Why do we need to think about our future food? By 2050, there will be over 9 billion of us on earth. It is therefore of huge importance that we start finding alternative ways of producing food in order for us all to be able to survive. In order to feed all these additional mouths we need to start broadening our horizons and widening our options when it comes to what we eat. JIMINI’S believes that eating insects is one part of many possible solutions to our future food situation. However, there are quite a few other interesting alternatives…
The edible insect diet is at the top of our list… No kidding?! Eating insects is encouraged by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations because of the great nutritional value of insects. Their breeding is also far less energy intensive than the production of animal proteins. The perfect future food! 😉
Products based on micro-algae:
Micro-algae-based products are among some of the most interesting developments for future food. Spirulina is a blue microalgae that is rich in vitamins, but also carbohydrates, minerals and trace elements, whilst having antioxidant, detoxifying and anti-cholesterol properties. Algama has embarked on the development of Springwave, a spirulina-based beverage that is a natural and innovative drink.
Bio-printing is another new development in future food. Modern Meadow had the grand idea of “creating” meat with a 3D printer. The design is done very simply, the company harvests stem cells from an animal. When multiplied, these cells are then stored in a print cartridge. When they are printed, the cells fuse naturally and form a living tissue.
Synthetic meat is designed in laboratories from stem cells harvested from adult bovine muscles. These cells are able to reproduce and form muscle fibres. They are then left to reproduce and grow in an incubator to form solid muscle tissue.
Genetically Modified Animals:
Most of us have heard of Dolly the Sheep and genetically modified animals (AGMs) are among the most innovative future food solutions. This technology allows “modification of the genetic material of the micro-organism, plant or animal concerned by adding, modifying or deleting certain DNA sequences in order to modify the characteristics of the animal or introduce a new characteristic – for example resistance to disease or accelerated growth – in a predetermined way. ” For the moment, no genetically modified animals are marketed within the European Union. There are some in North America but the marketing has not yet to date been lawfully authorised.
Finally, the idea of a nutritive powder that can substitute for other forms of food, especially meat, is in full swing. For example, Soylent has developed a white powder that is mixed with water and is supposed to contain everything the human body needs: vitamins, minerals, animated acids, calories, but also fat. It can be consumed in place of all other food. Is our future food even food at all?
You now have a brief and by no means exhaustive overview of the potential foods of the future. At JIMINI’S we are actively working on the development of insect products and consumption. The whole team is doing its utmost to spread the word and appreciation of eating insects to Europe. But did you know that the food industry already allows us to unknowingly eat insects in all sorts of products? So why not let yourself be tempted by a tiny worm?