The world’s population has been increasing faster than food production, even with modern agricultural technology. It is stated that there will be almost 9 billion people to feed by 2050. Researchers have been looking at food sources, tweaking existing ones and also creating new food. What could be on our dinner table 20-30 years from now?
The 2013 U.N Food and Agriculture Organization report stated that there are 1,900 edible insect species out there that some earthlings already regularly consume. Insects are abundantly available, usually low-fat and rich in protein, fibre and minerals.
Cattle contribute to greenhouse gas emissions just as much as all the cars in the world. Scientists have come up with an alternative; synthetic meat which is grown in a lab. This will hopefully restrain global warming without depriving people of meat. In 2013 scientists started creating cultured ground beef from cow stem cells. Al though that lab patty costs about $330,000 dollars to make and tastes quite bland, experts predict that it will only take a decade or two to create an affordable product that looks, cooks, smells and tastes exactly like ground beef.
While algae are already used as a biofuel, it is seen as a solution for the problem of food shortages as it can feed humans and animals alike. Algae are the fastest growing plant on earth and have been used widely in Asia. Food experts predict that algae farming could become the world’s biggest crop industry, as it can be grown both in the oceans and in fresh water. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is a favourite of vegans and wellness advocates.
Ocean life is facing mass extinction because of overfishing, pollution, seabed mining and the destruction of habitats like coral reefs due to climate change. Yes, humans are to blame. Ironically 3.5 billion humans today depend on the ocean for their primary food source. This figure will double in 20 years. Fortunately, humans are aware of this and have implemented sustainable commercial fishing practices and turned to cultivating fish. Aquaculture is going big with 35 countries producing more farmed fish than fish caught in the wild. A milestone was reached in 2011 when for the first time, more fish were farmed than beef.
There is cultured meat, and there is also cultured fish, courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood lab. In fact, the biggest lab of all (NASA) gave a university scientist a grant to come up with some sort of space cuisine.
In 2015, a Silicon Valley biotech start up developed a lab-grown shrimp. However, it is not made from shrimp, but from algae, one of many recent cultured foods that have cropped up.
3D Printed Dishes
Straight from the printer and onto the plate. You will be able to fully customise food shapes, textures, tastes and forms. You can order your favourite chocolate bar or snacks online, and 3D print it with a machine at home. All your food craving will just be a print away.