Food: Planting Thoughts at the MAD Food Camp Symposium

Planting Thoughts was the theme for the inaugural MAD Food Camp symposium held in Copenhagen’s Harbor last week – a two-day event touching on issues of urban farming, sustainability and food microbiology.

Nearly 1,000 food enthusiasts and chefs snaked their way through circus-sized tents filled with an array of speakers including scientists, foragers and farmers, all highlighting the social importance of responsible food sourcing, ecosystems and local farming.

The symposium was the brainchild of Claus Meyer and ‘food architect’ Rene Redzepi, founders of renowned eatery Noma, currently holding the title of “World’s Best Restaurant” for 2011.

An impressive roster of chefs presented, including Andoni Aduriz of former Spanish restaurant, El Bulli, pioneering Peruvian chef, Gaston Acurio, and London food collective Young Turks.

Another highlight was a talk from Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken Magasinet (a restaurant in northern Sweden, only accessible by foot) – with an eco-friendly menu filled solely with self-grown vegetable produce, wild plants and livestock that he rears and slaughters himself.

With a large tent space devoted to hay, where visitors could explore the many aromas and textures of this unassuming animal fodder, other chefs and farmers exhibited local produce, food samples and live cooking demonstrations – all the while interacting with local folk.

Responsible food sourcing for the future is an increasingly prevalent topic as society attempts to resolve current issues of sustainability and collapsing Eco-systems.  Symposiums such as this enable consumers and chefs to become more in tune and aware of their personal impact on the food industry and the future of farming – additionally connecting with food on a multi-sensory, interactive and essentially engaging level.  We look forward to next year’s edition. – Samantha Fox

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