Back to Arts & Media Page

Making the Best of It: Signal Foods for Climate Chaos

In 2016, Marina Zurkow traveled throughout the United States working on a series of conceptual projects establishing regionally site-specific pop up food shacks and community dinners called “Making the Best of It: Signal Foods for Climate Chaos.” The goal of this project was to not only reimagine what our diets will consist of in a world marked by anthropogenic climate change, but also begin to experiment with implementing these new products. In March of that year CENHS sponsored her trip to Houston where she teamed up with local chefs from Oxheart Restaurant and Revival Market to concoct a new “snack program” from an unusual source: jellyfish. A combination of human-caused environmental changes have led to increased algae blooms and the depletion of fish populations in recent years, making the ocean a particularly habitable place for creatures like jellyfish, who have found themselves with an abundance of food and a shortage of predators. And as this trend will likely continue as the oceanic impact of climate change continues, humans will inevitably turn to this slimy new food supply. Zurkow’s culinary experiments, then, were intended to give people a taste of the future, and some of the dishes included in this “jellyfish trial” were jellyfish instant soup powder, salty jellyfish caramels, jellyfish jelly delights, jellyfish jerky, and puff crackers.