Milan – Designer Carolien Niebling has re-invented the humble sausage in a bid to prepare humanity for a future protein shortage.
Niebling’s project explores a near future scenario in which we can no longer rely on meat, dairy products and eggs as sources of protein and will have to turn to fungi, plants and insects instead. Based on research into texture, fermentation processes and traditional butchery techniques, the designer speculates about alternative ingredients and methods of preparing processed meat products. ‘I decided to use sausage as a medium for the project because it was the first ever edible designed object, and the thinking behind it came from the scarcity of quality resources and inventive butchery,’ explains the designer.
Documenting Niebling’s research as well as the potential alternatives, The Future Sausage book examines technical design issues such as moistness, flavouring, glue and preservation, and introduces readers to different kinds of edible proteins available on our planet. ‘The goal is to move away from our relatively impoverished supermarket selection and transform ourselves from Eximius fornivores [supermarket food-eaters] back to omnivores [all-eaters],’ says Niebling.
Food designers are exploring the long-term implications that depleting resources will have on our food culture. For more, read our Whole-system Thinking macrotrend.