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The Future > The Future: Food

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message 1: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2156 comments Mod
What will we be eating 20 years from now? Speculations run to insects, lab-grown meat, and algae. What? No magic pills yet? Could you stomach your McDonalds hamburgers being made with caterpillars?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18...


message 2: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 773 comments I would hope they would learn a lot more about how the taste buds work, so that the McDonald's hamburger made with caterpillars would taste like a prime rib steak. :)

Have you heard of the new "Miracle Fruit"? It tricks the taste buds by making things taste differently than they normally do.


message 3: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (BrendaClough) | 223 comments A good vat-grown meat would be a bonanza. (There's an article about a current product in the NY Times.) Get us away from factory farming.


message 4: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Higher yields are the key, given the function of limited land mass & an ever growing population.

So I agree that farming (not just fishing) the oceans would be important also & that increasing knowledge base might have the greatest impact in the future.

No soylents please.


message 5: by Tej (last edited Aug 02, 2012 05:51PM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1669 comments Mod
Seafood, insects and synthetic food is looking to be our future diet, I guess. As a health and fitness professional, my concern would be an even bigger reliance on synthetic food. I an advocate for organic and unprocessed food as this is what our bodies are made to digest and we much healthier for it.

This news Amy posted, kind of hits home very hard that we really are heading for a struggle for survival that many sci fi novels love to depict. Its clearly coming to a reality and its unnerving to say the least!

But we are already dieting on technology, check your food cupboards and count how many items that are not processed, ie untouched by additional chemicals? Not many, huh. And if you are looking at your delicious fruits, uh uh, they havent escaped the chemical attacks either.

I only just read a Alex Scarrow's latest Timeriders book where in 50 years time, no one is eating any real meat, the food is all synthetic, could that really be our future diet?

I try to encourage organic food but they are so expensive, I dont blame anyone for choosing the cheaper processed options. That wont obviously be an option in future I guess. So I can only hope scientist have a really good grasp on the effects this kind of synthetic food has on our bodies. Otherwise we could evolve into something like those typical alien species made so popular from the 1950s (hmmm there's a thought, what if those alien visits to earth are actually our descendants from the future :D )

What ever changes we do make to our diets in future, the world ecology could drastically change. Every species has an adverse effect on one another species and also to the environment which ultimately affects our survival or at least quality of life. The world is such a delicately complex ecological web of interconnectivity. Plants depend on animals and insects for pollination, we depend on plants for numerous survival reasons, oxygen, fuel, glucose, food, medicine etc. So if the human population suddenly take to feasting on insects, reducing their population, who knows what changes that would effect.

Its always going to be an uphill struggle for ecological balance. But I hope our future generations can wisen up to the ignorance and stubbornness we have
exhibited.


message 6: by Scott (last edited Sep 13, 2012 05:13AM) (new)

Scott (ArtRobot) | 63 comments Howard wrote: "... increasing knowledge base might have the greatest impact in the future."

Tej wrote: "... I hope our future generations can wisen up to the ignorance and stubbornness we have..."

I agree with these statements whole hartedly though you may be talking in the most general of terms with regard to how society has a lot to learn about food production and health. I am constantly bothered by how little people know about where our food comes from and how little most people care. Full transparency of all organizations that provide our services and goods would be the first step in improving those services. Food corporations like any other, have higher profit motives than customer motives. They can use their vast resources to sell us on things that are cheap for them to make but are only successful as long as we are gulable enough to buy it. Some unfortunate meat production practices are starting to become more common knowledge but we still seem so far from any major improvements and any public uproar seems to fade quickly, perhaps satiated by a few statements from political agencies in the pockets of corporations responsible for the initial outrage followed by rebranding of the offending product. Corporate run politics will prevent any significant improvements in food quality.

Howard wrote: "Higher yields are the key, given the function of limited land mass & an ever growing population..."

I can't agree with this, however. I don't believe we have a problem with food quantity. Americans waste enough food to feed the hungry, and not just from our dinner tables and restaurants. Distribution challenges at times of higher yeald cause waste (food rotting on trucks or before it leaves a silo) and has lead to alternate uses for the yield that were not in demand by (or beneficial to) customers like geneticaly altered corn (the predominate type, now) as damaging but cheap animal feed or as a more processed substitution for sugar. Recent drought threatens these crops but the biggest imidiate threat to food producers is the rising cost of this unhealthy animal feed because that's become it's primary use.

