Carbonfoodprint: Molecular Gastronomy for the Locavore

published Sep 29, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Bioengineered orange drink probably does not rank high on most people’s lists of sustainable foods. But what if the engineering was happening in your kitchen, using locally-grown fruits and vegetables like melon, cucumber and tarragon?

GOOD Magazine recently wrote about the work of food scientist Bernard Lahousse and his website Carbonfoodprint, which describes how to use molecular gastronomy to recreate the flavors of exotic or faraway ingredients through various combinations of locally grown foods.

Lahousse’s recipe for “orange,” for example, starts with a graph depicting the ten key flavor components and odorants of an orange (like “sweet fruity” and “tropical piney”) and a handful of alternative ingredients with these same components (such as melon and rosemary). By finding the right balance of flavors, you can mix up a glass of orange juice without a single orange.

“The aim of the project is to inspire people how they can use local products to recreate exotic or high carbon footprint products,” [Lahousse] says. “These flavors are all around.”

And it’s not just theoretical. GOOD mixed up a glass of Carbonfoodprint orange juice using a combination of groundcherry, melon, gooseberry, juniper and coriander, purchased mostly from a local farmers market. The resulting green juice “tasted sweeter and less tart than Minute Maid and more like the orange liquid you get from sucking on a citrus throat lozenge.” In other words, not quite orange juice — but pretty darn close.

Read the article & check out the website:
Don’t Live in a State with Oranges? Engineer One in Your Kitchen – GOOD

Related: Are There Local Alternatives to Lemon and Lemon Zest?

(Image: Flickr member Mikael Miettinen licensed under Creative Commons)