Cobenefits of Dietary Change [April, 2016]

Vegan azolla pancakes

[Vegan Azolla Pancakes. Photo: Erik Sjödin]

In March 2016 scientist at Oxford published a comprehensive study on the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change. The study puts figures on what seems to be becoming a more common notion; that eating vegetarian / vegan is a good idea both for individual peoples health and the planet in general. The study got quite a lot of media coverage, however, in the original publication the scientists at Oxford estimate that 7.3/8.1 million premature deaths “per year” would be avoided by a global transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet by 2050. That’s even better than a total of 8 million by 2050, which is how the study was quoted in both Times and The Guardian’s coverage of it. At least that’s how I interpreted their articles, it’s not difficult to get it wrong though, these figure were unclearly stated in both the original study and summaries from Oxford).

The Azolla Cooking and Cultivation Project at Umeå Skafferi / Survival Kit Umeå 2014

[The Azolla Cooking and Cultivation Project at Umeå Skafferi. Photos: Erik Sjödin]

With this study in mind I’d like to share a recipe for vegan Azolla pancakes. Summer-autumn 2014 I participated in the Survival Kit Festival in Umeå. In participation with Umeå Pantry, a project by My Villages, we cooked vegetable soup and pancakes with dried Azolla and I presented my work with The Azolla Cooking and Cultivation Project.

Umeå has a strong tradition of veganism and the pancakes were cooked by the local artist Alexander Svartvatten, based on the recipe for vegan pancakes below and served with locally picked blueberries. The pancakes were really great. Much better than the vegan pancakes I cooked at the Vivre(s) exhibition at Domaine De Chamarande in France, which tasted good but looked so dodgy that a woman in the audience felt obliged to take the spade out of my hands and do the cooking herself. If vegan Azolla pancakes are healthy or not remains to be proven, but at least these pancakes proved that they can be delicious.

Vegan Azolla Pancakes (4 servings)

1 dl dried azolla
9 dl soy milk
6 dl spelt flour
0,75 tsp salt
5 tbsp rape seed oil