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Event Spotlight: Gastronomica Apocalyptica

April 8, 2016

Meet Sophie Lamond, the brains behind You Are Here’s speculative dinner party event, Gastronomica Apocalyptica.

We caught up with Sophie to find out more about the event, future food security, and bugs!



Hi Sophie! To begin with, tell us a bit about yourself

 I’ve taken to describing myself as a ‘food nerd’. I research food politics and work as a researcher, a community kitchen facilitator and do some campaigning. I drifted away from a career in the arts but every so often I like to combine the two worlds in projects like Gastronomica Apocalyptica.


What inspired Gastronomica Apocalyptica?

I read a lot about food, maybe ten or twenty articles a week – and many of them speculate about the future of food. I got to thinking about all these things I read and realising I couldn’t work out what dinner would like if I tried to put a meal together out of all this competing advice. Then I started playing around with it and it ran away from me a little. And here we are hosting a speculative dystopian dinner party.


What factors are most adversely affecting current methods of food production?

Oh god, so many. We’re running out of soil, we’re running out of nutrients. We’re consolidating land ownership into the hands of corporations and undermining food sovereignty. We are wasting far far far too much food.

My number one concern would be the rise of industrial farming and monocultures, we need to seriously consider investing into returning to a model of patchworks of small scale agro-ecological farming methods.


In Australia, what would you say is one of the most unsustainable food industries?

I’m really not sure why we grow rice.


Do you think Developed World humans are too fussy about what we eat?

Hmm – I think we’ve lost a lot of diversity in the food we eat. And the loss of diversity has undermined our curiosity. I think shifting migration patterns are bringing lots of different foods into our cuisine and we’re devouring new and interesting things. I reckon we’re more adventurous than we were ten years ago – but also fussier about quality and this conviction that we deserve whatever we want whenever we want. We’re going to have to get over that a bit I reckon.


What kinds of foods will we be eating in the future, do you think?

Whatever we grow. I think we’re going to get smarter about assessing efficiency and nutrient density. You’ll have to come to Gastronomica Apocalyptica to taste my speculative food future though.


We heard a rumour that Gastronomica Apocalyptica guests might be served bugs…

Hmm. Maybe.


Speaking of bugs, they’re actually a pretty sustainable source of protein, aren’t they?

They are! They’re easy enough to produce, low inputs, low GHG emissions, high protein. Delicious.


Are you one of those people who instagrams their food?

 Sometimes, more so recently. I’ve really had to stop myself from flooding my feed with all my GA test dishes.


What’s your best food-related fact?

 Oh wow – I have so many and I’m sure my friends find me totally insufferable, I’m constantly peppering conversation with ‘Did you know…’ and now I can’t think of one on the spot. Hmm how about Australia has more varieties of native citrus than other continent on earth?


Finally, what events are you most looking forward to seeing at You Are Here 2016?

 I’m looking forward to turning up and seeing what there is to find! I’ve missed so much of it over the years I’m just going to soak it all in!


Gastronomica Apocalyptica is a free event, but tickets are allocated via a ballot. Fill in the form today for your chance to secure a seat at the table!