The future of food: insects, grass and veggie burgers with “blood”

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

The future of food: insects, grass and veggie burgers with “blood”

Let’s look at the diet of the future, and ask the question: “What are we waiting for changes?”

January 24, 2019 at 12:39

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By mid-century people will be more than 9 billion, and humanity’s need for food will increase by 50 percent. How to satisfy them without destroying the forest and thus not increasing agricultural activity, which greatly affects climate change? How to protect soil fertility on Earth to continue to gather rich harvests?

The answers to these questions is vague. According to Lin Ye yuan, editor of Mold, dedicated to the future of food, one thing is clear: “to feed nine billion people, will have to use all that we have.”

When the environmental load of livestock on the planet would increase enormously, one of the main directions of development of the food industry is likely to be a search for new sources of protein. Breeding animals “supplies” about one-seventh of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities. Beef production on an industrial scale, usually requires almost eight times more water and 160 times more land per calorie compared to vegetables and cereals. It is not surprising that the UN encourage everyone to eat less beef and more companies take this mandate quite seriously.

Among such enterprises is the manufacturer of the product Beyond Burger (eng. “More than a Burger”): bean patties, the color is similar to beef (thanks to the beets!), already entered over ten thousand grocery stores in the U.S. and about the same restaurants.

The closest competitor sells Impossible Burger (eng. “The impossible Burger”) – vegetable cutlets with bloody juice. His appearance they are required synthesized in the laboratory of protein called “heme”. These burgers are sold in thousands of stores in the US and in Hong Kong.

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Pale ale without harm to the soil

When researchers and farmers in the 1980-ies concerned with the problem of soil erosion caused by plowing land, they quickly offered a possible solution: cultivate perennial crops. One of the answers to the set task was Kernza grain average of wheat grass (Thinopyrum intermedium), a plant that is sometimes used as fodder. From Kernza three-meter root system, this grass is able to harvest for six long years.

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Pale ale without harm to the soil

Now it is gradually used for commercial purposes. The most successful use of grain to date has been the production of pale ale on the basis of Kernza — it deals with Patagonia Provisions.

A number of companies are now actively trying to establish industrial production of meat products, where there is no meat. Leading enterprises of the sector compared to the production of meat in laboratories with beer technology – you just have to replace the fermentation of malt to the process of synthesis of animal cells in huge vats for cell cultures. “Externally, the production will be like a brewery,” explains Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of the industrial group, Good Food Institute.

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Silicon valley disrupts our ideas about food

Cocktail of powder Soylent, which debuted in 2013, created employees high-tech industry: they tried to find nutritious and effective foods that contain all essential elements. Cocktail touted as a modern environmentally friendly replacement of traditional food. However, in 2016, the company is the inventor had to withdraw food bars and powders after cases of vomiting and diarrhea among buyers. A year later, Soylent banned in Canada — from-for discrepancies to requirements substitutes the traditional food. Despite this, its popularity has grown: it is sold in American stores like 7-Eleven and Walmart.

Meanwhile, edible insects are already on sale in the United States – not in the form of snacks like in Thailand or Mexico, but more often as animal feed with high protein content or food additives. From an environmental point of view for this production particularly attractive ordinary crickets. In one kilogram of crickets contains more vitamins, macro – and micronutrients than in a kilogram of beef. They breed well in small, dark spaces with a high density of kin, so that industrial production does not occupy much space. In addition, crickets produce very little waste – unlike a giant pig farms or farms for breeding cattle, which equip the whole tank with manure. Company Aspire in Austin, Texas, operates the largest US cricket farm, and her growing business based on the production of powder from crickets that is used as an additive in baking, energy bars and smoothies. The products of the farm have already been sold on pre-orders for the next two years!

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Crickets! Potato chips, energy bars and other food

If you try to imagine the insects in the dish of the future, get rid of the image of the “tarantula on a skewer” — you know that, over time, these arthropods will be to add to smoothies.

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

Crickets! Potato chips, energy bars and other food

“We’re not going to replace meat on the beetles,” explains Julie Forester, the author of the book “Edible insects and human evolution”. But insects can be used when cooking is quite usual food: chips, protein bars and powders for smoothies. “Bugs suitable for food! continues Julie. They can be one of the ingredients along with other products to which we have long been accustomed”.

In the food industry are also looking for a new source of fats. Scientists were able to isolate algae from resin horse chestnut ordinary, modify it for the synthesis of more nutritious oils, to give her as a “feed” Brazilian sugar cane, enclosing it in a huge, tall with a six-story house, the tanks for fermentation. At the end of the process the compound is pressed into the oil produced by the algae, and got a light product with a neutral taste, contain monounsaturated fats and high temperature smoke production. Now this oil is sold under the brand name Thrive.

Еда будущего: насекомые, травы и вегетарианские бургеры «с кровью»

According to supporters of oil from algae, its production does less harm to the environment than the release of other similar products. Palm oil production, for example, has led to deforestation and the excessive exploitation of workers. Algae per hectare (grown in accordance with environmental requirements of sugar cane) is able to produce up to 3-4 tons of oil with a neutral taste and monounsaturated fat content. Mark Brooks from the Danish company Corbion (sells oil from algae in liquid and solid form) said that many producers try to reduce the number of chemical ingredients in their products – for example with regard to partially hydrogenated oils. “Do you want to on the label were the names easier? Just use the oil from algae!”, – says mark.

The goal, according to developers, creating effective and humane alternatives like palm oil, whose production has led to environmental crisis in countries where it is actively made.

It is unknown what will be our food in 50 years, but according to an international expert on food, Raj Patel, one thing is clear now: climate change will force the more efficient use of available resources. “XXI century gradually opens our eyes: the weeds and insects are also suitable for use in food,” says Raj Patel.

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