The Future of Food

How will we make our food in 20-50 years? Will we still eat what we eat today? What should we change and what shouldn’t we? These are all mightily interesting questions and things are bound to change as they will always keep on doing. These questions aren’t purely technological though. There might be solutions, but do consumers, or we, ourselves, want those solutions, will we accept them?

Will we accept salads growing inside, without ever having seen the sun or had rain fall on them? Will we accept lab grown meat? How best to test than just ask people while tasting? That’s exactly what they did during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven this year!

Setting the scene

The Dutch Design Week is a yearly returning event in Eindhoven, a city in the Netherlands. During this week there are plenty of expositions on design of a broad variety of disciplines. One of these was food design (in 2017). A variety of concepts and ideas was presented, some more realistic, or closer to reality, than others. Some trying to solve a problem, others trying to show there’s a problem.

This week isn’t just an opportunity for designers to sell their product, it is also a great way to hear and see what people think of your ideas. And at one fo the stands we were asked what we think of the future of food! Would we accept salads grown in skyscraper greenhouses? Would we accept lab grown meat or do we expect 3D printing will revolutionize the way we eat?

Tasting and listening

During a short tasting session we were given three products, a short story and then a question: would we accept this new technology or wouldn’t we?

The first featured skyscraper greenhouses. Once we’ve figured out how to best best or salads or other plants inside these greenhouses, we could potentially save water and other resources and optimize production as well as the supply chain. We were given some little herbs to test the greenhouse greens. Tasted just fine!

Next we were asked what we though of meat-less lab grown meat. Would we accept it? Would we buy and eat it. Potentially we could save a lot of land and other resources as well as prevent having to use living animals for our diets. Unfortunately, we couldn’t taste real lab-grown meat, instead, we tasted some vegetarian imitation (similar to the vegetarian chicken we discussed earlier).

Last but not least, we were presented with a 3D printed desert. Well, not completely, the bottom was a slab of chocolate onto which a sweet paste was printed in the shape of a heart. Cute, but not yet revolutionary. It tasted good though. Would we have 3D pinted future in the food that’s completely tuned to our health, the exact right amount of vitamins and minerals for instance?

The future of food

Very interesting developments that we’re bound to hear more of the coming years. The meat-less meat has been in the news quite regularly and there’s a lot of research going on with regards to the skyscraper greenhouses as well as 3D printing. What do you think? Will our food be very different? And if so, how?

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