Season 9 Episode 4
What Will We Be Eating In 10 Years Time?
We start this podcast with a prediction by George Orwell that he made in his 1937 book ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’. He said ‘We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine gun.’ Has that come true? Is mass produced food now causing more damage than good? We discuss this AND our predictions for the future of food in ten years time. Are we heading for a landscape lead by genetic modification? What are your predictions for the future of food? Comment below!
Best soundbite:“We’ll be sitting here in 5 years time, listening back to ourselves, while we’re drinking our algae milkshakes.” – Mike Huttlestone
Something to make you think...
– Professor Harpaz from The Agricultural Research Organization (the largest institute in Israel) predicts “our reliance on genetic engineering will continue to increase as we strive to feed a growing, hungry world. Crops will be made more resistant to pests and viruses,” he says, “but food will look the same as it does today.” Read the full article here.
– Professor Kupulnik from the Agriculture Research Organisation quotes that “experts think developing countries will come to rely on some type of compact food rations similar to NASA’s famous astronaut packets – nutritionally fortified energy bars, biscuits or dehydrated snacks – to help feed growing numbers of hungry people. These items may not be very appetizing, but they will be functional, formulated to provide maximum nutrition and a feeling of satiety.” Read the full article here.
– Pea milk is set to be huge according to the podcast Why Do We Eat What We Eat. The reason? Scientists and environmentally conscious food companies are frantically looking at ways to diminish our carbon footprint, and it turns out that peas (which are legumes) can make their own nitrogen from the air, eliminating the need for nitrogen fertilizer that other plant milk ingredients require – like almonds for instance.
– Jellyfish are an under-used resource from the sea according to food writer and TV presenter Stefan Gates. Gates believes we should abandon trepidation and embrace unusual foods. “Generally speaking we have to be more open-minded about what we are eating because we tend to be mono-culinary, we always stick to the same foods all the time and it plays havoc with the world’s resources,” he says. “Also, it’s an adventure to go on.” Read more here.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that with time, the trend will be for certain foods (such as meat) to just keep getting more expensive instead of society as a while cutting down on meat eating. It is more likely that in time, meat will be a wealthy person’s food while the rest of us struggle to eat a healthy diet with the cheaper foods available to us. I mean, isn’t this what has already happened with processed foods verses fresh, natural, and organic options? I would love to eat a diet without any processed, unethically sourced, bad for the environment food but I’m also restricted by my budget. I work with clients who can barely afford enough food for their kids to get through a week, much less worry about how balanced their families diets are. The trend has always been and will likely always be that wealthier you are, the better you can eat. Sad, but true.
About 4 years ago I saw a fantastic doco – Bugs that discussed sustainable alternative food sources. It’s funny watching some products discussed in the film be used in a Sorted video last year.
My money is on offal and cheaper cuts of meat becoming more mainstream. Most offal is very nutritious and cheap and just takes a little more love to prepare. Only a few years ago Lamb Shanks were a poor man’s food, now its gourmet (and a lot more expensive!).
I love to cook and bake but honestly if I could solve the “what’s for dinner?” dilemma a couple times a week with a nutritionally balanced packet of “space food” I would.
Thanks for the great podcast guys! There were many interesting points raised in this episode and it’s definitely given me a lot to think about. In terms of meat consumption, I think perhaps Western countries will begin to embrace reducing animal produce in the near future, however in other parts of the world attitudes are still very different. Like Ben said, in countries like China all parts of an animal are used (I’ll never forget watching people slurp up bone marrow through a straw, straight from the bone, in restaurants in China!), which on its own reduces food waste. Algae seems to be a no-brainer, although it would be interesting to see people’s initial reactions in the near future – having said that, I doubt anyone was putting kale in their smoothies 10 – 15 years ago! I think that’s what most of the foods and technologies you listed in this episode will heavily depend on: people’s attitudes towards ‘new’ (to our cultural standards) foods. There is no reason to not be drinking pea milk (a great alternative to soy and nut milks for people with allergies) or eating insects, really, it’s just that we’re not used to it… Yet.
Having said all of that, I reckon the need for ‘space food’ in developing countries might be a fairly accurate prediction, which makes you wonder just how fortunate we are to be discussing whether or not we want to be eating meat, GM food, insects, algae, and jellyfish, let alone what type of milk we choose to consume, or what variety of apples we fancy this week. We have so many options, and some societies have few to none. As much as this podcast highlighted some cool research and innovation, it also pointed out massive global inequality, which I think we tend to forget about, or choose not to think about too much, so I really appreciate you addressing this. We are so lucky to be able to decide what we consume every single day, no matter our diets or lifestyles! I hope all these creative innovations will be used towards finding a solution that will impact more than just Western societies, and will focus on the global picture in the long term.
Thanks for your comment, you’re right, it’s all about attitude and what people are used to. Kale used to dress your local kabab shop counter as it was cheap and looked nice and green. However, now it’s a healthy trend product that people are using in everything. What isn’t the norm now, doesn’t mean it may not be the norm in the future. Only time will tell.
No comments yet?
It’s hard to say where we are going to be in ten year’s time as I’ve noticed that more and more in supermarkets there are ‘trend’ foods being made readily available to shoppers. There are already made ‘vegan’ or ‘health’ foods available and packaged meals that are easy to prepare eg, ‘Thai’ meal which would contain semi cooked rice, sauce etc so pretty much all you do is heat and eat.
I’d imagine that a lot are full of preservatives and flavour enhancers but I’d also imagine products like ‘vegan balls’ would be pretty natural. I wonder where vegan balls come from…
There seems to be a lot more people today who are health conscious. So many mums going around day to day business in gym clothes. After they drop off the kids at school it’s off to gym class and then shopping.. usually it’s ‘trendy’ to eat more healthily.
Then there’s the busy working family who are health conscious and would rather have easy to assemble healthy meals. Some delivered to the door.
Cooking shows are becoming more and more popular BUT I think the shows which are more popular incorporate both economical meals done quickly.
I know I don’t want to faff around with prep and then long waiting times. I certainly don’t want to get 100 different ingredient meals either.
I envision the future with
more healthy meals which are pretty much already prepped and all you need to do is quickly cook them
more health meals which are completely prepared for you
As above but delivered to your door.
There will always be a place for KFC and other unhealthy outlets but there might be action taken in the future to battle obesity starting with pressuring bad food takeaway outlets.
It’s an interesting one isn’t it. We don’t think your classic take aways will be going anywhere anytime soon, but with mass produced red meat being publicised as being bad for the environment and climate change, maybe there may be a slight shift in what these fast food outlets offer.
Healthy low prep and cook meals delivered to your door is an interesting concept too. Let’s see what the future holds!