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2014 SXSW Explores The Future of Food (HINT: Insects Play a Role!)

Just a bit of background in case you are like me and only recently learned about the glorious SXSW. SXSW—which is short for South by Southwest—is a collection of film screenings, “interactive events,” music festivals, and conferences that happens in Austin, Texas every March. (Today is opening day!) It started as more of an indie-music thing but now it’s one of the top tech meet-ups in the world. And there truly is something for everyone, including dozens of food-specific offerings like discussion panels.

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Below, a sampling of this year’s SXSW food-and-health related seminars:

March 8
“Dear Taco Vendor, How Are You Securing My Data?”
This important seminar explores the idea of exchanging personal information as currency. SXSW, like many other festivals and events, offers free swag in the form of clothing, grab-bags, and, of course, food. You’re not often charged money for these items, yet you have to “earn” these free things by logging into your various social networking accounts and promoting the company. This seminar discusses the process from logging in to ways the companies benefit from your information. The security of your personal life is important. Get to know the way of the world in 2014!

March 8
Pixels, Plows, and Personas: The UX of Food Deserts
The seminar will explore the facts that we already know—the poorer the area of the country, the worse the foods available—but it also gives us hope in the options that have become more and more available in our fast-paced internet and mobile era. Recent urban farming trends and the potential of virtual grocery stores makes room for optimism about the knowledge portion of eating healthier, even among the poorest areas of the country.

March 9
The Future of Food Processing 
Interested in farming and food supply? This seminar focuses on educating consumers in the most efficient way to make our food. The seminar encourages consumers to get to know their options in making food to best improve it over its natural form. By using “food technology” like nutritional biochemistry and food processing, our quality of life and overall health has the potential to advance.

March 11
Hacking Meat: Why Insects Are the Future of Food
You may have heard people talk about how we may need to rely on insects as a food source in the future. According to the people on this panel, the future is here. You can listen to the pros and cons of eating tiny creatures like crickets and ants (the pros being high protein, small eco-footprint, etc., and the con being, primarily, getting over the ick factor).  If you’re won over, word is that there will be plenty of samples to try. 

There are plenty of other food based seminars to attend throughout SXSW. Check out the other options here, and if you attend SXSW, plan your festival days accordingly.

Also Read: 

Finally! The Feds Create BS-Free Nutrition Label, Give Americans Reality Check

Goalvator App Creator Jason Swenk Lost 50 Pounds By Photographing His Food

5 Good Reasons to Shop a Farmer’s Market

March 6th, 2014

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