FUTURE of FOOD, part 3

FUTURE of FOOD, part 3

Future of food – Where will it come from? – Enjoy pleasures of food without calories – cultured meat – synthetic biology – sustainable food – revolution in biology – food for space –

This article is inspired by and partly taken from the exhibition: ‘Antwerp á la carte’ in the MAS -Museum aan de Stroom- in Antwerp, Belgium. “The history of the city, on the surprising, erratic and often invisible trail of food”.

ideas from the MAS exhibition:
Hungry mouths
Today, over half of the world’s population lives in cities. Antwerp, for instance, has more than 500,000 inhabitants. That’s half a million mouths to be fed every day. How do we manage to do this now, what will we do in the future, and does the past offer any inspiration?

Who eats what?
The Antwerp à la carte exhibition reveals the intimate relationship between the city and food, from the sixteenth century to the distant future. How do cities get their food? Which parts of the world do crops come from and how do they reach the city? What foods do people eat and where do they buy them? Does a modern kitchen bear any resemblance to one from the seventeenth century? And what do we do about all our food waste?

Food shapes the city
Follow the trail of food in the city and find out how what we eat has left its mark on the map of Antwerp. Stroll through markets and supermarkets, take a look in inns, cafes and restaurants, be surprised by smell and art installations. Try some finger-licking sixteenth-century recipes with a modern twist. Peek inside old kitchens full of strange utensils. Find out why Antwerp has so many local delicacies made of ingredients from around the world. And discover from the masterpieces of Antwerp’s greatest painters, contemporary art installations and photography how food has defined the streetscape for centuries.

Want to learn more? Download the guidebook of the exhibition: guidebook.pdf

Where will our food come from in the future?
In 2050 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. They will all have to be fed. Will we be producing vegetables and insects in large scale high-tech laboratories in the city? Will we ourselves or others provide our food?
Or will everything be different? Discover three possible scenarios for the future. Population is increasing worldwide and ecological crises are threatening our food systems. Imagine robots being responsible for the food supply in our cities. And that we’ll use unprecedented transport technologies.

Or imagine that the current system of large companies transforms itself into smaller sustainable networks. With citizens who manage the food chain themselves. What if, on the basis of an environmental conscience, everyone chooses to engage in urban farming in the neighbourhood? Or rather: what if the world of tomorrow will be nothing like ours? If we create new forms of life thanks to revolution in biology? And we can get our food from other planets?

Here are some more ‘wildcat’-ideas from designers and innovative companies around the globe. all focusing on ‘the FUTURE of FOOD:


Biolace is a speculative design project, which explores the potential of synthetic biology for future fabrication. In 2050 natural resources have become scarce and global population has reached 9 billion.
Plants grow in water in urban greenhouses. These hydroponic biofactories host new species of plants. The plants are genetically engineered to ‘manufacture’ multi-products which save energy, space and time. Biolace aims at questioning the validity and ethics of an emerging synthetic nature in the context of future challenges.

To biofacture Food for Space
‘Seasons of the Void’
Advanced technologies designed for space often come back to Earth: portable cordless vacuums, baby formula nutrients, and memory foam have become unremarkable.

Now scientists and engineers are inventing novel organisms in the hope that future astronauts could farm them on the long voyage to Mars, reducing the 30,000kg of provisions that would otherwise be slung into space. For decades, scientists have imagined ‘closed life support food’ that would purify human waste and recycle the air. But mission success also needs happy astronauts. A thousand-day diet of genetically modified algae may meet stringent engineering demands but would fail the emotional desires of lonely space travellers dreaming of steak.

Why don’t we eat cultured meat yet?
With one stem cell of a cow, you can culture thousands of kilos of meat. In theory, it is even possible to grow enough meat in 25.000-litre bioreactors to feed tens of thousands of people for a year. So why is this not happening yet?
In 2013, the first burger of cultured meat was presented in London. Mark Post, affiliated to Maastricht University, grew the burger with the financial support of Google founder Sergey Brin. The piece of meat cost more than 250.000 euros. Now, about 5 years later, the price has already dropped quite a lot: “For a kilo of clean meat you would pay around 60 euros”, Post says during the fourth international congress on cultured meat in Maastricht. Here scientists, investors, entrepreneurs and interest groups come together to discuss the latest developments in research and regulation.


Project Nourished
Enjoy pleasures of food without calories – Eat food that you can only dream of – More sustainable and nutritious foods.
project nourished
Open Platform for Computational Gastronomy
Our open platform allows the embedding of digital content over real food, beverage, and medicine. We provide schematics for specialized tableware, software API, recipes, and education for creators, researchers, students, and hobbyists. Now, go create your own gastronomical experience with Project Nourished!

Project Nourished is a speculative design project, which looks at the potential to hack our senses and program our foods. It isolates various odours and flavours and recreates scent, taste and textures. This is done by means of virtual reality, aromatic diffusion and sound conduction through bones. Hence, it might become possible for us in the future to experience fine dining without concern for high caloric intake or other health-related issues.


Alga-culture is a speculative design project that investigates alternative ways to fuel the body. It proposes a future where humans are enhanced with algae living inside new bodily organs. By allowing us to be semi-photosynthetic, we become plant-like by gaining food from light. As such, we will be symbionts (meaning that both entities entirely depend on each other for survival), entering into a mutually beneficial relationship with the algae.
Michael Burton & Michiko Nitta

28 Grams of Happiness
28 grams of happiness
Justine Kontou’s goal is to create a sensorial experience, that brings visitors into the “present moment”: a place where a person can nurture her/himself and share an exceptional experience with others.
Dutch Design Week Eindhoven www.ddw.nl

And here is much, much more: www.jwtintelligence.com

These excerpts are taken from websites mentioning ‘asked to share’. All copyrights belong to the original owners. When you would like to change, update or comment on these entries please get in touch.

Some earlier ideas:
Foodprint Program ‘food for the city’ 2009 – 2012
Extra information: FOODPRINT WEBLOG (mostly in Dutch)
The Foodprint program came to a close with the Food Tribunal on April 5, 2012 and the release of the publication Food for the City: A Future for the Metropolis (2012)

NOMA Restaurant, Denmark

– New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists
www.the guardian.com

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