Can you blame war survivors for wanting strawberries in winter?

Why don’t we like blue tomatoes? Are potato-crisps still enjoyable when they sound like jelly? Why do we eat when we’re not hungry? How did the food you’re eating get on your plate?

Just some of the questions that come up as Marije Vogelzang designs eating around her 8 point philosophy of Senses, Nature, Culture, Technique & Material, Science, Psychology, The Action of Food and Society.

I stumbled on this Dutch “eating designer” recently and have been relishing her work. Breathtakingly delicious. She believes that nature has already designed food perfectly, so she focuses her creativity around the verb of eating – harvesting, cooking, sharing and digesting food

I definitely subscribe to the basic tenet of systems thinking that a “system’s behavior is a function of its structure” rather than external forces or the people within it.

What I love about Marije’s work is that she approaches issues around food with a similar sensibility. Using innovation she empowers people with alternative structures and choices around one of the most basic human needs.

Proef (which means both “tasting” and “testing” in Dutch) is her design studio/lab in Amsterdam, where you can expect to cook baby pancakes on lightbulbs to talk about photosynthesis. And eat in specially designed half cut plates that foster sharing between eaters. From Veggie Bling (that made vegetable eating fun for her three old daughter) to Sustainablity Dinner (slow cooked food in a large thermal box) to larger social projects like designing food delivery in a Gouda hospital and school lunch boxes, Marije is turning creative design on its head.

Taking a cue from Marije, why not turn your next meal into a fun experiment?

  • Can you name all the ingredients that are on your plate?
  • How far did the food travel to get to you?
  • Does the food evoke any memories?
  • What effect will the food have on your body?
  • Could you be eating more sustainably?