Witjuti – A sustainable eating kit.

 

It is predicted that by 2050 we will face a catastrophic, global food shortage. We must look towards more sustainable sources of food and farming to overcome this. Entomophagy, the act of eating insects, offers a great opportunity in reaching this goal, as insects are significantly more efficient to farm and have a very low impact on the environment unlike current farming methods. Aboriginal Australians have successfully lived off the land for tens of thousands of years. This project draws inspiration from the tools used in this time in the hope of encouraging Australians to change their eating habits for the better and embrace Aboriginal techniques of sustainably living off the land we share.

Witjuti is a kitchenware set that encourages the user to ease edible insects into their diets through grinding and chopping. The materiality of the set was directly influenced by the colours of the iconic Australian landscape, with pink copper and deep red jarrah. The timber board is the main component in the set. This piece can be used as a grinding platform on the curved side and a chopping board on the reverse. The shape and multipurpose use was directly inspired by the traditional coolamon. Two copper plates accompany the set. These are interchangeable and allow the user to vary the size insects are ground to. The symbol on the plates, represents a significant meeting place where Elders gathered their communities to share and teach their knowledge, culture and dreamtime stories. It was designed by Dennis Golding Weatherall, an artist who specialises in Dot Paintings. The grind stone can be used on both the copper plates and the curved side of the timber board. The copper edge bowl is an optional component. When pushed against the top edge of the board this piece catches excess grindings that may fall off the surface. It can then be used as a scoop to transfer grindings to another vessel. Through elegant design, Witjuti allows Australians to embrace this somewhat difficult change in lifestyle without staring at creepy crawlies and antennae on their dinner plate.