This is a speculative food design project from artist-led think tank, The Center for Genomic Gastronomy.

Editor’s Note: Smog Tasting will be part of this weekend’s New Museum Ideas City Street Program on Saturday, May 30th on Rivington between Bowery and Chrystie in New York City.

The Smog Tasting project maps air quality by harvesting air from highly polluted areas. Egg foams are up to 90% air, and whipping the eggs causes particulate matter to be trapped in the batter. The batter can be tested for heavy metals and VOCs, compared in a microscope or baked and served as trojan horse sweets.

Thanks to Eggs we are able to harvest the air…at the ‘stiff peak’ stage…[egg] foam is approaching 90% air. – On Food and Cooking

Take a snapshot of the air quality in any location. Serve it to politicians or business owners for a blind taste test of the air quality in their area. The tragedy of the commons never tasted so good!

One shouldn’t worry too much about getting sick from these meringues: we breathe this air everyday!

As a workshop students or community groups can harvest air in egg foams from different parts of the city, test the results, and place one of each baked meringue on a map for comparison, sending the remainder of the meringues as gifts to interested parties.