuvre la RĂ©volution verte. Lors de son discours, il rappelle avec humilitĂ© que ce grand changement de paradigme agricole initiĂ© pour rĂ©pondre Ă  la faim dans le monde, n’est qu’un succĂšs temporaire : la RĂ©volution verte a donnĂ© Ă  l’humanitĂ© un court repos, rien de plus. Selon le gĂ©nĂ©ticien, la menace du Population Monster doit ĂȘtre comprise et adressĂ©e au plus vite pour Ă©viter la catastrophe qui s’annonce.
La transformation radicale de l’agriculture traditionnelle vers une agriculture intensive a fait ses premiers pas au Mexique, au lendemain de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, sous l’impulsion du prĂ©sident mexicain avec l’appui de la fondation Rockefeller. GrĂące Ă  la sĂ©lection de variĂ©tĂ©s Ă  haut rendement, l’utilisation importante d’intrants[5], l’irrigation et la mĂ©canisation ; le Mexique devient autosuffisant en blĂ© en 1951, et mĂȘme excĂ©dentaire.
Forte de ce succĂšs, la fondation Rockefeller diffuse l’idĂ©e de RĂ©volution verte en multipliant les centres de recherche agronomique Ă  travers les pays du sud, qui sont les piliers de cette initiative reposant sur le savoir-faire des gĂ©nĂ©ticiens comme Borlaug. Tous travaillent au dĂ©veloppement de cultivars de plantes (blĂ©, riz, maĂŻs, pomme de terre, etc.) hybrides Ă  haut rendement, qui valent Ă  Norman Borlaug son Prix Nobel pour avoir Ă©vitĂ© de probables famines en AmĂ©rique du Sud, en Inde et en Asie aprĂšs le bond dĂ©mographique mondial des annĂ©es 60 (Baby boom).

IntĂ©rĂȘts et victimes collatĂ©rales

Ce bilan est toutefois relativisĂ© par les effets dĂ©lĂ©tĂšres de cette refonte complĂšte du modĂšle agricole : la pollution des sols par des produits de synthĂšses issus du pĂ©trole ; l’affaiblissement de la biodiversitĂ© par la gĂ©nĂ©ralisation de monocultures restreintes Ă  quelques variĂ©tĂ©s en lieu et place de cultures locales[6] ; l’érosion des sols par l’intense labour mĂ©canisĂ© ; et l’exode rural[7]. DĂšs lors, lorsqu’elle ne profite pas aux paysans, Ă  qui profite l’altruiste RĂ©volution verte ? Sans verser dans le complotisme, en contraignant au progrĂšs les pays en voie de dĂ©veloppement d’alors, les entreprises agro-pharmaceutiques (pĂ©trochimiques) amĂ©ricaines ont augmentĂ© leur porte-feuille de clients, tout en les disposant Ă  produire des denrĂ©es excĂ©dentaires achetĂ©es Ă  bas prix.
La notion de contrainte ne s’arrĂȘtant pas Ă  l’application du modĂšle intensif ; le journaliste amĂ©ricain Mark Dowie[8] avance que la RĂ©volution verte prenait part Ă  l’effort de Guerre Froide contre la RĂ©volution Rouge Ă  travers les fondations Rockefeller et Ford. Le socialisme proposait alors d’adresser la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire des pays en voie de dĂ©veloppement par des systĂšmes de redistribution publique, plutĂŽt que par des systĂšmes techniques et Ă©conomiques issus d’industries privĂ©es. La RĂ©volution verte, avec ses investissements privĂ©s et ses rĂ©sultats spectaculaires rapides, se posait comme une dĂ©monstration de la supĂ©rioritĂ© du systĂšme capitaliste, quand les rumeurs aujourd’hui avĂ©rĂ©es de terribles famines en URSS et en Chine soviĂ©tique traversaient les frontiĂšres.
 
Quant Ă  l’impact sanitaire provoquĂ© par la RĂ©volution Verte, il est incarnĂ© par la firme agro-pharmaceutique Monsanto. Dans les annĂ©es 80, les procĂšs engagĂ©s par les nombreuses victimes des produits comme l’agent orange[9] et l’herbicide Roundup poussent Monsanto Ă  tourner son activitĂ© vers les biotechnologies vĂ©gĂ©tales. Ils crĂ©ent des plantes gĂ©nĂ©tiquement modifiĂ©es pour les contraindre Ă  rĂ©sister aux pesticides[10], ou qui synthĂ©tisent elles-mĂȘmes des pesticides[11].
La RĂ©volution verte aura par ailleurs prĂ©parĂ© un chemin tout tracĂ© pour la commercialisation de semences gĂ©nĂ©tiquement modifiĂ©es aux pays en voie de dĂ©veloppement, dans des contextes de rĂ©gulation aussi pauvres qu’aux États-Unis, oĂč le statut juridique de ces semences est libĂ©ralisĂ©. Étant Ă  priori indiffĂ©renciĂ© de tout autre plante, par sa nature d’organisme comportant un ADN composĂ© des mĂȘmes acides aminĂ©es, aucune rĂ©gulation ni obligation d’information des consommateurs n’est exigĂ©e par la loi amĂ©ricaine. D’autre part, comme ces semences sont stĂ©riles pour empĂȘcher leur dĂ©veloppement dans les Ă©cosystĂšmes, les agriculteurs ne peuvent utiliser leurs fruits comme semences[12], et s’engagent avec ces produits dans une dĂ©pendance sans issue auprĂšs des firmes qui leurs vendent graines et intrans.

b. Industrie de la viande

Globalisation et crises sanitaires

L’industrie de la viande, l’une des plus rentables de l’agroalimentaire, explose en 1870 grĂące aux progrĂšs des transports, tels le corned-beef[13] et le wagon frigorifique — qui signe en France la mort de ce qu’on nomme aujourd’hui les circuits courts. D’immenses troupeaux vivant Ă  l’écart des hommes, et dont les propriĂ©taires ne prennent pas la peine de les nommer ; sont rendues accessibles aux tables des États-Unis et du monde entier.
 
Mais la culture lucrative du maĂŻs grignote les terres des Grandes Plaines oĂč paissaient les mythiques troupeaux, qui rejoignent alors les rangs de l’élevage hors-sol aprĂšs la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. ConfinĂ©s dans des espaces aseptisĂ©s, parfois isolĂ©s de la lumiĂšre du jour, les animaux grandissent dans une promiscuitĂ© diminuant leur coĂ»t tout en augmentant le risque de contagion en cas de maladie. DĂšs lors, pour garantir la production, les pesticides indispensables Ă  la culture intensive des plantes sont vaporisĂ©s sur poissons, poulets, porcs et bovins ; renforcĂ©s par l’administration d’antibiotiques produits par les mĂȘmes firmes agro-pharmaceutiques.
En 1945 est crĂ©Ă©e Ă  QuĂ©bec la FAO (Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’Alimentation et l’Agriculture), et la mention du droit Ă  l’alimentation est ajoutĂ©e Ă  la DĂ©claration des Droits de l’Homme de 1948 : la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire est alors d’inspiration tiers-mondiste — obsĂ©dĂ©e par la production et l’hygiĂ©nisme, en rĂ©action aux pĂ©nuries de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Ainsi, la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire est garantie au XXe siĂšcle par : les rĂšgles de production (droit), la police des marchĂ©s (argent), et l’évolution des normes de salubritĂ© (information).
L’intĂ©rĂȘt du consommateur surgit alors dans l’équation de la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire, mais il est tard : l’argent a contraint le droit au dĂ©triment de l’information. Avec la crise de la vache folle dĂšs 1986, le public dĂ©couvre atterrĂ© comment des vaches ont Ă©tĂ© nourries d’une farine animale constituĂ©e des carcasses de bovins malades, dĂ©clenchant une Ă©pidĂ©mie qui emportera 223 personnes. Le rĂ©veil du public dans les pays europĂ©ens contribue alors, via de nombreuses organisations non gouvernementales, Ă  une dynamique de mesures destinĂ©es Ă  contrĂŽler et rĂ©guler les denrĂ©es au nom du «principe de prĂ©caution».
Comme en atteste la fraude Ă  la viande de cheval de 2013, le chemin est encore long dans un contexte ultra-globalisĂ© oĂč les produits sont difficilement traçables. La production des plats au bƓuf remplacĂ© par du cheval Ă©tait française (Comigel, Moselle) et le fournisseur de viande avait Ă©tiquetĂ© du cheval roumain comme bƓuf d’Union EuropĂ©enne, qui avait Ă©tĂ© achetĂ© par un trader chypriote basĂ© en Belgique, et stockĂ© aux Pays-Bas avant de finir dans les assiettes europĂ©ennes. Les États restent Ă©clatĂ©s entre divers intĂ©rĂȘts, incapables pour lors de gĂ©nĂ©rer des institutions supra-nationales efficaces. 

