What will the food trends of 2020 look like?

Food and Drink
January 22, 2020

Veganuary really is just the beginning. In 2004, The Guardian published an article that claimed that the ‘developed world’s over reliance on meat would be of the most pressing issues for the survival of our species’.

To some extent, they were right. 350,000 people have signed up for Veganuary so far this month, but Veganuary is just the beginning of a whole new global diet. Whilst a plant-based diet was a radical and revolutionary trend, new threats such as climate change and food shortages mean that it is highly likely that it will become a nutritional norm.

What will the diet of the next 30 years look like? We have compiled some of the latest, greatest and futurist eating trends and rating them based on what we think will be on the table for 2050.

Insects

Wow, that is a strong one to kick off with.

I know, but it is not as strange as you might think. Plenty of South-East Asian countries eat insects such as crickets waterbugs and even wasps, which can provide the protein and nutrients that ‘regular’ meat does.

The BBC reported back in 2012 that ‘The Dutch government is putting serious money into getting insects into mainstream diets. It recently invested one million euros (£783,000) into research and to prepare legislation governing insect farms.’ The overall cost to farm insects is substantially less than traditional farm animals and cattle, so it could be an interesting opportunity.

A big problem with using insects is the westernised stigma around not eating a creepy crawly, which is understandable, but insects can be crushed and used, without consumers knowing, as a traditional meat substitute such as in burgers and sausages. Eating a cricket burger would be much more digestible than a whole fried cricket on a plate.

‘Ooo I’d try that’ rating: 3/10

Lab-grown Meat

Also known as ‘in vitro’ meat. Meat grown from stem cells could also be the perfect solution to those who can’t give up the authenticity of a good burger. Plus, the production process emits 96 percent lower emissions than conventional meat and it also uses a drastic amount less water and land space.

A win win then?

Well not quite.

Per pound, in vitro ground beef costs nearly fifty times it’s conventional counterpart – so it is currently no where near the commercial stage and that is before you consider the cost of producing stem cell grown meat at a large scale. However, production and research have only been properly successful in the last decade, so by 2050 who knows what could be possible?

‘Ooo I’d try that’ rating: 9/10

Algae

Okay, is this getting a bit ridiculous now?

Bear with us on this. Algae has been used by Sheffield Hallam University as a substitute for salt in processed food. It has been said to give a very flavoursome taste like salt, but of course it contains very little natural salt. Using algae would also aid with global health concerns surrounding high sodium intake, such as strokes and high blood pressure.

The Japanese have been using it for years in salads and other dishes, so we could adopt this interesting ingredient quite quickly. They already have massive ‘algae farms’ that use sea water to aid farming, which is also great for the planet and preserving water, as it just goes straight back to the sea.

Ultimately, to really combat the problems surrounding current food production, we need to change our nutritional norms – it will save us in the long run.

‘Ooo I’d try that’ rating: 7/10