By creative Agent Bertrand Duplat (FR) and research Agent Julien Dossier (FR)
Precious food is a fertile title for this programme. It hints at the value of a vital ingredient of life, currently perceived as a commoditised energy intake. It opens the field of innovation and new sources of value creation in relation to the food chain. With “Grow”, the focus is on food producers, food resources and the challenge to promote their location, production and use.
The place of food has changed in our urban lives. With an urban life absorbing more time online and in front of a TV or within the bounds of the built part of a city, seasons and natural varieties are disappearing from the urbanite’s radar. In pre-crisis Europe, food comes packaged, processed, sanitised, plentiful at all times of the year, with ample choice amongst branded suppliers. Knowing the name of the farmer has now become a rarity, knowing the variety of the ingredients used has become an oddity, knowing about the food production process has become a fringe expertise. Despite this marginalisation of the place and the places of food in our busy modern lives, food remains our vital ingredient, needed three times a day.
The point of producing food locally is only valid if food is consumed locally. We designed a map showing where the actors of the food chain can be located. A rich map which can be further explored, with a smartphone, to know more about each of the points highlighted. It is an invitation to meet new people and promote a new brand of people, an invitation to play with the idea of local food and what it means for each of us.
To widen its use, we designed a game plan for the map, where the smartphone reveals an enigma at each stage of the food chain, inviting the user to discover more about this particular actor before discovering the next stage in the chain. The game is designed as a quest, where users progress towards a goal while meeting intermediate challenges. The goal is to assemble all the contents for a local meal: recipes, producers, ingredients, chefs, kitchens, guests.
We designed this game plan to be attractive and accessible to a wide range of users, from teenagers to parents to grandparents. We encourage each player to record his/her interactions with the food actors involved in assembling the ingredients of their meal. We also invite participants to record the final meal on video and in pictures.
We created this process so as to give visibility to the meals by encouraging new food actors to participate in the quests, inviting new guests to the table and spreading the word in the newspapers and in the local community about the game sessions.