Eau et viande

Non contente de produire des aliments de qualitĂ© variable, l’industrie de la viande est aussi accusĂ©e d’obtenir par l’usage d’une plus grande quantitĂ© d’eau, la mĂȘme quantitĂ© de calories que l’industrie cĂ©rĂ©aliĂšre. À titre d’exemple, il faut 7 Ă  8 calories vĂ©gĂ©tales pour produire 1 calorie de viande de boeuf, et donc 5 Ă  700L d’eau pour obtenir 1kg de cette mĂȘme viande[14]. Si la consommation de viande des pays Ă©mergents rejoignait celle des pays dĂ©veloppĂ©s, il faudrait augmenter la production agricole de 70% d’ici 2050 pour subvenir aux besoins d’environ 10 milliards d’ĂȘtres humains[15] : c’est la raison pour laquelle les habitudes alimentaire occidentales sont appelĂ©es Ă  changer.
En prenant en compte la dynamique du rĂ©chauffement climatique actuelle, on estime qu’en 2050 l’Afrique du Nord et Sub-saharienne seront dĂ©ficitaires en eau quand l’Occident (OCDE) et l’AmĂ©rique latine seront excĂ©dentaires. Cette situation Ă  venir pose la question de l’aggravation des problĂšmes de sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire si aucune solution diplomatique Ă©thique n’est adressĂ©e Ă  temps. Par consĂ©quent, l’idĂ©e d’investir eau et Ă©nergie dans des animaux dont l’apport Ă©nergĂ©tique est nettement infĂ©rieur Ă  la somme des aliments qu’ils consomment pour grandir, apparaĂźt comme un gaspillage d’eau inacceptable.
L’élevage ne peut ĂȘtre justifiĂ© que par la valorisation des dĂ©chets de la culture des plantes[16] comme nourriture fourragĂšre. Dans ces conditions seulement, l’élevage s’avĂšre indispensable au renouvellement des sols par l’apport d’engrais naturels.

c. Nourriture transformée

Épaissir à bas prix

Suite Ă  la prise de conscience de la malnutrition dans le Mississippi, un comitĂ© chargĂ© des problĂšmes de nutrition est crĂ©Ă© en 1968. Il est rattachĂ© en 1977 Ă  l’USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), chargĂ©e de promouvoir et subventionner l’agriculture amĂ©ricaine. Le dĂ©partement de l’agriculture se trouve ainsi dans un conflit d’intĂ©rĂȘts effarant, puisqu’il est chargĂ© de financer des campagnes de lutte contre l’obĂ©sitĂ© tout en promouvant des produits industriels saturĂ©s de sucres issus de la transformation du maĂŻs[17]. De fait, la grande majoritĂ© de la nourriture industrielle amĂ©ricaine contient du maĂŻs sous diverses formes : sucres (sirops et dextrose), Ă©paississants et gĂ©lifiant (maltodextrine, gluten et amidon) ou graisses (huile et margarine). Les intĂ©rĂȘts financiers de l’USDA sont donc clairement du cĂŽtĂ© des profits engendrĂ©s par la culture subventionnĂ©e du maĂŻs.
Tout au long du XXe siĂšcle, l’industrie agroalimentaire internationale aura dĂ©diĂ© sa science au remplacement de l’essentiel de la masse des produits par des denrĂ©es Ă  bas prix subventionnĂ©es, sans perturber le moins du monde les habitudes alimentaires des consommateurs les plus conservateurs : le maĂŻs aux États-Unis, le soja en Asie, et le blĂ© en Europe.

Des traditions volatiles

AssociĂ©s Ă  des prĂ©ceptes religieux ou des normes culturelles, les interdits alimentaires se retrouvent dans toute culture humaine et rĂ©sistent gĂ©nĂ©ralement au passage du temps et aux impĂ©ratifs Ă©conomiques (alcool, viande de porc et lapin, viande crue, insectes, fromages au lait cru, etc.). Certaines firmes de l’agroalimentaire auront plutĂŽt tendance Ă  dĂ©fendre des obligations alimentaires, au nom d’une prĂ©tendue «tradition», en s’associant parfois aux mouvements politiques conservateurs qui dĂ©fendent les traditions culinaires comme une manifestation de leur idĂ©ologie : consommation de foie gras, de sodas, ou de produits gĂ©nĂ©tiquement modifiĂ©s.[18]
Que sont ces traditions culinaires agitĂ©es comme des drapeaux Ă  dĂ©fendre ? Selon l’IEHCA (Institut EuropĂ©en d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation), tout produit traditionnel implique la transmission d’un savoir-faire sur une pĂ©riode d’au moins 60 annĂ©es. Dans sa sĂ©lection des produits traditionnels d’une rĂ©gion donnĂ©e, l’IEHCA insiste sur la datation du produit, qui permet de faire le tri entre le fruit d’une politique de marketing Ă  la consonance ancienne, et le produit issu de l’histoire du groupe qui l’a fait naĂźtre. Une tradition culinaire est un rĂ©cit qu’il est difficile de tracer jusqu’à sa source — les documents historiques manquent puisqu’ils tiennent souvent de la micro-histoire. L’attachement Ă  des traditions culinaire vĂ©rifiĂ©es ou non, de la part d’une population donnĂ©e, est donc liĂ©e au rĂ©cit qu’elle se fait d’elle-mĂȘme ; oĂč se mĂȘlent histoire nationale, mythes, hĂ©ritage familial et rĂ©cits commerciaux.
En 1996, la FAO complĂšte les mentions de la DĂ©claration des Droits de l’Homme avec l’idĂ©e selon laquelle la nourriture doit ĂȘtre accessible aux personnes en qualitĂ© et quantitĂ© suffisante pour satisfaire «leurs besoins nutritionnels et leurs prĂ©fĂ©rences alimentaires»[19]. L’aspect culturel (les prĂ©fĂ©rences) est donc thĂ©oriquement pris en compte dans la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire.

d. Accepter la violence

Les transformations dĂ©crites prĂ©cĂ©demment, faisant suite aux Grandes Guerres, sont advenues dans l’ignorance des consommateurs, conditionnĂ©s dans une image d’Épinal de l’agriculture datant du XIXe siĂšcle, et diffusĂ©e par une publicitĂ© complaisante. BiberonnĂ©s aux vaches des prĂ©s, poulets de basse-coure et autres moutons des pĂąturages arborĂ©s fiĂšrement sur les emballages, les europĂ©ens dĂ©chantent lorsque l’élevage conventionnel contemporain est mis sous le feu des projecteurs par la crise de la vache folle.
L’ingĂ©niositĂ© des hommes modernes ne s’est pas seulement mise au service de la nĂ©cessaire salubritĂ©, mais aussi d’un productivisme mettant parfois en pĂ©ril l’intĂ©gritĂ© des denrĂ©es, quand le traitement hygiĂ©nique ne devient pas lui-mĂȘme toxique[20]. Les solutions chimiques de synthĂšse destinĂ©es Ă  Ă©radiquer les pestes redoutĂ©es avant le XXe siĂšcle prennent la forme d’une nouvelle menace plus insidieuse[21] qui contraint en outre les parasites Ă  Ă©voluer vers des formes plus rĂ©sistantes.
 
