bmw guggenheim lab

BMW and the Guggenheim united in a clever partnership (August 3 – October 16) as the “BMW Guggenheim Lab” – a “mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life.”

I learned about the Lab through a razor, a shiny knife – an incredible culinary/performance art group that I read about a few months ago in the NYT for the the multi-course meal they served on the L train. The way they’ve been able to bring food (as education, art and cuisine) into social, political, environmental topics is pretty awesome.

Last night at the ‘Lab’ on East Houston Street, they presented “Edible Water: a study of hydrocolloids and water scarcity and potability around the world.” They shared stats on the world’s access to water, ie: In the U.S., each person has access to (and uses) approximately 600 liters per day… while in some rural areas of countries, like Kenya, people must walk 4-6 hours per day just to gather a few liters of polluted water. They went on to discuss the use of agar, sodium alginate and xanthan gum as thickening agents for water/liquids (to either a gel or sol) in the cooking process. Education on these two separate topics was bridged a razor, a shiny knife’s ‘culinary metaphor’ for the inaccessibility of water in more remote places of the world:

Population with sustained access to an improved water source + ‘culinary expression’ based on hydrocolloids. Density = Inaccessibility due to Sourcing/Pollutants.

US 100%  (no additives in sample)

Peru 83%  (xanthan gum .2%)

Fiji 47% (agar .5%) photo compares Peru and Fiji… so dense you can flip the cups over…:

Ethopia   22% (agar 2%)

Somalia  urban 63%, rural 10% (sodium alginate .8% and calcium chloride .5%) photo:

They shared some great resources for learning more about the global water situation, including: OXFAM, The Water Project, UN WATER, UNICEF-WASH, Global Water Challenge, Water Charity, Water.org, and charity:water.

To contribute to these efforts, SUSHISAMBA participates in UNICEF’s Tap Project annually.

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