Monday, 8 February 2016

Foods of the Future: What Will We Be Eating?


Forbes - Ever wonder what people will be eating 35 years from now? Experts say the diet of 2050 will revolve less around meat and more around bugs. What’s more? NASA -inspired superfood bars, 3D printed custom-designed menus and plenty of kale.



Three decades from now, will we still sit down to a table with family and friends, enjoying all the same sights and smells as we do now,  or should we expect something completely different? Will overpopulation and resource depletion force us to make drastic changes in our diet? Will veganism be the lifestyle of a dedicated minority or the obvious choice for an uncertain future?

Although there may be enough food to go around in the West, experts say the realities of agriculture and economics will convince more of us to become vegetarians or vegans. “As the price of raising livestock goes up, we’ll eat less beef and more fish,” says Professor Sheenan Harpaz of the Volcani Center in Beit Dagan, Israel.

Harpaz 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. Harpaz predicts a focus on function over form. “Functional foods,” like their natural counterparts (think fish rich in omega-3s), will be designed to provide added value to health-conscious consumers. This will be done not only through biotechnology, but through diet trends that contribute to better health. “There will be a focus on foods that animals eat – since that is a reflection of what we ultimately eat.”

So in 2050, supermarket shelves will be stocked with functional foods. Instead of just a baby food section, we’ll have products tailored to every segment of the population–foods optimized for women, men, and the elderly. Food science will formulate the best nutritional profile for each demographic group, as well as for each individual.

“Once we have a complete picture of the human genome, we’ll know how to create food that better meets our needs,” says Prof. Yoram Kapulnik, director of the Volcani Center. When parents make their children’s school lunches in the morning, they’ll use a nutritional database to help them figure out what’s best for each child,factoring in everything from getting enough vitamins to dealing with digestive system issues. “Food will be more expensive,” Kapulnik says, “but it will also be customized to each one of us.”

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