Friday, March 16, 2012


EDIBLE HERITAGE LAB by Lucy Bell, an exhibit at the EDIBLE exhibition at SCIENCE GALLERY, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland in 2012

Agricultural biodiversity can contribute to a robust and secure food system, and increases the colors, shapes, textures and flavours available to eaters. The FAO states that 'since the 1900s, some 75 percent of [agricultural] plant genetic diversity has been lost.'1 In Ireland, preserving the genetic diversity contained in heritage varietals has been championed by organisations such as Irish Seedsavers, who to date, have collected over 140 native apple trees, 50 potato tubers and 600 plant seeds.

This exhibit is a living laboratory that allows for up-close interactions with 12 heritage potato varieties, including the infamous 'lumper', blamed for causing the Irish famine, and the resilient 'bute' that survived the blight. These potatoes are joined by a range of edible greens, edible herbs and wild plants that raise questions about value and responsibility when it comes to preserving and promoting genetic diversity in our food systems.

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