The Future of Food: Kew Gardens’ “Food Forever” Programme

Protect the future of food and appreciate art at the same time at Kew this summer with their Food Forever Programme

Food sustainability is the theme of Kew Gardens’ brand new programme, and for good reason. It has been defined by the UN as “the idea that something (e.g., agriculture, fishing or even preparation of food) is done in a way that is not wasteful of our natural resources and can be continued into the future without being detrimental to our environment or health.” Although this might be a simple enough concept to understand, making it happen in today’s society is particularly challenging. The fact is, the UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, despite 8.4 million people in the UK not having access to enough food. Globally, over ⅓ of all food produced goes to waste. 

We need to be more careful about the way we eat to preserve our resources and to take better care of our society. It makes sense that Kew understands this vital truth, considering that it is an internationally recognised botanical research and education centre, receiving ⅓ of its funding from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. Over 300 scientists work currently at Kew and track the progress (or lack thereof) of plant species, which is especially important during a time that 1 in 5 plant species are estimated to be facing extinction globally. It is also a major visitor attraction in its own right, which makes its programme even more important for spreading awareness about food sustainability. 

Food Forever invites you to reflect on how you can impact the planet positively through what you eat. Beginning in June and running through to September, there will be an impressive collection of events, including a selection of large-scale art exhibitions, an incredible line-up of talks, and, of course - food. 

Exhibitions will all be centred around the theme of sustainability. A particularly impressive installation by Thomas Dambo utilizises materials that have been thrown away to create huge sculptures. Another kaleidoscopic exhibition uses old car tyres and jute sacks, created by Serge Attukwei Clottey. 

Kew will also be displaying a series of immersive installations at dusk at the appropriately named After Hours. This route includes impressive works and food tastings, live performances, and talks. Evening talks will explore a range of topics about protecting the environment, from climate change to biodiversity loss and food waste. Hosted in the Victorian Temperate House, these talks aim to help us all use our food resources longer. 

Finally, the pavilion restaurant will host a series of plant-based guest menus by award-winning chefs. Some of these chefs, each showing how to cook in more environmentally-friendly ways, include Anna Jones, (founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen), Zoe Adjonyoh, Tom Hunt, and Dr Rupy Aujla (@doctors_kitchen).

This important work is just one step in the right direction when it comes to minimising food waste and protecting the future of food. We love food and we can’t live without it - but we can’t keep living with it the way we currently do. The world is changing, and so must we. This is our future, and it is our job to protect it. 

We at Vonder recognise the importance of location when we’re deciding where our co-living spaces should be. To enjoy Food Forever and many events like it, join our all inclusive flats to rent in London, already furnished and ready to live in when you want to move.  Form your own community with your neighbours while exploring all that London has to offer. 

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