Food fight: Shin-ichi Takemura

Shin-ichi Takemura says we should rather be talking about being “creative” than “sustainable" in terms of the environment.

From the Series

Shin-ichi Takemura is a Japanese anthropologist and philosopher turned media producer, who harnesses the power of the internet to develop social information platforms. "Tangible Earth" is a multimedia globe showing real-time data about the world.

Because food is something that affects us all, does that make us all eating designers?

Humans (and all life organisms) continuously disorganise and recreate themselves. Every day in our body, some hundreds of billions of new cells are being born and replace old cells. Thus you are not what you were a minute ago. As we are the very “process” of such metabolisms (not an identical entity), we are inevitably “what we eat” and “how we eat”. You are unconsciously designing yourself every day through designing your eating activity.

Is the purpose of eating design only to manage weight and biological health concerns?

We have long underestimated the creativity of life and our body in the “mechanistic” worldview. We need to redefine the whole concept of nutrition and food in a more holistic and contextual manner.

How can emerging economies’ increasing desire for milk and meat be redesigned?

Increasing foodmiles (we eat the whole globe everyday), excessive dependence on fast-food, eating too much meat and all those other problems that are not good for our bodies or Earth, will disappear in the near future due to the skyrocketing oil price, food shortages and the global spread of urban agriculture (as a self-defence against the food crisis).

Is sustainable always sustainable?

I don’t appreciate the word “sustainable”. Life is in fact not sustaining itself but incessantly “recreating” and “rejuvenating” itself. I would like to make this world more “creative” rather than “sustainable”.

Watch Shin-ichi Takemura talk about his work.

Watch the Talk with Shin-ichi Takemura