Il serait cependant dĂ©placĂ© de faire un procĂšs Ă  charge des mĂ©canismes qui ont transformĂ© notre alimentation au cours du siĂšcle dernier, quand on observe qu’ils sont intimement liĂ©s Ă  des politiques sociales progressistes. Par exemple, l’évolution de la condition des femmes a contribuĂ© Ă  ces transformations. LibĂ©rĂ©es des tĂąches mĂ©nagĂšres et amenĂ©es Ă  embrasser des carriĂšres professionnelles, les femmes ont demandĂ© le dĂ©veloppement de plats rapides Ă  cuisiner. Ils remplacĂšrent progressivement les plats traditionnels dont la prĂ©paration occupait les journĂ©es de femmes assignĂ©es au foyer par une sociĂ©tĂ© patriarcale.
NĂ©anmoins, la diminution du temps passĂ© Ă  cuisiner a probablement eu un impact dĂ©lĂ©tĂšre sur l’apprĂ©ciation de repas partagĂ©s et plus gĂ©nĂ©ralement sur la commensalitĂ©[22]. En effet, lorsqu’un repas demande d’investir du temps et de l’énergie, la personne impliquĂ©e attend de ses convives qu’on «fasse honneur» Ă  son travail en prenant le temps de le partager Ă  table, sans quoi le(la) cuisinier(Ăšre) se sentirait insultĂ©(e) par l’indiffĂ©rence des convives, et ne prendrait plus la peine de cuisiner. D’autre part, la participation Ă  la prĂ©paration des plats peut ĂȘtre, pour les enfants, une formidable introduction au monde des adultes et au fonctionnement de la communautĂ©. Au XIXe siĂšcle, l’utopiste Charles Fourrier est allĂ© jusqu’à mettre la gourmandise des enfants au cƓur de ses communautĂ©s utopiques, les PhallanstĂšres.[23]
D’autre part, des dizaines d’annĂ©es d’industrialisation de l’alimentation ont inĂ©luctablement imprĂ©gnĂ© les derniĂšres gĂ©nĂ©rations et celles Ă  venir par une «dĂ©construction de l’acte alimentaire» qui se manifeste aussi bien dans le recule du temps passĂ© Ă  se nourrir Ă  table[24] La France ne partage pas cette tendance de dĂ©clin, comme le montre une Ă©tude de l’INSEE.), que dans l’ignorance des enfants devant leur nourriture.[25] Au Royaume-Uni, une Ă©tude menĂ©e sur les 16-23 ans (2000 personnes) montre que moins de 50% savent que le beurre vient du lait de vache et 33% ne connaissent pas l’origine des Ɠufs de poule (Ă©tude menĂ©e par One Poll pour l’association Leaf.)
La dĂ©valorisation de l’acte alimentaire induite par certains modes industriels de consommation ouvre la voie Ă  une nourriture de mauvaise qualitĂ© consommĂ©e indiffĂ©remment de soi et des autres. Bien entendu, il ne suffit pas de sermonner les victimes de cette «mal-bouffe», qui ne cuisinent pas puisque leur emploi les oblige souvent Ă  passer plusieurs heures par jours dans les transports, tout en grignotant le temps qu’ils accordent Ă  leur dĂ©jeuner. Alors comment reconstruire sans stigmatiser ni infantiliser ?

III. The Soft Protest Digest

a. Douces protestations

En tant que designers, nous sommes confrontés à trois crises auxquelles nous souhaitons répondre à notre échelle, sans urgence ni «solutionnisme».
- La premiĂšre a Ă©tĂ© dĂ©crite dans le chapitre expliquant les risques que fait encourir l’industrie de la viande[26] et plus gĂ©nĂ©ralement l’agriculture conventionnelle Ă  la sĂ©curitĂ© alimentaire ; et qui nĂ©cessite un effort de la part des pays Occidentaux : il s’agit d’une crise Ă©cologique et environnementale.
- La seconde, abordĂ©e dans le chapitre dĂ©crivant comment les violences du systĂšme intensif sont soumises au consommateur[27], est une crise de l’information sur tout ce qui attrait Ă  l’alimentation. Elle prive le consommateur des outils critiques nĂ©cessaires pour faire le choix politique de ce qu’il met dans son corps.
- Viens ensuite la crise culturelle qui voit une dĂ©valorisation de l’acte alimentaire prĂŽnant quantitĂ© et rapiditĂ© au dĂ©pend de la qualitĂ© et du temps consacrĂ© Ă  la cuisine et Ă  la commensalitĂ©[28] : c’est au nom du «commode» que des traditions bĂ©nĂ©fiques sont dĂ©gradĂ©es, et les rĂ©gimes alimentaires homogĂ©nĂ©isĂ©s autour de quelques ingrĂ©dients.

C’est dans cette logique que nous avons fondĂ© avec Nickie Sigurdsson, artiste paysanne danoise, un groupe de recherche appelĂ© The Soft Protest Digest. Sous le nom «Adel Cersaque», nous nous sommes appliquĂ©, jusqu’à prĂ©sent, Ă  explorer certains modes d’existence du politique par le dĂ©bat Ă  table dans 2 institutions fictives : L.A.S.T. & Giant’s Yard. Or, le large Ă©ventail de controverses politiques que ces dispositifs pouvaient aborder nous dĂ©passait. GrĂące Ă  notre rencontre avec N. Sigurdsson, nous avons rĂ©alisĂ© que les controverses qui entourent l’alimentation sont les plus prĂ©gnantes, et qu’elles se trouvaient sous nos yeux.
Comme l’indique son nom, le Soft Protest Digest entend organiser sous diverses formes culinaires de «douces protestations», en faveur de rĂ©gimes alimentaires durables dans un contexte culturel donnĂ©. Que ce soit dans un village, une ville ou un État, nous utiliserons le story-telling pour orienter les traditions culinaires vers un rĂ©gime alimentaire durable, dans le respect de l’hĂ©ritage culturel et des Ă©motions qui lient les personnes Ă  leur gastronomie. L’engagement des communautĂ©s locales par des repas, workshops et confĂ©rences, sera indispensable Ă  notre comprĂ©hension des enjeux socio-culinaires, pour adresser au mieux une transition «sur-mesure» vers un rĂ©gime durable apprĂ©ciĂ© par tous.

b. Premier contexte : les Pays-Bas

ÂźThe Soft Protest Digest for Azimut

Un peuple post-nature

Le dĂ©placement aux Pays-Bas de JĂ©rĂ©mie Rentien Lando, du duo Adel Cersaque, est un prĂ©texte Ă  l’édition nĂ©erlandaise du Soft Protest Digest qui s’inscrit dans la rĂ©gion Noord-Holland, pendant et aprĂšs notre rĂ©sidence Ă  fanfare[29].
Le rapport des hollandais Ă  leur nourriture nous intĂ©resse dans la mesure oĂč leurs traditions culinaires et leur conception singuliĂšre de la nature ont ouvert la voie Ă  l’industrialisation dĂ©complexĂ©e de leur alimentation.
En effet, le territoire des Pays-Bas est situĂ© Ă  25% sous le niveau de la Mer du Nord, et 17% est constituĂ© de «polders», ces terres artificielles rĂ©sultant de l’assĂšchement des marais et lagunes d’eau saumĂątre depuis le XVIIe siĂšcle. L’existence mĂȘme d’une partie du pays dĂ©pend donc de l’ingĂ©niositĂ© de digues massives, qui s’illustre par ce dicton populaire : «Dieu a crĂ©Ă© le Monde et les NĂ©erlandais ont crĂ©Ă© les Pays-Bas». MalgrĂ© les contraintes liĂ©es Ă  la pauvretĂ© de ces terres salĂ©es, l’élevage et les engrais les rendent peu Ă  peu cultivables, notamment grĂące Ă  la fabrication de variĂ©tĂ©s adaptĂ©es.[30]
Non content d’augmenter artificiellement les terres, les Pays-Bas sont aussi rĂ©putĂ©s pour innover en matiĂšre de culture intensive et hors-sol avec la Food Valley, analogue agro-technique de la Silicon Valley gravitant autour de l’UniversitĂ© de Wageningen (Wageningen University & Research). Le pays est ainsi devenu le second exportateur mondial de produits agricoles avec 94 milliards d’euros en 2016, juste derriĂšre les États-Unis. Son secret rĂ©side dans un vaste complexe de serres permettant de produire tomates, poivrons et concombres toute l’annĂ©e. Cette serriculture est vouĂ©e Ă  ĂȘtre consolidĂ©e par des fermes verticales hors-sol gĂ©rĂ©es numĂ©riquement, oĂč les plantes grandissent en hydroponie dans un environnement aseptisĂ© (The New Farm Ă  La Haye).
Il n’est donc pas surprenant que les habitants du pays d’Unilever ne romantisent pas la nature qu’ils ont radicalement façonnĂ© pour survivre et prospĂ©rer.[31] En cela, les nĂ©erlandais constituent un peuple post-nature (terme auquel Koert Van Mensvoort prĂ©fĂšre justement next-nature).

