Let’s Hack Food!

Food is simply sunlight in cold storage” – John Harvey Kellogg

With increasing awareness among the consumers regarding the food that they eat, there has been a steep rise in the number of people wanting to explore the relationship between Food and Science. Technology and Food are no longer separate entities and depend on each other in different ways to sustain and to progress. The food as we know is changing, a lot like what our Mark Hyman said,

In the 21st century our taste buds, our brain chemistry, our biochemistry, our hormones and our kitchens have been hijacked by the food industry”

So, what better theme for a Hackathon but Food? A Food Hackathon was organised by the Goethe Institute India and Jugend Hackt. MakersBox partnered with them for a 3 day event across two different  cities: New Delhi and Kolkata. The event aimed to unite students in a creative 3 days marathon stimulating entrepreneurship, team work, and most importantly- Problem Solving, all centring around Food.

This was my first tryst with a hackathon and felt like a breath of fresh air. For the Delhi event, a total of 26 students participated- with 21 Indian Kids from different schools and 5 German kids.

The first day was an introductory session for students. We had set up a pop-up maker space at the venue and briefed the students about different tool and technology they could use to come up with innovative solutions. Students spent their day expanding their knowledge about Food-ranging from the exact amount and the right mix of ingredient needed for preparation of a meal to the time intervals between consumption and to even making it themselves.

Soldering Irons Ready for our Food Hackers
MakersBox Setup a Pop Up Maker Space at the Goethe Institute in New Delhi and Partnered to Hold the First Hackathon at the Goethe Institute

We also had Makers, who used our Maker Space, to develop and build a Food computer present there. They showcased their prototype and interacted with students, telling them their plans for the Beta Version of the Computer. And thus bringing our vision alive of being able to INSPIRE. 

Second day onwards, it was problem solving time. All mentors including our MakersBox facilitators were there to guide the students through the entire process. The enthusiasm was contagious and carried on till the 3rd day of the event, where students finally presented their solutions.

Daniel Seitz from Jugend Hackt Leads the Session at The Food Hackathon at Goethe Institute in Delhi, in Partnership with MakersBox
Daniel Seitz from Jugend Hackt Leads the Session at The Food Hackathon at Goethe Institute in Delhi, in Partnership with MakersBox

For me, personally, it was a reflective moment:  I pondered on how my life could have been different had I been part of such an event. Would I then go on and pursue my engineering or maybe understand the fact well in advance that my interests did not lie here? I may never find out the answer to this one. But I know for sure, that such events empower students to make informed choices about their future, about the World and the role they want to play in it.

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