Hungry? Try Pop Roach!
With the rise of world population and the threat of climate change, food could become a scarce commodity in the near future. However, with the technological advancement and the use of genetic engineering a solution could be reached to help ease the situation. That is what Ai Hasegawa and Sputniko are trying to bring to the spotlight.
Together they teamed up and created this design fiction ad piece called pop roach. They are introducing the idea of using genetic engineering to product GMO or genetically modified organisms to cover the population needs of food.
In their project they imagined a group of activists who genetically modified roaches to make them more edible and attractive for consumers. The genes affect roaches colours, flavours; thus, playing with the idea of turning roaches into flavoured candy to encourage people to consume them. They also increase their survival by making them withstand even the harshest environmental conditions. This point brings to attention the affect of climate change on our environment and how the climate in the future can be extreme. The genes can be passed down from one generation to the next, which by time it eliminates the original black and brow roaches in a survival of a fittest fashion.
I believe this is a clever project by the two artists. Their piece brings attention to an important topic that is continuously debated, especially now. Moreover, their choice of roaches instead of other insects is not arbitrary. The idea of eating roaches is strange to the majority of us and using it actually captures our attention. Also, roaches have the ability to adapt and withstand the harshest conditions on earth, such as flood or fire. While the dinosaurs went extinct, roaches were able to survive and continue to exist until today. In fact, it is said that they can even resist a nuclear explosion. Additionally, they can easily increase their population. A roach can produce 16-50 offsprings and in some cases the females do not need males to reproduce or what scientist call parathenogenetic reproduction. Meaning that in severe conditions, a female roach can produce dozens of offsprings by itself. Meaning, we can obtain a good food resource that can be produced massively and survive for a long period of time.
The question now remains, would you dare to try them if they exist?