Une cuisine modeste

Pour comprendre la culture culinaire nĂ©erlandaise, il faut revenir Ă  la fin du SiĂšcle d’or (XVIIe siĂšcle), auquel succĂšdent crises politiques, inondations et famines qui transformeront radicalement la cuisine des riches commerçants. Ragouts, soupes d’endives, de choux et de pommes de terre deviennent alors le quotidien des nĂ©erlandais jusque dans la bourgeoisie, qui adopte le sobre rĂ©gime des campagnes, gĂ©nĂ©ralisĂ© au XIXe siĂšcle par les Huischoudscholen. Ces Ă©coles publiques «domestiques», gratuites dĂšs 1906, sont d’abord frĂ©quentĂ©es par les femmes des classes populaires, mais le sont ensuite par la bourgeoisie, entre l’école primaire et le mariage. On y apprend Ă  devenir une bonne femme au foyer Ă©duquĂ©e, raisonnable et Ă©conome — selon une morale austĂšre typiquement protestante.
Cet enseignement aura contribuĂ© Ă  donner aux nĂ©erlandais un Ă©ventail de plats qui n’a pas Ă©voluĂ© depuis, dont le frugal stamppot.[32] L’histoire explique donc comment un pays industrialisĂ© Ă  l’économie florissante arbore une cuisine paysanne austĂšre, qui appelle pourtant l’utilisation de charcuterie industrielle et de lĂ©gumes prĂ©dĂ©coupĂ©s.

Une transition végétarienne singuliÚre

Le premier ĂȘtre humain Ă  dĂ©guster une piĂšce de viande cultivĂ©e in-vitro en 2013, est un chercheur hollandais dĂ©nommĂ© Mark Post. La production onĂ©reuse du Post-Burger financĂ©e par Sergey Brin, l’un des fondateurs de Google, est symptomatique du pragmatisme radical des nĂ©erlandais, toujours prĂȘts Ă  mettre au centre du dĂ©bat public les controverses touchant Ă  notre futur. Une figure emblĂ©matique de la vie publique nĂ©erlandaise, le designer Koert Van Mensvoort, s’est affairĂ© Ă  cette tĂąche ces 10 derniĂšres annĂ©es avec ses collaborateurs du think-tank Next Nature Network. GrĂące aux outils du design fiction[33], Koert a entre autres questionnĂ© notre rapport aux animaux gĂ©nĂ©tiquement modifiĂ©s dans l’industrie (Rayfish Footwear), les processus d’acceptation des technologies (Pyramid of Technology), et l’usages futur de la viande in-vitro (Meat the Future).
Cette posture iconoclaste doublĂ©e d’une morale libĂ©rale peu soucieuse des traditions, doit pouvoir expliquer la position des Pays-Bas comme leader de l’industrie naissante des viandes vĂ©gĂ©tales. Tout est fait pour que cette solution au problĂšme de sur-consommation de viande soit embrassĂ©e par les consommateurs : vente dans les mĂȘmes rayons que la viande en supermarchĂ©, campagnes de publicitĂ© arborant des plats carnĂ©s vĂ©gĂ©tariens et lĂ©gislation tolĂ©rante sur l’usage du mot «viande».[34]
Les nĂ©erlandais ont vu l’apparition de viande vĂ©gĂ©tale jusque dans la chaĂźne dominante Albert Heijn, ainsi que des enseignes comme Vivera ou De Vegetarisch Slager (littĂ©ralement «le boucher vĂ©gĂ©tarien»). Dans leurs gammes, ils promeuvent un rĂ©gime Ă  priori plus durable, sans enterrer implacablement les traditions culinaires nĂ©erlandaises : feuilletĂ©s Ă  la saucisse, boulettes, saucisses panĂ©es (frikandel), rookworst, etc.
Le pays fait d’ailleurs figure d’exemple en Europe avec plus des 3/4 de la population admettant ne pas manger de viande 1 jour par semaine, et 1/4 des interrogĂ©s montant Ă  3 jours par semaine[35]. En effet, la raison principale de leur attitude est le prix de la viande, qui explique par ailleurs pourquoi les pays en voie de dĂ©veloppement adoptent «par dĂ©faut» un rĂ©gime flexitarien[36]. On voit ici comment le refus du compromis lors de bouleversements tels que la baisse du temps disponible pour cuisiner ou la rĂ©duction de consommation de viande, peut conduire Ă  une mutation des habitudes culinaires, qui donne plus d’emprise aux industriels dans le choix de ce que nous mangeons.




ENGLISH VERSION 🇬🇧 (translated by Nigel Briggs)

Introduction

A page of the article
Using the prism of the notions of choice and constraint, this article attempts to describe the upheavals which shook the human food system during the previous century.
Since the birth of agriculture, the technology of choice has allowed farmers and breeders, to select and interbreed wild species to design (literally “designate”) species with the chosen and desired characteristics: domestic species.
At the end of the 19th century, the imperatives of the industrial revolution required a hyper-specialization of species oriented towards saving time and space, something which articial selection cannot address. The food-processing industry then embarked on the technology of constraint, objectifying the living even more: mechanically, chemically and genetically modified species.
These transformations have not only had effects on the environment but also on the culinary culture of industrialized countries. So, on the modest scale of a trio of designers, how can the design of diets have a lever effect on the present controversial paradigm? This is the issue occupying The Soft Protest Digest.

I. Artificial selection: choice

ÂźThe Soft Protest Digest for Azimut

a. Domestication of plants

Vavilov and the primeval field

In 1921, the geneticist NikolaÏ I. Vavilov undertook a long journey through 64 countries for the glory of the USSR, a young State with revolutionary ambitions in every science and technology, including agriculture. Vavilov’s quest was the constitution of a new catalogue of domestic plants, with the aim of providing the USSR with the best tools for best adapting its seeds to the soils of its vast territory. On his way, the young geneticist hoped to establish a genealogy of certain species and, thanks to the tools inherited from Charles Darwin, to determine the origin of plants that have long been domesticated such as wheat, potatoes or corn.
Between 1926 and 1929, in the Fertile Crescent of the Mediterranean region, Vavilov discovered vast wild fields of spelt that had never been sown by the hand of man. So he imagined that this sort of “primeval” field been exploited by our ancestors, however his studies suggested that they must have been constituted of wild emmer. Indeed, by comparing wild and domesticated species, resulting from century upon century of human selection, Vavilov demonstrated that emmer was the first domesticated cereal: before barley, durum wheat or spelt, all originating in Eurasia.
This is how bread, the first transformed food, supposedly domesticated us and rendered us sedentary 10,000 years ago by making us select and sow the seeds of the most vigorous ears where no field existed. At the end of the 1970’s, all the seeds of the USSR came from Vavilov’s extraordinary collection.

