FUTURE of FOOD, part two

FUTURE of FOOD, part two

What is the future of food?

WIRED asks six food writers, researchers and podcasters about the food trends we’ll see more of in 2016 and how the way we eat is changing right now.

1. Food critic
Tejal Rao (California restaurant critic and columnist for The New York Times Magazine)
WIRED: What will we see more of in 2016?
Tejal Rao: Sprouted lentils. They sound unsexy, but the sprouting process transforms their flavour and texture.
What will have the biggest impact on how we eat?
More chefs are placing value on vegetable-focused cooking that requires only a small amount of meat and fish. This will change the way we farm and eat on a larger scale.

2. Eater
WIRED: What will we see more of in 2016?
Helen Rosner (food writer): Ugly produce is poised to have its moment. I’m excited to see chefs taking unwanted or imperfect products and using their skill and artistry to prove that it has value beyond the aesthetic.
What will have the biggest impact on how we eat?
The care going into new models of fast food — from giants like Shake Shack to upstarts like Fuku — will affect how huge numbers of people eat. It’s more mindful.

3. Gastropod
WIRED: What will we see more of in 2016?
Nicola Twilley (writer): Bee larvae. It’s lean protein, it can be raised to help rather than harm bee populations, and it tastes like a cross between bacon and chanterelle mushrooms.
What will have the biggest impact on how we eat?
Climate change will affect yields, growing regions, and diversity in ways that we will have a hard time predicting or adapting to.

4. Science
WIRED: What will we see more of in 2016?
Christina Agapakis (synthetic biologist, science writer): Probiotic foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut. We’re starting to see bacteria added to foods like candy bars and jelly sweets.
What will have the biggest impact on how we eat?
Fermentation. Recently, microbes have been seen as more than “germs”. Scientists are experimenting to create products like Afineur’s cultured coffee, or engineering yeasts to explore flavour possibilities.

5. Browen Percifal
Microbial Foods, (a company specialising in scientific fermentation]
WIRED: What will we see more of in 2016?
Bronwen Percival: Chefs are exploring whey’s potential for making cocktails, vinaigrettes and as a cooking medium.
What will have the biggest impact on how we eat?
Microbial terroir: harnessing the unique micro-organisms from a given environment to affect the flavours and aromas of the fermented food made there.

6. Matt Goulding
Roads & Kingdoms
WIRED: What will we see more of in 2016?
Matt Goulding: Thoughtful eaters who eat well for the right reasons, not because it’s a new form of conspicuous consumption.
What will have the biggest impact on how we eat?
Solving the water crisis. By 2050, half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas, which bodes very poorly for the global food supply. If the forecasts are correct, droughts will be the new normal.

This article was first published in the March 2016 issue of WIRED magazine, the links are from august 2019

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