What will be on our plates in the future? What are the food experts predicting we will be eating by 2050? Will our meals look much the same as they currently do, or are we moving in a very different direction? Although no one knows with certainty what the future will hold, an article done on the 2nd Annual Food Day has a discussion about such topics.
The first topic to reach the table is the topic of healthier processed foods. Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center of Public Interest predicts that high sodium, high sugar processed foods will be a thing of the past. The variety of new salt and sugar substitutes will allow the processed foods to taste good while not having the issue of elevated sodium or sugar content. They will be safe and added to a variety of foods such as soups, baked goods and condiments.
Less meat and chicken will be eaten in the future. This panel, which met in Washington DC believes that plant-proteins will replace three-quarters of the animal products consumed today. Due to limited land, energy and water the animal proteins will be decreased in the diets of the future. This will be done through plant-proteins in fake meat, seafood and milk.
We will have health planners much like the financial planners we currently have. Just like we grow our nest egg through the assistant of a financial planner, the health planner will help us to grow our preventative health account. According to panel member David Katz, Director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University, the importance of modifying what we eat before we get obese or have our first heart attack is crucial. Health coaches will assist with daily menu planning strengthening our health accounts much like our bank accounts.
Single computerized devices will be useful in the future. Just like the smartphones that have simplified our lives in the technology area, a single appliance will be able to juice, cool, cook and freeze our food all through our voice command. The possibility of computerized grocery carts that will fetch what one says they need as well as online grocery delivery may also become a reality.
Home gardens will be the norm. The gardens of the future will be aeroponic, where the plants are grown in an air or mist environment without the use of much soil. This makes the idea of growing at least one-fifth of the vegetables and legumes we need possible. Community gardens will also continue to be popular in the future.
will be popular. A numerical value will be assigned to all foods from least to most nutritious in the future. A discount will be applied to those foods that are more nutritious. Currently almost 1700 supermarkets have already implemented this grading scale called NuVal. An example of this currently taking place is at Walmart. The store teamed up with Humana and is offering a 5% discount to all those who purchase Walmart’s “Great for You” labeled foods. These labels are on such foods as fruits and vegetables, fiver-rich whole grains, low fat dairy and nuts, seeds and lean meats.
It will be fun and interesting to see what the future holds in the food future. OSU Extension is in a perfect position to address many of these predictions with their programs now and as they plan for the future. Contact your county Extension Office to see what is available in your area!
Source: Smartbrief Nutrition, Food Predictions for 2050. The Boston Globe, 10/25/12.
Author: Liz Smith, SNAP-Ed Regional Program Specialist, NE Region, Ohio State University Extension.
Reviewed by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County.