Tuesday, January 20, 2009

friday forum 2

more about friday forum...

My most recent food experiences have been about survival, mixing, and liquification. My grandfather has been unable to swallow for the last six months. This started with misdirected swallowing, where he would swallow and everything would dump into his lungs. Then he stopped being able to swallow at all. He's been using a stomach tube and will be for the foreseeable future.

I looked around online and found Lucy's Real Food, a website with recipes designed for tube feeding. Right now, grandpa's entire diet is made up of canned stuff that doesn't even need to be refrigerated. I figured some fresh vegetables couldn't hurt. I made him the mixed vegetables recipe and the tamales recipe. The process was really easy. When I went home for Christmas, I froze the food and took it with me--probably a gallon or two of frozen bags. So far, my grandma has been resisting the idea of him eating it, and I predict it'll still be there in their fridge when I go back to Denver, but I feel good about trying.

Related to grandpa's survival on liquid canned food, I've become interested in a product called Plumpy Nut. It's a humanitarian aid food designed for malnourished kids, mostly Africans. It's a good alternative to typical treatments for malnutrition because kids can eat it themselves and don't have to be hospitalized, on IVs, etc. Plumpy Nut is copyrighted, even though it is also locally produced and designed for humanitarian purposes. This seems to be an interesting tension, but as far as I can tell, Nutriset's copyright hasn't prevented other organizations from developing peanut-based nutrition for similar populations.

I hope the current peanut butter salmonella disaster hasn't affected Plumpy Nut.

At the end of the Friday Forum talk, which was a monologue with slides and stories, I made plumpy nut out of piñon. This activity makes literal the "survival nut" side of piñon. I developed a handout that included a recipe for piñon plumpy nut, as well as some great facts about piñons from Birdy Jaworski's article.

The discussion both during the formal discussion period and around the plumpy nut preparation was very useful to me. We came up with my new title, Starvation Seeds, and I discussed ways of showing how I might document/stream video of other piñon activities in the museum space.

Tomorrow, I'm going to meet with S., our curator, and go to the museum to try and get a grip on the space I will have and what my options for installing will be.

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About Me

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Lindsay Kelley is an artist and writer researching bioart, fringe foods, and uncommon modes of food preparation and ingestion. She is currently completing her book manuscript, The Bioart Kitchen. Lindsay holds a MFA in Digital Art & New Media and a Ph.D in the History of Consciousness, both from the University of California Santa Cruz. She works at the Public Library of Science on the PLOS ONE editorial team.