Content for El Economista.
By Alejandra Molinar, Space Design at Mero Mole.
Illustration by Inés Antuñano.
From the creation of food to the development of big cities, everything has been connected. The domino effect is reflected in our methods of consumption, the way we plant, harvest and produce our food, everything is related to the environment and the planet on which we live.
These actions can affect or contribute positively or negatively to our environment. The cities of the future will depend on the way in which we interact and respond to our customs and habits, the goal in future design: the quality of life of users through sustainable practices.
When planning cities, we must consider infrastructure and services as energy, transport, water, education, health services, taking into account the waste and pollutants generated that affect our planet and global warming; but we must start with production and the way we consume our food.
It takes 7kg of grain and 15,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of beef, each of these kilograms requires energy and water for its production and transport, on average you travel 1,200 kilometres to get from farm to plate, this equals 11% of the carbon footprint.
From the moment we buy food, to its consumption or waste, it has an impact on climate change, we must ask ourselves where it came from, how far it has traveled to reach the point of sale, what were its cultivation methods, how much energy was required for its production. The closer your production is, the less emissions are generated because they are fresh supplies that require less refrigeration and therefore less energy consumption, less distance traveled and it also ends up in supporting local production, that translates to: greater benefits for our planet and for us.
If we think about intelligent cities of the future for the benefit of human beings, we must begin to design self-sustainable systems where whatever is produced in that land is produced naturally, without chemicals or pesticides, we must return to the basics, currently 98% of food does not grow on fertile land.
The “back to basics” food trend refers to unpackaged, unprocessed food of organic and local origin. During the Industrial Revolution that began in the second half of the 18th century, it was very easy to expand cities, move from rural to urban scenarios and grow apart from food production sites, leaving the agrarian society in the past and reaching the industrial society, and thus force the land to produce food that was not necessarily given in those sites.
That’s how the design of “Smart Downtowns” began, providing places where we must have access to all local services and food, integrating the natural movement of cities to pedestrians that walk their streets organically.
This is how innovating kitchen proposals started looking to offer meals with endemic products and even more specifically, with seasonal inputs. Now they look to collaborate and impact the trend of “Zero Foodprint” by using all the local resources and therefore, take care of the ecosystem. In Mexico there’s sustainable concepts from famous chefs such as Enrique Olvera at Molino el Pujol, Pujol itself, Expendio de Maíz, Elena Lugo at La cocina del Nicos, Santiago Muñoz with his corn laboratory in Maizajo, local farmers such as Yolcán and restaurants like Contramar seek to contribute to the environment with their concepts.