Foods of the Future

If you’re a fan of old science fiction movies you’ll know that the food of the future was often envisaged as a three-course meal neatly contained in a little white pill. The ‘future’ envisaged in those old movies, has already passed us by and thankfully, there’s still no pill! But there are other, more interesting, options which have already begun to make their way into our lives and onto our plates. For more on what the food of the future may look like, we turn to the BBC for their take on foods coming to a plate near you.

First up is the vegan burger – plant-based burger patties that are supposed to cook and taste just like meat. Two major players in this market are Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. The Impossible Food patty is based on ‘wheat and potato protein and crucially eghemoglobin, also known as 'heme' protein, which gives a realistically meaty flavour and even bleeds like a beefburger’, while the Beyond Meat patty is made from pea protein isolate. I’d like to say ‘yum’ but I’m not so sure.

Next up are inner-city mussels – and for this, they looked to Copenhagen. After the city cleaned up its badly polluted waters; the Maritime Allotment Group installed a series of ropes underwater in the harbour to encourage mussels to grow on the lines. Apart from cleaning the water, mussels are also a highly sustainable source of protein; and the mandate was to encourage people to eat more of their own fish and shellfish instead of exporting it. The various parties are hoping to build a working template that other cities can follow to create their own inner-city fisheries – imagine being able to harvest all the Halaal fish you need via urban food farming.

And then there are the insects! When you’re done shuddering at the thought, consider this – the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has identified 1,900 species that are edible to humans; and they say that considering our waning resources, insects might be an overlooked, but crucial, food supply in the future. Another option is that insects be used as animal feed – they are able to provide much of the protein an animal needs and their environmental impact is far lower than other traditional forms of food like soya crops.

The article goes on to identify microalgae which contains 50 times more iron than spinach and double the protein found in meat; and an animal-free form of dairy which provides the same nutrients as normal milk and cheese, just minus the animal – that beats a little white pill any day! In the interim, while we await harbour-grown mussels and roasted insects served on self-propelled serving platters, there’s N1 – timeless quality and service, with the best wholesale meat Cape Town and Johannesburg have to offer.