These lectures were enlightening. Nicola Twilley and Geoff Manaugh provided us with clear examples of how economy, geography and even taste changed, over the past years, due to human behavior. Nowadays we take for granted all our technological devices that make our every-day life easier and easier, like, for instance, fridges. But as Twilley said, the sound of a fridge is actually the sound of Western civilization.
Refrigeration really changed our lives: over the last 100 years or so, refrigeration’s great strides offered us ways to preserve and cool food, other substances and even ourselves. Refrigeration brought distant production centers and the North American population together.
Also, refrigeration made a whole new way of doing businesses possible: ice, brewing, and meat-packing industries were refrigeration’s major beneficiaries; but many other industries use refrigeration as an essential part of their business.
The most interesting thing, however, was finding out about “aeroir”. Getting a taste of a places: what an attractive idea! Street-food’s popularity meets a campaign to raise awareness about air quality. The smog meringue has a powerful impact on audiences because it is a tangible, sensory encounter with an otherwise largely invisible aspect of our environment since it translates banal and passive inhalation into an emotionally, and politically charged experience. Breathing air is a passive act, but choosing to eat or not a meringue, made by 90% of air (that means 90% of our own pollution), is an active choice that can make people more aware and responsible.