7 foods we will all be eating in the future
Forget what's new for 2020, we're looking way, way ahead
It's impossible to predict the future, but thanks to climate change, growing populations and other factors we known our diets need to change — and boy are their some treats in store!
Already there's been a huge interest in meat-free diets. Buoyed by blockbuster documentaries such as Cowspiracy and What the Health, the Veganuary campaign and celebrities such as Beyonce, Ellie Goulding and Ariana Grande, going vegan has never been so popular. According to the Vegan Society, 600,000 Britons are vegan. In 2006, this figure was just 150,000.
If we're all heading towards plant based diets experts say by 2050 the global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans will have to double, and how much red meat and sugar we eat will need to be chopped in half. Pass us a vegan steak bake now!
We're also stuck in a diet rut. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 75% of the global food supply comes from 12 crops and 5 animal species. Here we have a list of some, erm, interesting options to entice you out of your food hole.
Meat-free burgers still (if you squint) look like burgers and taste a bit like them, that's the aim at least. You can already order plant-based burgers everywhere from TGI Fridays and Honest in the UK to Burger King who just launched its controversial plant-based Rebel Whopper.
The Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger are widely available already, but the next step will be an expansion of similar products on offer. Step up plant-based pork chops, steaks, tuna and salmon creations. In the UK, scientists at the University of Bath are growing bacon on blades of grass. The California startup JUST has created chicken nuggets in a bioreactor.
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Food futurologists predict we will be diving deep into the ocean as an alternative food source and in years to come jelly fish will become a common bite to eat. They reproduce prolifically and will multiplying even more monstrously as seas become warmer. It's payback time!
Food writer, Stefan Gates told The Guardian that "the texture is something between cartilage and rubber," delicious! That's said at least if we start eating them there will be less of them to sting us on our next beach holiday.
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People have been trying to tell us all that insects will be our go-to for a sustainable, cheap and protein fuelled snack for a while now. We're not convinced, but maybe this is a long game.
Forget the chocolate covered novelty packs of bugs. The emergence of cricket flour in breads, pasta and granola bars is a step in a more palatable direction. Selfridges have just launched a new range of insect-flour products by Welsh brand Bug Farm Foods, which includes insect powder for baking and ready to eat choc chip cricket cookies.
Let us break this next bit down gently for you: insect milk ice cream exists in the world. Yes, this is thanks to brands such as Gourmet Grub who make it with Entomilk — a milk made from black soldier fly larvae that's five times higher in protein than dairy.
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The green slimy stuff that lives in oceans, ponds and aquariums and grows uncontrollably fast, is packed with nutrition and it doesn't need fresh water to thrive.
Algae also produces over half of the world’s oxygen, and all marine ecosystems depend on it. A number of algae based-foods such as laver seaweed and wakame seaweed are already on plenty of menus and that's like to grow. Seaweed salads, yes please.
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Cactus plants have been eaten in Mexican dishes such as nopales salad and nopales tostadas for hundreds of years. Nopales are the pads of the nopal cactus, and can be cooked or eaten raw. They are seen as nutritious vegetables popping up in restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers' markets across the American Southwest and Mexico and maybe somewhere near you!
Because cacti store water, they can thrive in very dry climates — which makes them a resilient plant in the face of climate change. Its popularity is also growing due to its versatility. The fruit, leaves, flowers, stems and oil are edible and can be incorporated into a range of foods, from jams, candies, teas to cocktails — once the spikes have been removed of course!
Cereal and grains
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Not as adventurous as eating bugs, but cereals and grains are firmly on the list of 50 foods of the future complied by Knorr and WWF and we need to up our grain game.
Currently, 60% of the cereals and grains we eat around the world are come from white rice, wheat and maize. There are more sustainable, nutritional alternatives, such as amaranth, buckwheat, finger millet, fonio, khorasan, wheat, quinoa, spelt, and teff.
This coincides with a 2020 trend prediction of the rise in traditional West African flavours on menus and in supermarkets. Lesser-known cereal grains such as sorghum, fonio, teff and millet are gaining attention from chefs, including Pierre Thiam who has opened a new Harlem restaurant, Teranga, as an ode to African culture through food.
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Mushrooms will become a bit of a staple and also fits nicely in with our growing fascination with foraging and the move towards sustainable kitchens. Mushrooms of all variations naturally grow very quickly in the wild
We know some of you might despise this slimy fungi, but there are some major pros to eating more of them. Mushrooms are one of the few vegetables considered to be a good source of edible Vitamin D, they aid weight loss and boost your immune system. Look out for the hearty Portobello version sliding into burger buns as an earthy meat alternative.
Ever heard of this humble root vegetable? You certainly will in the next few months. Tubers grow underground andare a great source of energy due to a high-carb content and the fact they're packed full of nutrients.
Some are native to Asia and commonly found in wet markets. There are different types of tubers including lotus root, purple yam or ube and jicama. If you're still not sure, just think back toa time when sweet potatoes seemed terribly exotic!