In the year two thousand/we’ll no longer eat/either steak/or spaghetti with ragu/we’ll take four pills/and just like that/our hunger will disappear...
This is the translation of part of the lyrics from a popular 1959 Italian song by Bruno Martino. Many people believed it, not only in Italy. It was the era of the first space missions, everything seemed possible. Despite the great progress that’s been made in science and technology, luckily it hasn’t happened.
Nevertheless many things have changed: in the last 50 years, there has been evolution with regards to taste, availability of primary ingredients, methods of conservation and preparation, as well as collective awareness of what is healthy and what isn’t (only to name a few).
Whether at home or in an magnificent, multi-starred restaurant, what we enjoy at the table is always a complex result of many factors, many of which may not seem related to one another. While we are concentrating on the taste and the look of what is on our plates, often we don't realise that what we eat is the result of cultural, historical, environmental, economic and industrial factors.
The question we ask is this: now, in this era of such global changes in progress, what ideas do we have about the future foods?
Obviously, we aren’t the only ones wondering about this. For esample the Fooda association, on the occasion of the most recent Salone del Mobile in Milan, put forth an international contest asking young designers from around the world to give their idea of Food for future. Our gallery (on page top) illustrates what we consider to be a selection of the best ideas about the future of food.
To provide a space to compare and contrast the ideas of food in the future, alongside interviews and explanations, Fine Dining Lovers has gathered together the voices of some of the food sector’s most renowned experts.
No matter what their area of expertise, we asked everyone the same question: «The year 2050: what can we expect to find on our tables?» Here are the answers.
Massimo Montanari, food historian and director of the Masters programme in the History and Culture of Food from the University of Bologna, Italy:
«I think we’ll find simple, local, seasonal foods on our table. Maybe it’s just a utopian idea, but looking into the future, we see what we desire: it’s our desires that create the future. While historians don’t usually study the future, I have the impression that we’re heading towards an emphasis on what’s natural: that, despite what is commonly believed, is not an ancient value, but a modern one. What is going on in front of us, with the image of industrial food in crisis, will provide a positive model»
Martí Guixé, food designer:
«Food will no longer have either shape or taste: it will be merely nutritional, what will count the most is the effect it has on our bodies. And, more importantly, the table will not exist anymore: the very idea of the table will be obsolete»
Thomas Bialas, futurologist and food trend watcher
«The FAO says that we’ll be eating insects: man has been eating them for thousands of years, so it’s obvious that they’ll be on the future table. As will be hamburgers and algae: if we put aside an apocalyptic vision, which of course exists, on the grand scale it makes no sense to imagine that things will be much different than today»
Fritz Haeg, architect, artist and garden designer, author of the projectEdible estates
«No pills, no capsules, no meat. More than a prediction, this is my hope for the world».