University of Montana students predict the taste of the future

Skylar Rispens

The year is 2100. You sit down at a restaurant for a meal consisting of a black-eyed pea salad with fried quail egg, pupusa with bison filling, lentil cakes and a braised goat stew.

Little did you know the menu was predicted 78 years earlier by students in the Soil-to-Soil: Food and Climate class at the University of Montana, where students learn about resilient food systems in the face of climate change.

On Friday, Nov. 18, students teamed with UM Dining to participate in a group cooking class to actually experience the projected meal of diners 78 years from now.

“Climate change and an unsustainable food system are creating an unprecedented challenge — and golden opportunity — to reimagine what we eat and how we get it,” said Peter McDonough, the director of the Climate Change Studies program and co-instructor of the class.

During the semester, students in the experiential class took several field trips to meet with producers at farms, ranches, seed libraries, and other food hubs to better understand Missoula’s food system and vulnerability. The course is also led by Caroline Stephens of the PEAS Farm.

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