cover image The Anthropocene Cookbook: Recipes and Opportunities for Future Catastrophes

The Anthropocene Cookbook: Recipes and Opportunities for Future Catastrophes

Zane Cerpina and Stahl Stenslie. MIT, $34.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-262-04740-1

Food is found in strange places in this experimental “cookbook” from artists Cerpina and Stenslie (Virtual Touch). Less a collection of recipes than a prognostication of what humans will eat in the future, the survey investigates what might be sustainable on an increasingly warming planet. There’s an informative chapter on “fake foods,” including beef, milk, and fish substitutes, in which Cerpina and Stenslie take a look at lab-grown meat and consider the emergence of “neomnivores—those who eat only cultured meat.” Elsewhere, the authors suggest bugs might be “the ultimate protein source due to their high nutritional value, fast growth, and low environmental impact.” Readers with weak stomachs, be warned—later sections cover the “culinary possibilities offered by the human body,” including materials such as feces and semen (though it’s “unlikely that semen will become an emergency staple food,” they write, “not because of the cultural taboo around consuming seminal fluids outside a sexual context but because of the very low volumes obtainable”). By turns enlightening and profound, difficult and preposterous, Cerpina and Stenslie’s account is an impassioned call for “visionary thinking” and dismantling food taboos. Climate-concerned cooks with an open mind will find much to chew on in this surprising culinary tour. (Oct.)