30 000 varieties of wheat

Of all the cereals originating in the Fertile Crescent, wheat has been artificially selected by generations of farmers and botanists for its accumulated qualities thanks to an extraordinary characteristic: its large genome. Modern soft wheat contains the complete genome of three different species, thus accumulating no fewer than 42 chromosomes — twice as many as humans — through successive fusions and selections.
Among the first representatives of wheat, wild varieties such as durum wheat and emmer were domesticated to give birth to soft wheat 9,000 years ago. The more widely cultivated soft wheat varieties develop a soft grain that is the origin of flour; durum wheat varieties, which are better adapted to dry climates, develop a hard grain adapted to the production of semolina. In a certain way, wheat has used the fork[37] methode conceived by web-developers, to modify and improve its genome to such an extent that each ear contains the genetic potential of the preceding species. Thus, artificial selection enables the desired qualities to be activated with the aim of adapting the species to an environment and in the same process conceive a new cultivar[38].

b. Domestication of animals

The ocean to come

Just as the counters of French cheese shops demonstrate the diversity of dairy products, so the counters of fish mongers abound in different species: from shell fish and molluscs living on the seabed and reefs (crab, mussel, etc), to fish from the open seas (sardine, tuna, etc.) to fish from the seabed and reefs (sole, dory, etc.) and freshwater fish (trout, pike, etc.). But when we go to the butcher’s, what do we see? Many different cuts including offal, but generally no more than five species: cow (veal, bullock and bull but no other bovines); sheep (lamb and ewe included, but rarely any other ovine such as goat); chicken and turkey, often guinea-fowl and duck; pig (rarely any other suid such as the Corsican pig); and sometimes rabbit. Why such a difference in the number of species consumed? It would appear that the extreme domestication of terrestrial animals, begun more than 8,500 years ago, has led us to such homogeneity: industrialisation and the profitability of certain species favor — thanks to competitive prices — an agriculture which is “unique” in the current global context. Thus, the breeding and slaughtering of beef, chicken, pork and, to a lesser extent, mutton have been optimized, outing any territoriality and, at the same time, homogenising human food.[39]
For its part, the evolution of maritime fishing shows that, despite improvements to the technology — introduced in the 1950’s thanks to the Second World War — the amount of fish caught each year stagnates while demand increases. In the same way as over-hunting drove homo-sapiens towards domestication and breeding, over the last 2,000 years, there have been numerous attempts to domesticate aquatic species to be able to do without fishing: aquaculture.
The domestication of the ocean has hardly begun and new species are being produced, on the horizon of an aquaculture which is as “natural” as intensive agriculture: bigger fish-farms in the open sea and species adapted to ever-increasing promiscuity[40]. Conjointly, a homogenization similar to that found at the butcher’s should occur on the fish counter in coming years — for proof: since the end of the 1980’s just two species of prawns already account for 80% of prawn-farming.

c. Accepting the new

Once the division of labour had been well established, the choices of the farmer and breeder conditioned those of the rest of the population. Agriculture has undeniably offered these populations, which had recently become sedentary, a previously unavailable security of food supply: the consumption of wild plants depends on knowledge, geography and seasons; hunting is not always fruitful and the competition of other species is not negligible; seafood and fish can remain inaccessible during long storms.
Consequently, bread and dairy products could be preserved for several days and the work of just a portion of the population ensured the subsistence of the others, free to go about other business. However, the dependence of large numbers on the producers and lords relativises this food security at people’s disposal: they witnessed the replacement of “environmentally” caused famines by “anthropologically” caused ones.
For example, after the massive adoption of the potato in Europe, the great Irish potato famines show the limits of the “all potato” solution adopted to feed the populations of poor people in the 19th century. In 1845, in the context of a religious war between Catholics and Protestants, a wave of mildew provoked the fall of potato production in Ireland. Since England was opposed to the emancipation of Catholics in Ireland, it encouraged Irish Protestant merchants to continue exporting potatoes, while the famine increased. Moreover, Queen Victoria discouraged international aid thus deciding the fate of millions of people who died of famine between 1846 and 1851.

II. Articial mutation: constraint

ÂźThe Soft Protest Digest for Azimut

a. The Green Revolution

Feeding humanity

In 1970, the American geneticist and agriculturist, Norman Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize for implementing the Green Revolution. In his speech, he reminded his audience, with humility, that this great change in the agricultural paradigm, initiated in response to hunger in the world, was only a temporary success: the Green Revolution has given humanity a short respite, nothing more. According to the geneticist the menace of the Population Monster must be understood and addressed as quickly as possible to avoid the approaching catastrophe.
Shortly after the Second World War, the radical transformation of traditional agriculture towards intensive agriculture took its first steps in Mexico, spurred on by the Mexican president and with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Thanks to the selection of high-yield varieties, the major use of inputs[41], irrigation and mechanization, Mexico became self-sufficient in wheat in 1951, even producing a surplus.
Armed with this success, the Rockefeller Foundation diffused the idea of the Green Revolution by multiplying agronomic research centres in southern countries, centres which are the mainstay of this initiative based on the know-how of geneticists such as Borlaug. They all work at developing high-yield, hybrid cultivars of plants (wheat, rice, corn, potatoes, etc), which earned Norman Borlaug his Nobel Prize for avoiding probable famines in South America, India and Asia after the global demographic increase of the 1960’s, the Baby Boom.

Interests and collateral victims

However, these results should be relativized by the deleterious effects of this complete overhaul of the agricultural model: the pollution of soil by synthetic, oil-based products; the weakening of biodiversity by the generalization of monoculture restricted to a few varieties in the place of local crops[42]; the erosion of the soil by intensive and mechanized ploughing, and the rural exodus[43]. So, if it does not benefit peasant farmers, who does benefit from the altruistic Green Revolution? Without subscribing to conspiracy theories, by obliging the then developing countries to progress, the American agro-pharmaceutical (petrochemical) corporations increased their client portfolio, while preparing them to produce surpluses to be purchased at low cost.
The notion of constraint does not stop at the application of the intensive model: the American journalist, Mark Dowie[44], advances that the Green Revolution participated in the Cold War against the Red Revolution through the actions of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. At the time, socialism offered to address the food security of developing countries with systems of public redistribution rather than with technological and economic systems coming from private industries. With its private investments and spectacular and rapid results, the Green Revolution was positioned as a demonstration of the superiority of the capitalist system at a time when rumors (confirmed, at present) of terrible famines in the USSR and China were crossing their frontiers.
 
As for the sanitary impact provoked by the Green Revolution, it is incarnated by the agro-pharmaceutical corporation Monsanto. In the 1980’s, the lawsuits brought against Monsanto by numerous victims of Agent Orange[45] and the herbicide Roundup pushed it to turn its activity towards vegetal bio-technologies. The corporation has created plants which have been genetically modified to resist pesticides[46] or to synthesize pesticides themselves[47].
Besides, the Green Revolution has created a clearly laid out path for the commercialisation of genetically modified seeds in developing countries with regulatory contexts as poor as that of the United States in which the legal status of these seeds has been liberalized. Being, a priori undifferentiated from any other plant, by its nature as an organism comprising a DNA composed of the same amino acids, no regulation and no obligation to inform consumers is required by American law. Moreover, since these seeds are sterile to prevent their development in ecosystems, farmers cannot use their fruit as seed[48] It should, however, be noted that their yield will degrade at each new generation., and, with these products, enter into a cul-de-sac of dependence with regards to the corporations which sell them seeds and inputs.

b. The meat industry

Globalisation and sanitary crises

The meat industry, one of the most profitable in the food processing sector, boomed in 1870 thanks to progress in transport such as corned-beef[49] and refrigerated freight-cars — signifying the death of what we now call short supply chains. Enormous herds, kept far away from the public, became accessible to the tables of the United States and the entire world.
The lucrative cultivation of corn nibbled away at the lands of the Great Plains where the mythical herds had grazed, so the herds joined the ranks of off-soil factory farming after the Second World War. Confined in sanitized spaces, often isolated from daylight, the animals grow in a promiscuity which decreases their cost while increasing the risk of contagion in case of illness. So, to guarantee production, the pesticides which are essential to intensive cultivation of plants are sprayed over fish, chicken, pigs and cattle; reinforced by the administration of antibiotics produced by the same agro-pharmaceutical corporations.
In Quebec, in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is created, and the right to food added to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. In reaction to the shortages of the Second World War, food security is based on production, hygienism, and guaranteed in the 20th century by: the rules of production (law); the policing of markets (money); and health norms (information).
In parallel, the interests of the consumer becomes part of the food security equation, though late in the day: money having constrained law to the detriment of information. As early as 1986, with the mad-cow disease crisis, the public discovers that cows have been fed with feed made out from the carcasses of sick cattle, triggering an epidemic which resulted in the killing of 223 consumers. The awareness of the public in European countries therefore contributed — via numerous non governmental organisations — to new measures destined to control and regulate foodstuffs in the name of a “precautionary principle”.
As the 2013 horse meat fraud has shown, there is still a long path to be trodden in an ultra-globalized context in which products are difficult to trace. The production of dishes with beef replaced by horse meat was French (Comigel, Moselle), the meat supplier had labelled Romanian horse meat as beef from the European Union, which had been bought by a Cypriot trader based in Belgium, and stocked in the Netherlands before ending up on European plates. The States remain split by various interests and are unable to generate efficient supranational institutions. 

