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The Future of Food

Get ready for change Momentous change is coming, folks. I’m talking about… “Can you believe they USED to do that when I was a kid?” … change. It’s quite natural to consider our own lives and reflect that they are normal. However, the life you invariably lead is anything but normal. A common theme in history is that of relentless and exhausting effort to stay alive and not get obliterated by nature. Our current human iteration has got a nigh on perfect existence all things considered.

We’ve been slowly destroying our lives, but our food sources, healthcare, technology, and almost everything else is better than it has ever been…or…DUN DUN DUN…will ever BE! Drink that in. Things are going to disappear forever. Hamburgers may NOT exist in 30 years. Closed loop systems You see, our world is one of plenty. We have plentiful food supplies (mostly) and an abundance of convenience (mostly). However, almost all of our systems are wasteful and inefficient. Our current farming and agricultural system means that we grow food, carry it miles and miles on trucks, sell it, drive it miles and miles to your house, and then consume it. Our bodies process it and shoot it down the loo, out into the ocean where tiny shrimp have a veritable faeces feast. That’s an open loop system. Everything goes in one direction. Our world can’t sustain open loop systems.

The shrimp are delighted, but our planet isn’t. A closed loop system would be far superior. We’d grow food vertically in our house, on our roof, or somewhere a stone’s throw from your permanent abode. We’d grow it without chemicals to harm the planet or ourselves, and we’d fertilise it with….you guessed it (sorry shrimp) - our waste products. Human poop is gloriously full of nutrition and your pee is fabulous stuff, too - full of ammonia (plants love it!). Of course, you may be thinking…”where is the cow going to go and … how does one milk a cow?”. Well, there’s the kicker, beef and dairy products have a huge carbon and greenhouse gas footprint, so we’d have to make other arrangements to give you the meat you crave, unless… you just stop eating it? 🤔

Bugs or test tube chicken nuggets?

Far more efficient than eating domesticated animals would be to just consume bugs. They’re complete foods, full of essential amino acids, proteins, and vitamins. They may not look as appealing as a smiling pig (BTW - why on Earth is that pig smiling?) but they’re far more sustainable to eat. But, I know you’re going to be appalled by this very concept. Well, have a look at this. Would you eat it?

Early adopters are already chowing down on bugs. They’re plentiful, easy to produce, a cinch to take care of, and lip-smacking fabulous! Ethically, we may need to consider their feelings, so how about growing some food in test tubes. Much like we clone dogs, geneticists can take cells from practically anything and produce meat that IS meat that doesn’t need an actual animal to produce. Save the turkeys!!! Save the poisson!

If it all goes pear-shaped

However, this all sounds quite rosy. Large, juicy bug burgers. Lab-grown chicken nuggets. What if it doesn’t pan out this way? Climate change is already having an impact on our water supplies and infrastructure. Our climate is changing. Summers are becoming far hotter, weather patterns far more unpredictable. There’s a chance that our climate will break down irretrievably and we’ll have to rely on SLOP. SLOPPPPPPP!

We’d all be given a tasteless, blended and refrigerated bar of goo that contains the exact number of calories and nutritional requirements an adult needs (Roughly 2,500 calories for an adult male and 2000 calories for an adult female). Heck, we may have to eat only potatoes in a crisis.

Granny - we need YOU!!!

However, the answer to our troubles is to look back, back before our technology seemingly allowed us to conquer food production and put it in plastic packets. Our grannies and their grannies and their grannies lived differently. Often, they knew what grew locally and went and got it. They dug up wild roots, they pickled radishes and ate them through winter, and they lived off the land by living with the land.

We didn’t waste food. Traditional British food meant eating the WHOLE pig - from tail to snout, not just the best bits. So, perhaps we just need a bit of balance between having enough to be healthy, but finding enough without harming nature herself.

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