I just came back from a food symposium in Hobart — Food Politics: From the Margins to the Mainstream. There were two keynote presentations in addition to 33 other presenters, covering a very wide range of food related issues and trends.
The politics of food provisioning, distribution and consumption is interrelated and disjointed at the same time. From ‘paddock-to-plate’ or ‘farm-to-plate’ is a multi-faceted process defined by political structure and dominant economic system. Our foodweb is highly controlled and organised along just-in-time delivery principles. It is all about efficiency.
Some of the papers presented questioned this current for system and some looked at the alternative food system. Mine is one of the papers that investigated alternative food production system.
One presentation that really caught my attention was on smart packaging. Funded by a major supermarket company in Australia, smart packaging promises to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce by manipulating the gas composition within the packaging itself, allowing for perishable to be transported over a much longer distance. Another smart packing in development is one with a detector mechanism indicating the ripeness of the produce.
I find smart packaging problematic at many levels. If fully developed, it would perpetual the status quo and the cost of packaging would be passed on to the consumers. It is not about empowering the consumers and nor is it about creating awareness on food waste.
I am curious what people think of smart packaging. Leave a message below and let’s start a discussion on the topic.
We all need food. Some of us are lucky enough to be engaged with it at least three times a day while others may eat only once a day.
And wether we are aware or not, we are all involved in this food rhythm. And may be some of us need to be alerted that the banana is ready to be eaten this afternoon because the level of ethylene emitted in the smart packaging indicated so.