The future of food

The future of food will be , in my eyes , a utopia for those already living a comfortable life and could/should help those struggling in the developing worlds. Let me take a couple minutes to suggest to you the many years to come.

We've heard of recent endeavours in food science to grow meat. To some it must sound ghoulish, a concept cut from a Mary Shelley novel, but just imagine the possibilities, the world changing potential of such technologies.

It will take time but at some point soon a lab grown beef steak will taste better than grown-on-the-hoof beef. Once the technique can be harnessed for beef then the possibilities really get interesting.

Imagine easy access to the more exotic Fugu or kobe beef. How about ethical foie gras? Why stop at meats, why not perfectly ripe avocado and abundant truffle?

In fact why limit our thinking to current or real foods. Fancy trying some dinosaur? The dodo? Or what about mythical creatures such as the unicorn (too far?). Teams of specialists would work around the clock to establish the movement and diet of extinct creatures and theorise over the textures and flavours of mythical beings. Movie promotional meals could offer something more relevant to their screenings. Why not go see that ice age movie then pop into a nearby fast food joint for a mammoth burger (tastes like chicken).

The technology will eventually make it to the home market. Food cultivators will become the must have gadget of the future home. Just tap in the recipe title and 'watch it grow'!

But where's the love?

Well it's unlikely food cultivation will end with this emerging technology. There is already talk of self contained eco-systems for the home. As living space decreases, oil prices rocket affecting food transportation and a growing appreciation for cultivation. Neighbourhoods will become engulfed in plantation and a new co-operation in friendly neighbourhoods will allow for greater diversity amongst the foods that can be grown. Maybe the odd bee hive, fish tanks and the more tropical bio tunnels (vertical free standing ones). It could be a utopia of sorts. After all food is our raison d'etre and helps build bridges and forge relations between friend or foe.

The global energy crisis will continue well into our lifetimes and it's likely that the emerging technologies will mature while we are still bickering over who should burn up the last reserves of oil. The new ethical meat will come from the Earth. There will be an increase in insect consumption not just limited to those in the know out in Africa but anyone seeking some self satisfaction and a reduced food bill. The lack of energy consumption in cultivating worms and other edible insects will make this new food source favoured amongst the eco-warriors and conscientious foody. Not convinced, heard of escargot?

These days everywhere seems to be an apartment or earmarked to become so. The
trend is set and I see a future where the residential properties far outweigh the commercial. The supper club concept where people visit the chef's house, usually via an informal booking system, will grow ever stronger as people rebel against the lack of diversity and social cohesion in their surrounding dwellings. In fact I see technology really lending well to the supper club.

Powerful home cinema systems able to project 3D images will transport the family dining table into a virtual restaurant populated by other real folk (or celebrities for a price) enjoying their meal in their home. After all food is not always simply about flavour. Imagine a hard day at work rewarded by a relaxing dinner out with friends at your home. With minimum fuss you could be eating your home grown beef burger in New York, jerk chicken in Jamaica, that beautiful candle lit dinner you promised your partner in Paris. The most popular restaurants will be in some fantastic venues such as front-row theatre or the vip box at prime sporting venues, oceanic dwellings, aboard the Death Star, Hogwarts and other worlds. Any time, any setting, how superb.

Meat grown at home with the ethical dilemma eliminated accompanied by fresh vegetation from your own porch and pleasant neighbourly negotiation. The diversity of available foods is set to increase and the dining experience will greatly enhance. This is the future of food as I see it, not that I can guarantee any of it will happen but I believe all of it will and so much more. In my proposed future of food we are set to get more but not without giving more. Whatever happens you can guarantee sliced bread will have a lot of contenders for the most prestigious of food titles 'best thing since'.

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