Press Release

The Food Forever Experience heads to London to celebrate the diversity of our foods

Food Food Forever Experience at Google, London
London, United Kingdom

On 27 November, algae, hemp, and uncommon ingredients from around the world will be on the menu at the Food Forever Experience London – the next stop in a global event series aiming to drive action for a more resilient food system.

Taking place at Google London, the Food Forever Experience will showcase what we might be eating in the future if we embrace some of the fascinating foods yet to break into the UK culinary mainstream. Guests will have an opportunity to ‘rediscover’ and try new ingredients, as chefs and leaders from business and politics get together to taste the future of food.

Over a dozen notable chefs, including Thomasina Miers (Wahaca), Brett Graham (The Ledbury), Arthur Potts Dawson (Omved Gardens), Asma Khan (Darjeeling Express) and Lauren Lovatt (Plant Hub) will create unique and inspiring dishes using a range of curious ingredients. Along with Liberian wild rice, event-goers can expect to taste crops such as lion’s mane, a toothed mushroom with a rich and savory lobster-like flavor touted for its nutritional properties; enset, a banana wild relative native to Ethiopia known as the “banana on steroids” for its many uses and high yields; and British lop pig, a heritage breed renowned for surviving on little and making use of otherwise unproductive land.

The chef challenge, organised by the Food Forever Initiative, aims to highlight the importance and urgency of conserving and making use of the vast diversity of our foods. The Food Forever Initiative is an awareness-raising campaign linked to the UN’s goal of achieving zero hunger and improved nutrition as part of SDG 2.

Marie Haga , Food Forever Champion and Executive Director of the Crop Trust says: “A sustainable, nutritious and affordable food system cannot be achieved unless we go back to building blocks of agriculture – the diversity of our foods – one of the most important global common goods in the world but one which we speak about the least.”

“We’re currently facing a lack of biodiversity in our food systems, meaning that the valuable environmental traits found within these untapped varieties go uncared for and eventually face extinction. This not only robs farmers of valuable options for ensuring livelihoods but also eaters of delicious, nutrient-dense foods and flavours. Chefs can be instrumental in bringing biodiversity higher on the international agenda and in the minds and hearts of their consumers. That’s why it’s wonderful to see so many amazing chefs here today, committed to advocating for these important ingredients and having a bit of fun along the way.”

Many of the foods available to taste at the event are grown, studied and conserved at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a world leader in plant and fungal science working in over 100 countries around the world to better understand the resources we need to protect for the future.

Richard Deverell , Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and a Food Forever Champion, says: “At the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew we have an intrinsic relationship with food. As well growing amazing seasonal foods in our gardens and sharing them with our millions of visitors, we have been discovering, collecting, researching and conserving edible plants and fungi from around the world for hundreds of years. Botanical science can unlock ways to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing humankind today, including how to feed a growing population in a changing climate. We’re excited to be part of Food Forever London to showcase diverse foods with talented chefs harnessing the culinary potential of plants and fungi.”

Many of the chefs participating in the Food Forever Experience London are also part of the Chefs’ Manifesto, a chef-led project under the SDG 2 Advocacy Hub that brings together chefs from around the world to explore how they can help deliver a sustainable food system.

Paul Newnham , Director of the SDG 2 Advocacy Hub and Facilitator of the Chefs’ Manifesto says: “By actively championing biodiversity inside and outside the kitchen, chefs can play a key role in creating interest in and a market for more diverse ingredients, helping to support farmers’ livelihoods, improve diets and strengthen our food systems. That’s the power of the chef, and it’s great to see so many chefs already committed to creating a better food future.”

The Food Forever London event is invitation-only. You can follow the event using the hashtag #FFXLondon and at @FoodForever2020.



Food Forever London – Organising Partners

About the Food Forever Initiative
The Food Forever Initiative works to highlight the urgency of safeguarding and using crop and livestock diversity in support of Target 2.5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Zero Hunger. It is led by the Crop Trust, the Government of the Netherlands and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and implemented in partnership with high-level Champions from politics, business and civil society as well as a diverse set of relevant partner organizations. The initiative is chaired by the Vice President of Peru, Mercedes Aráoz.

About Google
The vision of the Food team at Google is to contribute to feeding the world responsibly and sustainably through food@work program leadership and by building upon Alphabet’s ecosystem. Partnering with other organizations who truly believe in helping to feed the world sustainably allows us to all work toward our shared goal and make a meaningful impact that neither of us could make alone. Hosting this event at Google London gives the Food team at Google the opportunity to contribute to sharing the story of a variety of diverse crops that can affect food security worldwide.

About the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Over 300 scientists currently work at Kew and produce State of the World’s Plants and Fungi reports, which track the progress and decline of species at a time when one in five plant species are estimated to be threatened with extinction worldwide.

Kew Gardens is also a major international and a top London visitor attraction, with its 132 hectares of landscaped gardens and sister site at Wakehurst attracting over 2.3 million visits every year. Wakehurst is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world, storing 2.3 billion seeds, which in the future, if required, can be germinated and reintroduced to the wild or used in scientific research. Kew is a charity, receiving approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils, with further funding from donors, membership and commercial activity.

About The Chefs’ Manifesto
The Chefs’ Manifesto is a chef-led project that brings together chefs from around the world to explore how they can help deliver a sustainable food system. As chefs bridge the gap between farm and fork, the Chefs’ Manifesto empowers chefs with a framework tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As a clear action of Chefs’ Manifesto Area 2: Protection of Biodiversity & Improved Animal Welfare, the Chefs’ Network for the Global Goals is partnering with Food Forever 2020 to support the Food Forever Experience. This is facilitated by the SDG2 Advocacy Hub.

About The Rediscovered Foods Initiative
The Lexicon of Sustainability, a US-based NGO that provides communications strategy on food and agriculture with a focus on sustainability is working in partnership with the Food Forever Initiative and other stakeholders around the world, to bring much-needed awareness to the diversity in food systems. The Lexicon conceived Rediscovered Foods as a campaign to highlight 25 forgotten smart foods which could feed the world in 2050. The campaign will share success stories of farmers, scientists and chefs from 14 countries. Some of these “Rediscovered” foods are featured in the Food Forever Experience.

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