Water and meat

Though producing food of variable quality, the meat industry is also accused of calling on the use of too large quantities of water for a number of calories equivalent to the cereal industry. As an example, it takes 7-8 vegetal calories to produce 1 calorie of beef and thus 700- 800 litres of water to produce a kilogram of the same meat[50]. If the meat consumption of the emerging countries were to match that of the developed countries, agricultural production would have to be increased by 70% by 2050 to meet the needs of about 10 billion human beings[51]: this is why western dietary habits are destined to change.
Taking into consideration the dynamics of climate warming, it is estimated that, by 2050, North and Sub-Saharan Africa will experience water deficit while the West (OECD) and Latin America will be in surplus. This coming situation poses the question of the worsening of food security problems if no diplomatic, ethical solution is reached in time. Consequently, the idea of investing water and energy in animals — with an energy content which is clearly inferior to the sum of food consumed to raise them — appears to be an unacceptable waste of water.
Breeding livestock can only be justified by recovering waste from the cultivation of plants[52] as fodder. Only under these circumstances can breeding be essential to the renewing of soils through the supply of natural fertilizers.

c. Transformed food

Low cost thickening

In 1968, an awareness of malnutrition in Mississippi led to the creation of a committee dealing with problems of nutrition. In 1977, it was incorporated into the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), charged with promoting and subsidizing American agriculture. The Department of Agriculture thus finds itself with an astounding conflict of interests, since it is charged with financing campaigns against obesity while also promoting industrial products saturated in sugars coming from the transformation of corn[53] In fact, the vast majority of American industrial food contains diverse forms of corn: sugars (syrups and dextrose), thickening and jellifying agents (maltodextrin, gluten and starch)or fats (oil and margarine). The financial interests of the USDA are thus clearly on the side of the profits engendered by the subsidized cultivation of corn.
Throughout the twentieth century, the international food industry will have had dedicated its science to replacing most foodstuffs by subsidized low-cost products, without in the least disturbing the eating habits of the most conservative of consumers: corn in the United States, soybeans in Asia, and wheat in Europe.

Ephemeral traditions

Whether associated with religious precepts or cultural norms, food prohibitions are to be found in every human culture and generally resist both the passing of time and economic imperatives (alcohol, pork and rabbit meat, raw meat, insects, unpasteurized cheese, etc.). Certain food processing corporations would tend rather to defend food obligations, in the name of a so-called “tradition”, associating themselves with conservative political movements which defend culinary traditions as a manifestation of their ideology: the consumption of foie gras, sodas or genetically modified products[54].
Which of these culinary traditions are to be defended? According to the European Institute for the History and Cultures of Food (IEHCA), any traditional product implies the transmission of a craftsmanship over a period of at least sixty years. To select traditional products of a given region, the IEHCA insists on the dating of the product, which allows a distinction to be drawn between marketing (branding the ingredient or technic as “old-fashioned”) and the actual historical product. A culinary tradition is a narrative which is difficult to trace to its source — historical documents may be lacking because the traditions often belong to micro-history. The attachment to culinary traditions verified or not, by a given population, is therefore related to the story she makes of herself; where national history, myths, family heritage and commercial stories are mixed together.
In 1996, the FAO supplements the mentions of the Declaration of Human Rights with the idea that food must be accessible to people in sufficient quality and quantity to satisfy "their nutritional needs and their food preferences". [55]. The cultural aspect (preferences) is therefore theoretically taken into account in food security.

d. Accepting violence

Following the Great Wars, consumers were in ignorance of the transformations described above, conditioned as they were by idealized images of agriculture dating from the 19th century and diffused by complacent advertising. Bottle-fed on “cows in the meadow”, “chicken in the farmyard“ and “sheep in pastures” proudly displayed on packaging, Europeans became disenchanted when contemporary conventional livestock breeding came into the spotlight with the mad-cow crisis.
The ingenuity of modern men was not only employed in the service of the necessary salubrity, but also of a productivity which sometimes threatened the integrity of data, when the treatment itself did not become toxic.[56] Synthetic chemical solutions destined to eradicate plagues, which were feared before the 20th century, assumed the form of a new, more insidious threat[57] which obliged the parasites to evolve towards more resistant forms.
 
However, it would be out of place to put the mechanisms, which transformed our food over the last century, on trial, when one observes that they are intimately linked to progressive social policies. For example, the evolution of the condition of women has contributed to these transformations. Freed from domestic tasks and led to embrace professional careers, women have asked for the development of more rapidly cooked dishes. They have progressively replaced traditional dishes requiring preparations which filled the days of women assigned to the home by a pastoral society. Nevertheless, the decrease in the time spent cooking has probably had a deleterious effect on the appreciation of shared meals and more generally on commensality[58]. Indeed, when a meal requires the investment of time and energy, the person implicated expects guests to “honor” the work by taking time to share it at table. Failing this, the cook would feel insulted by the indifference of the guests, and would no longer bother to cook. Moreover, for children to participate in the preparation of dishes can be a formidable introduction to the adult world and the workings of the community. In the 19th century, the Utopian, Charles Fournier, went as far as putting the greediness of children at the heart of his Utopian community, the phalanx[59]
Besides, decades of food industrialisation have inevitably impregnated the latest as well as the coming generations with “a deconstruction of the act of eating”, manifested as much in the reduction in the amount of time spent on eating at table[60], as in the ignorance of children concerning their food[61]. In the United Kingdom, a study conducted on 16-23 year-olds (2,000 people) shows that less than 50% know that butter comes from cow milk and 33% do not know the origin of hens’ eggs (study conducted by One Poll for the association, Leaf).
The devaluing of the act of eating induced by certain industrial modes of consumption opens the way for poor quality food consumed with indifference to one-self and others. Obviously, it is not enough to sermon the victims of this “junk food”, who do not cook since their jobs often forces them to spend several hours a day in commute while also nibbling away in the short time span of lunch. So how to reconstruct without stigmatising or infantilising?

