Dinner. 2040.: Imagining Sustainable Food Practices
in Maricopa County, Arizona
In October 2014, humanities scholars and their community partners utilized a “charrette” process to envision the future of food in Phoenix Arizona in 2040, asking: what should be on our plates for Dinner 2040?
The meal plan incorporated scientific, historical, cultural, and place-based practices that sustain the environmental integrity of the Southwest in United States, honor its culinary innovations, ensure health for ‘future’ foods, and promote food justice and food sovereignty.
This pilot project sought to establish a model for other communities as they consider the future of food in their regions. Starting with a pilot workshop, we explored avenues to a future food system which is more sustainable, respects the ecological integrity of the place, preserves cultural traditions, health, and ensures just practices in the production, distribution and consumption of food.
In the next phase of our project, we are planning to host a meal for 100 community leaders in November 2016 to engage them in a layered conversation about what we should be eating in Phoenix in 2040 and how we get there.
This event will be a model for other communities to engage with humanists and community members about building a sustainable food system for their community. The potential of the “Dinner 2040” design lies in its invitation for community-wide examination of and movement towards aspirational food practices of the future. We believe it is in the interest of all communities to examine the future of our food production and consumption practices.