I don't believe we'll have any problem finding new ways to pump out increasingly cheaper crap to stuff our faces and landfills even if it means irrevocably altering species of plants and animals, more than we have.

Amy wrote: "Could you stomach your McDonalds hamburgers being made with caterpillars?..."
The current reality is no more appetizing.

A good documentary to start with is King Corn (free on Hulu)

We could care more about what types of food we subsidize and support more sustainable practices. Politics, however are motivated too much by largest short term gain and not at all by the debt to be paid by the next generation (or administration).

Sorry, that reads more like a rant than I intended.

In the next 20 years I hope to become better at home gardening: herbs, fruits, vegetables, and legumes using natural insecticides. I want to learn more about those funky space-saving porch garden kits that look like they belong in the botanical section of a space station like hanging tomato planters.


message 7: by Howard (new)

Howard Loring (howardloringgoodreadscom) | 1174 comments Scott, I agree that food is often wasted & chemicals often over used but I was not addressing the lack of proper distribution, as that wasn't the point of Amy's thread, at least as I read it.

I'm lucky in that I live in the country & so have a step up in sustainability & a more natural lifestyle.

I keep bees but don't use chemicals on then, for example.

The key to distribution to those who most need it is the lack of profit therein for the growers & shippers & that won't change until priorites do.

Don't hold your breath.


message 8: by Scott (last edited Sep 14, 2012 05:11AM) (new)

Scott (ArtRobot) | 63 comments Howard wrote: "that wasn't the point of Amy's thread, at least as I read it...
Amy wrote: "What will we be eating 20 years from now?"

I don't expect much change in 20 years. All that we've already done to food is revealing of what we will do. I think by educating ourselves we can influence who the change benefits. It all seems related to me.

The article mentions a "meat gap." Forks Over Knives changed what I'll be eating for more than the next 20 years and it won't be bugs or lab meat. I might try the algae, though.

For the more distant future, I look forward to replicators. ...if I could travel to the future, that is! Waste converted to energy. Energy converted to any kind of nutrient/flavor rich sustenance in any combination of textures. Two problems with one (incredibly complex, sci-fi) stone.


message 9: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Patricks (JacquelinePatricks) | 112 comments Tej, you mentioned synthetic food. Over in AW group they're talking about test tube beef burgers, no animal cruelty required. Of course, flavor needs to be added.

Interesting and sort of disgusting.


message 10: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 773 comments Anyone heard of PlantLab? It's a Dutch company that grows plants indoors using LED lights.

-- Triples yields
-- Requires 90% less water
-- No pesticides needed
-- Reduced dependency on oil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct3dK2...

http://www.greenprophet.com/2012/02/p...


message 11: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2156 comments Mod
Randy wrote: "Anyone heard of PlantLab? It's a Dutch company that grows plants indoors using LED lights...

Funny. I assumed that's how they were growing all the tasteless tomatoes you find at the supermarket these days. That said, I wonder if the taste of food suffers from this growing method.


message 12: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
Eww to beef flavored meat products.


message 13: by John, Moderator in Memory (new)

John | 834 comments Mod
And eww to tasteless tomatoes.


message 14: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Patricks (JacquelinePatricks) | 112 comments I second your ewww's, John.


message 15: by Tej (last edited Sep 20, 2013 11:00AM) (new)

Tej (TheyCallMeMrGlass) | 1669 comments Mod
Randy wrote: "Anyone heard of PlantLab? It's a Dutch company that grows plants indoors using LED lights.

-- Triples yields
-- Requires 90% less water
-- No pesticides needed
-- Reduced dependency on oil

http:/..."


If I hadnt known better I would have thought that commercial came straight out of a Paul Verhoven movie! Well minus an over enthusiastic voice over.

So many science fiction authors have envisioned this future of dieting on synthetic foods. We are going to evolve into a very different species pretty quickly...


message 16: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 773 comments It would make the greenhouse quite a bit different in the movie, Silent Running.


message 17: by Roscoe (new)

Roscoe (trueroscoe) | 2 comments I don't know about you but I'm going to be eating vegetables from my and my neighbors' Square Foot gardens, and trading them sourdough baked goods for homemade cheese and homebrew beer. My folks and I already raise chickens and goats, and by gum we'll go on doing so.


message 18: by E.B. (new)

E.B. Brown (EBBrown) | 320 comments I think we will have food substitutes, as in we will be able to take total sustenance either intravenously or in powder form. We're so close already.

Think of all time we'd have to get stuff done if we didn't have to bother with pesky eating.


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