Surprising foods we’ll be eating in the future
From seaweed salads, 3D printed steaks to insect burgers, expect your dinner plate to look very different in 2050.
It can be hard enough thinking about what dinner might look like tonight, let alone 30 years down the track.
But what we’ll be serving up in 2050 might surprise you.
Factors driving dietary change
Dietitian Nicole Senior says climate change will affect the types of crops we can grow and where.
“Hotter, drier conditions will pose a threat to nut orchards,” Nicole says.
“More severe weather events pose a risk to our daily fruit staple such as bananas.”
She expects we’ll be growing more sweet potato because it’s more drought tolerant than wheat.
Science will have a greater role in determining what we eat, says public health nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton.
“Science will also be used to estimate the carbon footprint of foods – and this will be most useful in helping us decrease greenhouse gases associated with food production,” she says.
Dr Stanton believes health concerns will also become a major driver of change to our diet.
“The Food and Agriculture Organisation reported in 2020 that changing to healthier diets, which provide enough energy, nutrients and variety from major food groups, could save all the health costs associated with unhealthy eating,” Dr Stanton says.
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Here’s a taste of what you might be putting on your plate in the future.
In a few years edible insects will be a dietary staple, according to the experts, along with other unexpected foods.
“Think seaweed salad, cricket burgers, 3D printed steaks and zero alcohol mood booster drinks,” Nicole says.
Less beef, more rabbits
Meat won’t completely disappear from our tables, but Dr Stanton expects traditional Aussie favourites such as beef will be phased off the weekly menu.
Instead meats that require less food and energy to produce, will be favoured.
“Top of the list would be farmed rabbits… followed by quail, goat, kangaroo, pigs and poultry,” she says.
When it comes to seafood, Dr Stanton believes most fish will be farmed.
“Fish farms will use plant sources of nutrients for the fish – this is already starting, and there’ll be greater use of the most sustainable seafood, which is mussels,” she says.
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Traditional bush foods
Nicole hopes we’ll be taking culinary notes from First Nations people on how to best use the land for sustainable food practices.
“We have much to learn from indigenous knowledges in how to live in harmony with the land,” Nicole says.
“Indigenous informed agriculture should have a place in future farming and land management.”
Dr Stanton believes we’ll be embracing the huge variety of bush foods available.
“The kakadu plum, like the native Davidson’s plum, is an amazingly rich source of vitamin C,” she says.
“I also think we will make greater use of native ingredients that provide flavour – such as lemon myrtle, bush tomatoes (some varieties only as some are poisonous), various spices and herbs.”
More and more we’ll be looking to plants for our protein, says Nicole.
“Expect an increasing variety of alternative proteins such as algae (including seaweed), fungi including mushrooms and other forms such as filamentous fungi that can be formed into meat analogues,” Nicole says.
Dr Stanton predicts the popularity of plant-based foods will continue to grow.
“There’ll be a greater emphasis on plant foods, especially vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds,” Dr Stanton says.
Written by Claire Burke.