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The Big Future: What is the future of food?

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What will we eat in the year 2100? In this week's Big Future, Arielle Duhaime-Ross takes a look at what we might eat in the future, and how we'll produce it. It's a tricky question, as new techniques and a changing climate combine to radically transform conventional agriculture. The result might look less like Soylent and more like a cricket farm.

The Big Future: Food

How we produce food is going to have to change

Food right now is in a pretty good place— it's fresh, it's tasty and we're able to produce as much of it as we need. But as the population grows and climate change cuts into the water and land that's available for farming, we may need to make more with less. That will mean getting smarter and more efficient about the way we make food.

The Big Future: Food

That might mean growing meat in a lab

It takes a lot of water and a lot of energy to produce a pound of beef, which is why some people are trying to figure out how to grow it one cell at a time. If it works, it could mean cutting animals out of the equation entirely, although the process is still a long way from working at a commercial scale.

The Big Future: Food

Bugs: they're what's for dinner

Another alternative is to start eating bugs. Some companies are already offering cricket flour as a cheaper kind of protein. It's easy to produce, and if people get used to sprinkling a little cricket on their pasta, it could make a big difference — assuming we can get over our collective insect issues.