III. The Soft Protest Digest

a. Soft protests

As designers, we are faced with three crises which we wish to address at our level, without urgency or “solutionism”.
— The first has been explained in the chapter dealing with the risks taken in the name of food security by the meat industry[62] and, more generally, conventional agriculture; and which require an effort on the part of western countries: it is an ecological and environmental crisis.
— The second, approached in the chapter describing how the violence of the intensive system is inflicted upon the consumer[63], is a crisis of information on every food-related matter. It deprives consumers of the critical tools needed to make the political choice of what to put in their bodies.
— Next comes the cultural crisis: a devaluation of the act of eating, in which quantity and rapidity are advocated to the detriment of quality and the time spent in the kitchen and commensality[64]: in the name of “convenience” beneficial traditions are degraded in favor of homogenized diets built around a few ingredients.
It is within this logic that we founded a research group called The Soft Protest Digest. Until now, under the name, “Adel Cersaque”, we have applied ourselves to exploring certain modes of the existence of politics through debate at the table in two fictional institutions: L.A.S.T. and Giant’s Yard. The broad range of political controversies these devices would cover overwhelmed us. Thanks to our encounter with danish farmer and artist Nickie Sigurdsson, we realized the controversies which surround food were actually the most meaningful and that they could be found before our eyes. As the name indicates, the Soft Protest Digest intends to organise “soft protests” in various culinary forms in favor of durable diets. Whether this is a village, a city or a State, we will use storytelling to direct culinary traditions towards a durable diet, respecting the cultural legacy and emotions which link people to their gastronomy. The commitment of the local community, through meals, workshops and conferences, will be essential to our understanding of the socio-culinary stakes, in order to best address the “made to measure” transition towards a resilient diet appreciated by all.

b. First context: the Netherlands

ÂźThe Soft Protest Digest for Azimut

A post-nature people

Relocating to the Netherlands, JĂ©rĂ©mie Rentien Lando (member of Adel Cersaque) offered a pretext for the “Dutch edition” of The Soft Protest Digest to exist. The relationship of the Dutch to their food is of interest to us in so far as their culinary traditions and their singular conception of nature have paved the way for a complex-free industrialisation of their food.
Indeed, 25% of Dutch territory is situated below the level of the North Sea, and 17% is constituted of “polders”, these artificial lands resulting from the draining of marshes and lagoons of their water since the 17th century. The very existence of this part of the country thus depends upon the ingeniousness of massive dykes illustrated by the popular saying: “God created the World and the Dutch created the Netherlands”. In spite of the constraints linked to the poverty of these salt soils, livestock breeding and fertilizers gradually rendered them cultivable, particularly thanks to the production of adaptable crops.[65]
In parallel to artificially increasing the amount of land, the Netherlands is also reputed for innovations in intensive and out-of-soil cultivation with its Food Valley — the agro-technological analogue of Silicon Valley — gravitating around Wageningen University & Research. The country is also the second global exporter of agricultural products (just after the United States) totaling 94BN Euros in 2016. Its secret lies in a vast complex of glasshouses allowing the production of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers all year round. This agriculture is destined to be consolidated with digitally managed vertical out-of-soil farms in which plants grow hydroponically in a sanitized environment (The New Farm at The Hague).
Thus, it is not surprising that the inhabitants of the country of Unilever do not romanticize the nature they have radically shaped to survive and prosper[66].

A modest cuisine

To understand Dutch culinary culture, it is necessary to return to the end of the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), following which a succession of political crises, floods and famines radically transformed the cuisine of the rich merchants. Stews and soups of chicory, cabbage and potatoes became the daily fare of the Dutch including the bourgeoisie, who adopted the sober diet of the countryside, generalized in the 19th century by the Huischoudscholen. These public “domestic” schools, which became free in 1906, were first attended by women from the popular classes, then later by the bourgeoisie, between primary school and marriage. In these schools, women learned to become good, educated, reasonable and thrifty housewives — according to a typically protestant austere moral code.
This teaching contributed to providing the Dutch with a range of dishes which has not since evolved, including the frugal stamppot[67]. History thus explains how an industrialised country with a flourishing economy is left with an austere peasant cuisine, which calls upon the use of processed meats and pre-cut vegetables.

A singular transition to vegetarianism

In 2013, the first human to eat a piece of meat cultivated in-vitro was a Dutch researcher named Mark Post. The costly production of the Post-Burger financed by Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, is symptomatic of the dutch's radical pragmatism, always ready to deliberately consider potentially controversial matters in relation to our future. Over the last ten years, an emblematic figure of Dutch public life, the designer Koert van Mensvoort, has set about to follow this idea with his collaborators of the Next Nature Network think-tank. Thanks to the tools of design fiction[68], Koert has, amongst other things, questioned our relationship to genetically modified animals in industry (Rayfish Footwear), the processes of technological acceptance (Pyramid of Technology), and the future use of in-vitro meat (Meat the Future).
This iconoclastic posture, as well as a liberal moral code with little care for traditions, should allow us to explain the position of the Netherlands as the leader in the growing plant-based meat industry. All efforts are today concentrated in finding solutions to the problem of the over-consumption of meat, as well as making it acceptable and appealing to the public. We can find plant-based meat on sale in the same aisle as animal meat; advertising campaigns display vegetarian meat dishes; and even legislation is pushed to be tolerant in regards to the use of the word “meat”.[69]
The Dutch have witnessed the appearance of plant-based meat even in the dominant Albert Heijn supermarket chain, thanks to brands such as Vivera or De Vegetarisch Slager (literally “the vegetarian butcher”). These brands offer and promote a seemingly more climate-friendly diet, without implacably burying Dutch culinary traditions: sausage buns, frikandel, roockworst or krokets can today be found in both versions: classic or meat-free
Moreover the country is generally thought of as an example with more than 3/4 of the population saying that to not be eating meat one day per week, and 1/4 only three days per week. The main reason for this diet is the price of meat, which, moreover, explains why developing countries adopt “by default” a “flexitarian” diet”.[70] Here we see how “making no compromise” during major upheavals such as the reduction of the time available for cooking or the drop in consumption of meat, can lead to a mutation of culinary habits, which gives the industry more power in choosing what we eat, for us.

Sources :

I. a

I. b

I. c

II. a

II. b

II. c

II. d

III. a

  • Site de Adel Cersaque, page «LAST» et «Giant’s Yard», 2018. Disponible sur : http://adelcersaque.eu/

