LinYee Yuan is the founder of MOLD, an editorial platform that explores the future of food through the lens of design, science, and technology. After three years of publishing online, Yuan recently funding the first-ever print issue of MOLD on Kickstarter. Below, she shares a few tasty stories, links, and predictions for the future of food.
This was your first Kickstarter project. What advice would you share with someone in the same boat?
Don’t be afraid to get out your big bullhorn! Tell everyone you’ve ever met that you’re doing this amazing thing, and don’t forget to follow up with solid ways that your friends and community can support your campaign. (For instance, you can pre-write social media text and provide an image for them to share.)
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve had recently?
A design collaborator and I hosted a dinner where we encouraged invitees to try their hand at cooking a Persian dish for Nowruz (Persian New Year). It’s the first dinner in an ongoing series of Resistance Potlucks, where people in our creative New York community can share food and counter the dominant narrative around countries included in the recent travel ban with personal stories. The next potluck will focus on Sudan.
What movement in the world of food is most fascinating to you right now?
I’m interested in the possibilities of biotechnology to customize our diets based on biometrics. Can you believe we’ve been flushing valuable data points down the toilet all these years?
Five ways your dinner will look different in 2030
5. Your vegetables will come from your kitchen garden.
4. Forget rice and bread. Instead, welcome ancient grains like teff, amaranth, and bulgur.
3. Corn and potatoes will look less like the standard-issue fare — biodiversity will be celebrated on the plate with a rainbow of colors, shapes, imperfections, and sizes.
2. Make room for algae, fungal foods, and ferments.
1. Where’s the beef? There will be less “meat,” and it probably won’t be from a cow. Meat alternatives derived from plants, insects, cellular agriculture, beans, and nuts will be the norm.
Required Podcast: Gastropod is one of my favorite food podcasts because Nicola Twilley and Cynthia Graber dig into the history and science behind some of our favorite foods.
Required Reading: “How Designers Should Respond to Disaster” by the brilliant design critic Alice Rawsthorn charts some recent design projects that just might help save the world.
Required Viewing: Netflix’s Chef’s Table, Season 3, Episode 1 on Jeong Kwan is so incredibly beautiful. This Korean Buddhist monk makes the most exquisite temple food — but what really struck me was her philosophy around the power of ingredients and their higher purpose.
Go See: CHOW at the Museum of Food and Drink: By examining the history of Chinese people in America — from early immigrants through the Chinese Exclusion Act through today — we can better understand the forces that have shaped one of the most ubiquitous culinary presences in America.
This piece originally appeared in our Handpicked Happening newsletter, where Kickstarter creators share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to.
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