The Future of Food? Here’s what you need to know

The Future of Food? Here’s what you need to know

5th June, 2019 by Emily Findlay

Sainsbury’s recently launched its ‘Future of Food Report’ which predicts the role food could play in our lives in 2025, 2050 and 2169.

An insightful read that reinforces the crucial need to take action to safeguard our planet’s health, here are the top callouts:

By 2025:

The foods we eat will become more planet-friendly. A quarter of us will be vegetarian or vegan.

With our earth warming at an accelerated rate, planet-friendly food is a hot topic. And it should be. What we consume – and how it’s produced, packaged and transported – has enormous implications not only for human health but the entire ecosystem.

It’s therefore not surprising to see predictions that, by 2025, a quarter of all British people will be vegetarian (up from one in eight Britons today) and half of us will identify as flexitarians (up from one fifth today).

And as demand for plant-based foods soars, the grocery aisles will need to adjust. Hydroponically grown plants* are expected to revolutionize the meaning of ‘fresh’ and we’ll see a proliferation of plant-based meat alternatives. Jackfruit (already surging in popularity in 2019), is predicted to become a popular meat substitute  as well as mushroom-based products, algae milk, seaweed, caviar and insects (crawly things are already making their way onto our shelves – just check out Eat Grub’s range of protein-packed, edible-insect snacks!).

If 2025 will see a surge in public awareness altering the foods we eat, what’s in store for 2050?

By 2050:

Cultured meat will become a grocery staple.

With the global population expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, it will not be sustainable to produce and consume the same quantities of meat that we currently do.

The report anticipates that cellular proteins – the ‘meaty tissue’ cultivated independently from animals using stem cells – will reduce the need for farmed animals (and consequential greenhouse gases). While we’re currently seeing research in this area in beef and fish, it’s predicted that by 2050, the application may expand to eggs, milk and gelatine.

Our oceanic diet will expand.

As consumers, the breeds of marine life we consume will need to vastly expand – a vital move to protect marine ecosystems.

Expect to serve up lesser-eaten species such as porgy, dogfish, lionfish and barramundi. We are likely to also place higher value on previously overlooked nutrient sources and invasive species, such as jellyfish and seaweed.

By 2,169:

In order to leave some element to the imagination – this snapshot will require some further reading.

In the meantime, here’s a teaser – chips embedded in our skin, robots managing farms and food consumption becoming an immersive, all-sensory experience.


Glossary*:

Flexitarian: A flexitarian diet is one that is predominantly plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat and other animal products. Also known as semi, casual or part-time vegetarian.

Hydroponically grown plant: Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in water. Hydroponically grown plants, cultivated without soil, can be grown in spaces that would otherwise be unused – underground tunnels, disused warehouses etc., offering new opportunities for urban food growing.

Source:

‘Sainsbury’s Future of Food Report’, 2019, https://www.about.sainsburys.co.uk/~/media/Files/S/Sainsburys/pdf-downloads/future-of-food-08.pdf