Scientists and futurists insist that thanks to the problems of overpopulation and limited resources, we need to rethink what we are eating every day. Research in the food industry and rapid advancement of technology provide new perspectives on what we will be putting on our plates in the future.
We at WeGoRo collected some ideas about the food we’ll be eating in the future. Read our list until the end, be surprised, and find a bonus at the bottom of the list.
According to this in-depth report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, insects are already being consumed by at least 2 billion people. Although some people might be disgusted by the thought of eating insects, they are high in fat, protein, vitamin, fiber, and mineral content.
Most algae (e.g. seaweed) contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acid, an essential nutrient with a lot of health benefits. Inventors and designers Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta went as far as suggesting that humans can grow their own algae while breathing when wearing a special mask. In a performance at the V&A Museum in London, they demonstrated how an opera singer can fuel algae growth in the mask.
Producing meat in a lab is a way to combat environmental issues: greenhouse gas emissions, overfishing, and animal welfare concerns. A company called Memphis Meats already produces laboratory-grown meatballs using stem cells from animals (obtained via a painless biopsy). The price for making 450 g of meat reached $2,400.
3-dimensional printers can create objects from plastic and metal, and they can also print, cook, and serve foods. The Dutch designer Chloe Rutzerfeld suggests blending food, gardening, and 3D printing. First, a dough-based outer casing containing edible soil and various seeds is printed. After a few days, the seeds start growing and poke out of small holes in the case. However, this design is currently in the concept stage.
It takes several years for packages to decompose naturally. The Sweden-based company Tomorrow Machine has a solution for that. They offer oil packages made from caramelized sugar and wax, smoothie packages made from seaweed and water, and rice packages made of biodegradable beeswax. These packages have the same life span as the food they contain.
A London-based seaweed-tech startup has a plan to substitute plastic bottles with edible water bottles made with seaweed. Once on the market, this package can be used for other liquids such as spirits and cosmetics. Seaweed as a packaging material is actually cheaper than plastic.
A study conducted by Oxford University provided proof that food can taste more or less bitter depending on a background soundtrack. More widespread uses are suggested, such as using music to remove unhealthy ingredients without people noticing.
Not only meat can be grown in a lab — fish can be produced there as well. In 2002, a group of scientists at Touro College managed to create small fish filets by dipping goldfish muscle into a fetal bovine serum. New Wave Foods has already created a fake shrimp made from an algae-based substitute and is working on creating lobster and crab.
We are often not aware of exactly what we are eating. The TellSpec food scanner solves this problem by showing customers the contents of the food on their plate. You simply point the device at a food item, and the device warns you about chemicals and allergens and helps you track your vitamin intake. The scanner can be pre-ordered, and, if it turns out to be successful, it will hopefully become available for more people in the future.
If DNA sequencing becomes cheaper and possible to do at home, we could use an app to know which food to eat to be more productive, sleep better, feel healthier, and know which food to avoid at all costs. Since everyone is genetically different, there is no single diet appropriate for all of us. There are already companies out there specializing in creating such a diet.
One product which IS already available on the market is a chewable coffee substitute. The creators claim that it helps to improve focus and support optimal cognitive performance. Who wouldn’t want to have coffee you can put in your pocket?!
Which products on this list can you see yourself eating in the future? Share your opinion in the comments!
Preview photo credit BurtonNitta