III. b

Notes

  1. ↑ Un fork est un nouveau logiciel crĂ©Ă© Ă  partir du code source d’un logiciel existant lorsque les droits accordĂ©s par les auteurs le permettent.
  2. ↑ Un cultivar est une variĂ©tĂ© de plante obtenue en culture, gĂ©nĂ©ralement par sĂ©lection, pour ses caractĂ©ristiques rĂ©putĂ©es uniques.
  3. ↑ La FAO indiquait lors de la ConfĂ©rence Mondiale sur la DiversitĂ© Biologique de 2008 que «seules douze espĂšces vĂ©gĂ©tales et quatorze espĂšces animales assurent dĂ©sormais l’essentiel de l’alimentation de la planĂšte.
  4. ↑ En 2008, plus de la moitiĂ© des mollusques et crustacĂ©s consommĂ©s et 2,6% des poissons de mer, sont issus de l’élevage.
  5. ↑ Engrais ou produits phytosanitaires (pesticides par exemple), parfois de synthĂšse, ajoutĂ©s au cours de la production d’une denrĂ©e.
  6. ↑ 3/4 de la diversitĂ© des cultures aurait Ă©tĂ© perdue au cours du XXe siĂšcle selon la FAO.
  7. ↑ Les paysans mis au chĂŽmage par la mĂ©canisation quittent les campagnes.
  8. ↑ Mark Dowie, American Foundations: An Investigative History, Cambridge, Massachusetts : MIT Press, 2001, p.109-114.
  9. ↑ UtilisĂ© lors de la Guerre du Vietnam pour dĂ©truire les ramures des forĂȘts oĂč se rĂ©fugiaient le soldats du Viet Cong.
  10. ↑ Soja Roundup ready et plantes rĂ©sistantes au glyphosate.
  11. ↑ Cultivars «Bt» comme le maĂŻs MOM810 et le coton MOM531.
  12. ↑ C’est mĂȘme illĂ©gal pour les semences «propriĂ©taires» non gĂ©nĂ©tiquement modifiĂ©es, et dont les fruits sont fertiles. Il faut cependant noter que leur rendement se dĂ©gradera Ă  chaque nouvelle gĂ©nĂ©ration.
  13. ↑ Viande compactĂ©e sans os ni cartilages, mise en boĂźte par J.A.Wilson.
  14. ↑ Étude de l’INRA (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique).
  15. ↑ Étude de la FAO.
  16. ↑ Tourteaux d’olĂ©agineux, pailles et autres dĂ©chets qui constituent le fourrage.
  17. ↑ Le maïs constitue 20% de la surface agricole du pays avec plus de 250 millions de tonnes produites par an, à 90% OGM.
  18. ↑ À ne pas gĂ©nĂ©raliser : pour faire valoir leur produit, la stratĂ©gie des marques est plus communĂ©ment de s’offrir les services de nutritionnistes.
  19. ↑ FAO, Sommet mondial de l’Alimentation de 1996.
  20. ↑ Viande lavĂ©e Ă  la javel, Ă  l’ammoniac ou Ă  l’acide lactique, et produits agrĂ©mentĂ©s de conservateurs comme les nitrites.
  21. ↑ TestĂ©es pour ne prĂ©senter Ă  minima aucun effet notable sur la santĂ© ; elles provoquent d’intenses controverses entre consommateurs, organisations (non) gouvernementales et lobbyistes, qui s’arrachent sur la question de leurs effets accumulĂ©s sur le long terme.
  22. ↑ La commensalitĂ© dĂ©signe le fait humain de partager le repas avec une ou plusieurs personnes.
  23. ↑ «Aux cuisines d’une phallange [
], l’enfant acquiert la dextĂ©ritĂ©, l’intelligence en menus travaux sur les produits de deux rĂšgnes auxquels il s’est intĂ©ressĂ© dans les dĂ©bats gastronomiques Ă  tables, et les dĂ©bats agronomiques au jardin, aux Ă©tables : la cuisine est le lien de ces fonctions.» «ces dĂ©bats [gastronomiques] ne pourront s’établir qu’autant qu’on exercera l’enfant dĂšs le plus jeune Ăąge aux raffinements de gourmandise, penchant dominant chez tous les enfants [
] une fois passionnĂ©s sur ce point, ils prendront parti aux cuisines» Charles Fourier, Le Nouveau monde industriel et sociĂ©taire ou invention du procĂ©dĂ© d'industrie attrayante et naturelle, distribuĂ©e en sĂ©ries passionnĂ©es [en ligne], Paris et Londres, 1829, 3e Ă©dition, p.222 & 224.)
  24. ↑ Étude de Paul Fieldhouse pour l’Institut Vanier de la Famille, au Canada.
  25. ↑ En France, une Ă©tude menĂ©e sur les 8-12 ans (910 enfants) montre que 87% d’entre eux ne reconnaissent pas une betterave, 72% n’ont aucune idĂ©e de la composition des pĂątes, et 40% ne savent pas d’oĂč viennent chips et nuggets (Ă©tude menĂ©e par l’Association SantĂ© Environnement (ASEF) pour la rĂ©gion PACA.
  26. ↑ voir II.a et b
  27. ↑ Voir II.b et d
  28. ↑ Voir II.c et d
  29. ↑ Espace culturel amstellodamois impliquĂ© dans le design graphique et la performance.
  30. ↑ Des pommes de terre exploitables dans les terres salĂ©es sont en dĂ©veloppement Ă  Texel.
  31. ↑ “A romantic yearning for untouched nature won’t help us to deal with pressing issues like climate change, deforestation and declining biodiversity.” Site de Next Nature, «Philosophy», «Our Vision», Pays-Bas, 2019 [consultĂ© en janvier 2019].)
  32. ↑ «Stamp» signifie «pilon» et induit le caractĂšre Ă©crasĂ© de la prĂ©paration : c’est une purĂ©e de pommes de terre et d’autres lĂ©gumes qui varient selon les prĂ©parations.
  33. ↑ Terme de Bruce Sterling, datant de 2005, dĂ©signant aussi le design critique.
  34. ↑ En France par exemple, une loi interdit l’usage de ce mot pour dĂ©signer les succĂ©danĂ©s de viandes.
  35. ↑ Étude de l’UniversitĂ© de Wageningen rĂ©alisĂ©e en 2013.
  36. ↑ Le rĂ©gime flexitarien dĂ©signe un rĂ©gime pauvre en viandes, qui revient Ă  adopter un vĂ©gĂ©tarisme flexible.
  37. ↑ A fork is new software created from the source code of existing software when the rights granted by the authors permit it.
  38. ↑ A cultivar is a variety of plant obtained under cultivation, generally by selection, for its reputedly unique characteristics.
  39. ↑ At the 2008 World Conference on Biological Diversity, the FAO indicated that “only twelve vegetal and fourteen animal species now ensure the major part of food on the planet”.
  40. ↑ In 2008, more than half of the molluscs and shell fish and 2.6% of saltwater fish consumed were farmed.
  41. ↑ Fertilizers or phytosanitary products (pesticides, for example) — sometimes synthetic — added during the production of foodstuff.
  42. ↑ 3/4 of the diversity of agricultures was supposedly lost during the 20th century according to the FAO.
  43. ↑ Farmers and farm-workers made unemployed by mechanization leave the countryside
  44. ↑ Mark Dowie, American Foundations: An Investigative History, Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2001, p.109-114.
  45. ↑ Used during the Vietnam War to destroy the foliage of forests in which Viet Cong soldiers took refuge.
  46. ↑ Roundup-ready soya and plants resistant to glyphosate.
  47. ↑ “Bt” cultivars MOM810 corn and MOM531 cotton.
  48. ↑ It is even illegal for non-genetically modified “proprietary” seeds, the fruit of which is fertile.
  49. ↑ Compacted meat without bone and cartilage, canned by J.A. Wilson.
  50. ↑ Study by the French national agronomic research body, INRA (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique).
  51. ↑ Study by the FAO
  52. ↑ Cattle-cakes made from oleaginous plants, straw and other waste which constitute fodder.
  53. ↑ Corn constitutes 20% of the country’s cultivated surface with more than 250 million tonnes produced per year, with 90% being GMO.
  54. ↑ Not to be generalized: the most common strategy of most brands to promote their products is to engage the services of nutritionists.
  55. ↑ FAO World Food Summit 1996.
  56. ↑ Meat washed in bleach or lactic acid, and products embellished with preservatives such as nitrites.
  57. ↑ Tested for presenting as little as notable effects on health; they provoke intense controversies, between consumers, (non) governmental organisations and lobbyists, who fight over their accumulated long term impacts.
  58. ↑ Commensality designates the human act of sharing the meal with one or several people.
  59. ↑ “In the kitchens of a phalanx[...],the child acquires dexterity and intelligence in [doing] tiny tasks on the products of two reigns in which he took an interest in: the gastronomic debates at table, and the agronomic debates in the garden and stables: the kitchen is the link between these functions”. “These [gastronomic] debates will only become established in so far as the child will be exercised from the youngest age in the renewal of greediness, the dominant propensity of children [...] once [they become] passionate on this point, they will take part in the kitchen work” Charles Fourier, Le Nouveau monde industriel et sociĂ©taire ou invention du procĂ©dĂ© d’industrie attrayante et naturelle, distribuĂ©e en sĂ©ries passionnĂ©es [online], Paris and London, 1829, 3rd edition, p.222 and 224.
  60. ↑ Study by Paul Fieldhouse for the Institut Vanier de la Famille, in Canada. France does not share this tendency for decline, as a study of the French national statistics body, INSEE, shows.
  61. ↑ In France, a study conducted on 8-12 year-olds (910 children) shows that 87% of them do not recognize a beetroot, 72% have no idea of the composition of pasta, and 40% do not know where crisps and chicken nuggets come from (study conducted by the Association SantĂ© Environnement (ASEF) for the PACA region).
  62. ↑ See:II.a and b.
  63. ↑ See: II.b and d.
  64. ↑ See: II.c and d.
  65. ↑ Potatoes grown in salty soils are under development in Texel.
  66. ↑ “A romantic yearning for untouched nature won’t help us to deal with pressing issues like cli-mate change, deforestation and declining biodiversity.” Website: Next Nature, “Philosophy”, “Our Vision”, Netherlands, 2019 (consulted in January 2019) In this, the Dutch constitute a post-nature people (Koert Van Mensvoort rightly prefers next-nature to this term).
  67. ↑ “Stamp” means “pestle” and implies that the ingredients are crushed: it is a mash of potatoes and other vegetables which vary according to preparation.
  68. ↑ A term used by Bruce Sterling, dating from 2005, also designating critical design.
  69. ↑ In France for example, a law forbids the use of this word to designate substitutes for meat.
  70. ↑ The fexitarian diet designates a diet which is poor in meat; this comes down to adopting flexible vegetarianism.