The Fork Challenge
Experiencing and Envisioning Food: Designing for Change #foodchangers

Master’s in Innovation in Science and Culinary Arts &
Master’s in Food Design

“The world’s current food system is not “broken”. It’s working exactly as designed. And it’s not as resilient and sustaining as it could be for our families, communities, businesses, and environment”.

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Lisa-Maria Heirgeist

ShopChop by Lisa-Maria Hiergeist is a space that transmits knowledge around food and creates a community aware of the impact food has on our body, mind and the environment. The setting to provide this combines a restaurant, a shop and a kitchen. All three areas will give valuable food information and inspire people to change their food habits to live healthier and happier lives for themselves and society. In the shop, guests will find products and stories from local producers, literature on food as well as food in bulks. The kitchen area is centred around various events like cooking workshops, food performances, community dinners and much more. The restaurant offers a seasonally changing menu, which is co-created by the community, mainly using local products and a root-to-leaf approach to reduce environmental impact.
Every area and activity is created to be fun and joyful, making people feel at ease. So we are always looking for the right balance between indulgence and mindfulness.

Re.lembrar (Remember)
Cátia Rodrigues

“Food is something that can tell so much about our people, our traditions, and our cultures. My project focuses on preserving what we forget: ingredients that are part of our identity. RELEMBRAR is the project I am presenting, a sensorial magazine to (re)discover the forgotten Portuguese ingredients. My goal is to create an interactive medium to teach the people that love our Portuguese gastronomy, about ingredients that are no longer used, like barbela wheat, Muxama, Cidrão, and so many more that are disappearing from our memories.  RELEMBRAR will have different issues, each focused on one single ingredient, coming out on the peak season of said ingredient, together with a sensory box to let you have a sensorial experience, so you can experience the elements, work with them and create memories.”

A’Proveito – Tudo Conta* (Everything Matters)
João Costa

It is a non-profit organization whose goal is to reduce food loss from local producers, creating new opportunities for people with social needs to learn new skills and have instruments for trading and benefiting from essential products. It provides harvesting and farming workshops from local producers, where you will gain by volunteering new competencies and receive what would have been food loss. And to establish and encourage a circular system within the community, you can also access an online platform to trade product by product, allowing local businesses to sell essential goods for food. To create awareness about this project, and experience takes place at Mosteiro de Santa Maria do Mar, where members from social institutions and people with social needs will work together on a harvesting workshop and be part of a fine-dining brunch using only locally harvested products, including what would have been food loss.

V a g a r – Alimenta o tempo* (Feeding time)
Francisca Paiva

Vagar by Francisca Paiva is an immersive food experience which aims to make us reflect on how we relate to time through food. Our project is open to anyone interested in reflecting on these issues of the time, aiming to reconcile with the present moment through eating. Experiences that take place in natural environments make you disconnect from the rush of the outside world and enter inside this time capsule that has the present as its destination. This event will be an intimate ritual around the table, which will take place once a month, with a producer to stop and take us to know the time of what we eat.

Designing the Future of Food
(Future Food Scenarios)

Master’s in Innovation in Science and Culinary Arts &
Master’s in Food Design

“Because it is by far the most powerful medium available to us for thinking and acting together to change the world for the better. Food has shaped our bodies, habits, societies and environments since long before our ancestors were human. Its effects are so widespread and profound that most of us can’t even see them, yet it is as familiar to us as our own face. Food is the great connec- tor, the stuff of life and its readiest metaphor. It is this capacity to span worlds and ideas that gives food its unparalleled power. It is, you might say, the most potent tool for transforming our lives that we never knew we had.”

STEEL, C., 2020. Sitopia. How food can save the world. 
London: Penguin Random House

NEÜRA – Mind your Food
Conceição Barbosa

In the context of the pandemic situation that we face, mental health is one of the issues addressed by society. Tobacco addiction is considered a mental disorder, which remains, directly or indirectly, the cause of many deaths worldwide. The lack of motivation to quit smoking and the fear of increasing weight led people to continue to smoke. We propose a new service that can address these two concerns for smokers. NEÜRA offers a solution to motivate smokers to quit and help them in the fight against weight gain. The idea is to bring Psychology and Gastronomy together in a session/workshop, in which smokers have Psychological support and learn which foods they should choose for their meals to help them in this battle. It will be a group therapy in which everyone shares problems, kitchen tasks, and food. Based on the concept “we are stronger together”, the idea was to create a service that motivated by its pedagogical and playful component. Food alone does not work in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. It is a significant factor, but it cannot be analyzed isolated. It is a starting point for future studies, as there is undoubtedly much more to discover and test in the relationship between the brain and food. However, the evidence in many of these studies that certain foods can help fight tobacco addiction has led us to develop this experimental program. The role of food will help fight against weight gain, improve the state of mind, detoxify nicotine, and fight against anxieties and negative emotions.

