Food Forever and Biodiversity

In September, we were invited to Food Forever’s event, hosted by Google, to experience and learn about their biodiversity campaign. According to their website, Food Forever is an initiative that rallies prominent individuals and organizations to raise awareness on the importance of biodiversity. This group includes leaders from governments, businesses, civil society and academia, and together, seek to communicate the urgency of conserving crop and livestock diversity, so by 2020, the idea of ending world hunger is not just a goal, but actual reality.

At the Food Forever event, chefs were challenged to create futuristic dishes featuring unusual plants. This selection, including ingredients like moringa and Bambara groundnut, are currently on the margins of the US culinary mainstream, meaning we are beginning to or will most likely be seeing them in our grocery stores soon! We wanted to share with you below some of our favorite dishes from the event, as well as new and delicious edible species we encountered.

  1. Chapulines Chochoyotes with Ulluco and Garlic Broth, Salsa Macha and Tomatillo by Chef Ray Garcia
    This flavorful soup was both bold and sophisticated. The surprise ingredient was chapulines, a species of grasshoppers mostly eaten in areas of Mexico. Many guests, including ourselves, were hesitant to try this dish, but the chapulines were successfully transformed into the form of little crispy chochoyotes (dumplings), immersed in a beautiful garlic and tomatillo broth.
  2. Jackfruit Frankie with Amaranth by Chef Floyd Cardoz
    This dish was a mini wrap stuffed with jackfruit, cabbage, cilantro, onion, and fragrant spices like ginger, cumin, clove, cinnamon, dried chili, paprika and tumeric. We loved the amaranth sauce it came with, which incorporated apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar. This ancient grain reminded us a lot of quinoa and gave the sauce thickness, as well as texture
  3. Mah-ze-dahr by Chef Umber Ahmad
    This cupcake has to be our favorite! Made from the wonderful and rich date this decadent treat featured hints of apple cider vinegar and cardamom, with a base of all purpose flour and kernza flour. A light whipped cream made from just heavy cream and granulated sugar was the perfect complement.

To learn more about Food Forever and the importance of biodiversity visit www.food4ever.org and follow them on instagram at foodforever2020 to keep up to date on their upcoming efforts.