The future of Food in 30 years
Within 10 years we should have enough science to tailor food to our genome and food production appliance to help ensure that our food has the high nutritional value with a sensor that can detect pesticides, antibiotics and any other harmful chemicals in ingredients and food through electrochemical analysis to keep our bodies in tip-top condition.
These days, science may have dissected almost every element of our diet, but many can't connect the dots. Even when sticking to official advice, healthy foods that seem to energize one person can cause another to feel fatigued and bloated. A few years ago, a team of scientists from Israel tracked blood sugar levels in the blood of 800 people over several days, making the surprising discovery that individuals’ biological response to identical foods varied wildly. Some people had a blood glucose ‘spike’ after eating sugary ice cream, while others’ glucose levels only increased with starchy rice – a finding at odds with conventional wisdom. Our bodies’ idiosyncratic handling of nutrients seems to be down to our genetics, the microbes in our gut, and variations in our organs’ internal physiology. Clinical trials have given us general dietary guidelines, but nutrition research tends to assume all humans are the same, and so can miss the nuances and specific needs of the individual.
In the next 10 years, the emerging field of ‘personalized nutrition’ will use genetic tests to fill in those gaps to offer healthy eating guidance tailored to the individual. Some companies, so-called ‘nutrigenetics services’, already test your DNA and offer dietary advice – but the advice can be hit-and-miss. By 2030, we will understand much more about our genetics/biome. We'll be able to tell you what kinds of fruits, what kinds of vegetables and what kinds of wholegrains you should be choosing, or exactly how often.
2035-2039 - Restaurants will see their costs soar alongside their inventory of empty tables. Many restaurants and upscale fast food chains will close. Our kitchens will slowly become their own entity, preparing meals without our own hands and leaving us with minimal work to do. One of the more ground-breaking new kitchen appliances is the 3D food printer.
We'll be able to model chemical data (taste) on computers with a few clicks of a mouse. Bioinformatics can improve the toxicological assessment of food making it even better. Bioinformatics will gradually expand the current trend of personalized choice in the food industry to allow consumers to match their food product choices with their own personal health. Consumers will have food devices in their homes that can make anything they want 24/7 a week. Thank of a nice food bar and something to drink. Of course taste will be 20x better than anything you can imagine.
By 2030 food should be different from anything you have tasted before. New flavors arrive unpredictably as food manufacturers create new products. Palo Alto ;) – well known for attracting the brightest minds – is becoming the global hub for food innovation. A start-up currently making waves is Impossible Foods, which has created a meat-free burger that sizzles in the pan, tastes like meat and ‘bleeds’. Designed to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, the patties are made with wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein, and flavorings. The secret ingredient is heme – the oxygen-carrying molecule that makes both meat and blood red – and seems to give meat much of its flavor. The heme that Impossible Foods uses has been extracted from plants and produced using fermentation. It’s a growth industry, with competitors such as Beyond Meat and Moving Mountains cooking up similar burgers, and plans are afoot for plant-based steaks and chicken. It doesn’t stop there, however: other start-ups are pioneering animal-free milk and egg whites. Expect to get used to the new tastes of meat-free meat and dairy-free dairy.
The emerging field of ‘neurogastronomy’ brings together our latest understanding of neurology and food science and will be a big player in 2030 dining with aromatic mists, subtle sound effects and controlled lighting, all optimized to make your steak and chips taste better than you thought possible. At home, augmented reality headsets that superimpose digital imagery on the real world could offer a tranquil seascape for a fish dish, or the wilds of Texas for barbecued ribs. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is designing implantable ‘neural interfaces’ that aim to boost human senses by transmitting high-resolution audiovisual information, and potentially smells and tastes, directly to the brain.
In 2030 food will be guilt free. Today around 40 per cent of all adults are overweight or fat and every single nation on Earth is getting fatter. Obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are soaring on a trajectory that will cripple many health services. A short-term solution is to re-engineer calorific ‘junk’ food to have less fat, sugar, salt and fewer calories, while still giving the same satisfaction. There are artificial sweeteners, but they can have unpleasant side effects and can’t be cooked as sugar can. Low-calorie sugar substitutes, such as sugar-alcohols like sorbitol, taste like the real thing but cause flatulence and diarrhea if eaten excessively. But food technologists have managed to coat inert mineral particles with sugar, increasing the surface area that contacts the tongue, so that less sugar can be used to provide the same sweetness.
In the longer term, fine-tuning our biology could allow us to eat without guilt. Few people realize that our appetite is precisely regulated. Overeat on a Monday, and you usually eat less on Tuesday and Wednesday. Our hunger is usually set to a level almost identical to the number of calories we need. Unfortunately, the hunger ‘thermostat’ is set a little too high, by an average of about 0.4 per cent (or 11 calories a day). Left to our own devices, we will each tend to eat an extra peanut’s worth of calories each day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to nearly half a kilogramme weight gain each year. Our unfortunate tendency to develop ‘middle-aged spread’ has presumably evolved as an insurance against the next famine.
The hunt is on to nudge the appetite set point down by 11 calories or more. Many hormones swirl around the blood to tell us when to eat and when to stop. One hormone, CCK, is released by the gut when food enters it, making us feel full. Another hormone, leptin, is released by body fat and apparently tells the body when our fat stores are adequate. It’s a complex picture and attempts at manipulating individual hormone levels have been unsuccessful. Everyone is hoping that we will soon untangle the web of brain-hormone messages and managed to devise supplements, foods or medicine that can make a tiny tweak to the dial.
This could be a huge problem as some retards make antibodies that attacks or block some protein that happens to control people’s anger and inhibitions and maybe a blood thirsty rage — unbalance the thyroid hormone production (Hyperthyroidism) for that aggression level, but blood thirsty rage is harder... definitely have to increase adrenaline and drop norepinephrine too... definitely going to take an accidental combo there. I’d be fine with one of Moderna’s mRNA coded vaccines but not more than one and definitely not a series of them.
Researchers are currently devising nanoparticles that give delayed bursts of flavor in the mouth, and earlier this year, a team of chemists created tiny magnetic particles that bind to and remove off-tasting flavour compounds in red wine while preserving its full aroma. The foods we eat are always evolving and new tastes are being created. By 2030, you can expect to be tucking into foods unlike anything you’ve experienced before.