Hungry for Change – Food Empathy and other types of scarcity
Maria João Leite 

This is a project that aims to draw attention to the most significant food paradoxes we face today. A gastronomic experience with a speculative component assumes that only through knowledge can we lead people to have a critical perspective to change behaviour. The project – Hungry for Change – is presented in the form of “an edible book”, which aims to stimulate discussion creatively, bringing together people at the table who taste different food supports configured as a page in a book, while at the same time being elucidated the food paradox related to this matter. Waste, Hunger, Excess, Attachment and Detachment are the themes explored, where we critically present the paradox of a society where we have so much and so little.

Photography: Ana Novais

Tasting Memories
Food Literacy tool in cooking classes context 
Anna Lins

The Lancet commission report indicates that it is no longer sustainable to eat as we do, and in doing so, there is an impact on the natural ecosystems. People can act as agents of change in their various roles, and by influence, societal norms stimulate, among others, the reorientation of human systems, promote health and sustainability. The main objective of my project is to intervene in food literacy, trying to approach it through the education of future cooks about the right kind of products, techniques, and nutritional information so that they can educate the consumer through the choices they will offer in the future. Essentially, better-prepared cooks will present better food, thus teaching consumers to eat appropriately, creating an impact on society.
Accordingly, three decks of ideation cards were developed with contents that range from ingredients of animal and vegetable origins to cooking techniques, creativity, and design thinking strategies. In addition, the contents have detailed information about nutrition, sustainability, texture, flavour construction, etc. In addition to the cards, a teacher’s booklet was developed with guidelines and strategies and a student’s notebook to record information.

Photography: Gabriel Vieira

Application of Sustainable Vegetable Protein: the “chicharo”
João Núncio Pereira 

One of the main characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet is the abundant consumption of plant foods, such as pulses. So why not take advantage of one that has been forgotten for over five years in Portugal and transform it into a more versatile product to know the benefits of consuming pulses and help make present generations aware of that. Unfortunately, the path we are taking compromises future generations; we are talking about the excessive expansion in meat consumption increased over the years. The transformation process would be creating a Textured Vegetable Protein (PVT), only from “chícharo”, through homemade methods due to the lack of specialized machinery. The creation of this PVT will also help to no longer depend on soy, as this is also one of the drivers of soil deterioration.
There are endless future potentials from the “chícharo” PVT, as, for example, sausages, hamburgers, among many others, can be produced. A new PVT in the market is needed due to the harm that soy has on the environment, as the degradation of soils may be irreversible, and also because the current production is so massive that it can weaken a high percentage of soils that were once healthy. More incentives should be given about the production of “chícharo”, as the various festivals are not enough. This legume is already consumed worldwide, so you should bet on it to not compromise environmental sustainability.

Photography: Gabriel Vieira

From Traditional Gastronomy to Innovation: Queijadas 2.0
Ana Torres

To create an innovative brand of “queijadas”, within the theme of the Mediterranean Diet and considering its impact on society, we are guided by the preservation of a gastronomic heritage, which, if not closed, may be subject to reinterpretation and adapted to the style of current life. In this sense, the consumer’s active participation is called to preserve and transform a solid gastronomic heritage, focusing on the millennium generation, due to the vital concern for healthy eating and environmental, economic, and cultural sustainability.
To innovate a traditional product that revealed acceptance by the consumer, we based ourselves on several studies on the theme of innovation of conventional products. We followed their guidelines and conclusions to choose which type of innovation we should focus on developing.
It is not intended to direct competition to traditional “queijadas”, as they are differentiated, using innovative techniques appropriate to the final result, by choosing combinations of unconventional ingredients, such as Madeira banana or strawberry pickle jelly others. On the contrary, we believe that by innovating “queijadas” in the fundamental principles of the Mediterranean diet, we can contribute to the preservation of this identity and cultural heritage.

Photography: Gabriel Vieira

Application of quince in salted end products by fermentation
Lassalete Mendes 

One of the main characteristics of the Mediterranean Diet is the abundant consumption of plant foods, such as pulses.
So Nutritional studies identify fruits and vegetables as constituents of the essential part of the Mediterranean Diet. Therefore, regular consumption of vegetables and fruits is recommended to ensure and promote a good quality of life. For this work, quince was chosen, which represents a valuable food, as it contains a good amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), pectins (fibre) and minerals, and is low in calories and carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, and is rich in antioxidants.
The exploration of the application of quince in salty final products through fermentation processes, thus increasing its conservation by producing lactic and acetic acid, enriching the quince itself in vitamins, benefiting the intestinal flora and the immune system and making these products easily digestible.
The results obtained were pickles and quince chutney, very aromatic, with a pleasant flavour. Excellent food supplements that contribute to the enrichment of the delicacy wherever they are included. Quince pickles are a great complement to meat dishes, particularly pork (short rib, loin or streaky), because the acidity present in them eliminates the sensation of overly greasy food as is characteristic of these meats.
Chutney complements very well with buttery cheeses.

Photography: Gabriel Vieira

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