The pizza of the future could be made from dough containing crushed up insects, be topped with lab-grown meats and cheese charred by lasers. It won’t be cooked in a wood-burning pizza oven, but instead, printed out by robots.
What is more, this Futurama-like pizza could be a reality much sooner than you think – in just 20 years, according to applied futurist Tom Cheesewright, who makes a living by predicting the future.
“The food we eat in 20 years may well look very similar to how it does today but its journey to your plate will have been totally transformed,” Cheesewright explained, speaking at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair.
“Even replacing 20-25% of the grain used for bread with a protein-packed alternative such as crickets could transform our reliance on the planet’s resources such as water, energy and land.”
“We are just around the corner from commercially-available lab-grown meats and cheeses and giant vertical farms supplying city supermarkets with salad leaves,” he the futurist.
“Your future pizza might be made from ingredients that have never seen the sun or grazed in a field. And it might be 3D printed by a robot chef and then carefully charred around the edges by a laser grill.”
Pizza has a long and storied history. The internet’s favourite food is claimed by Italy, but some think it has its origins in Ancient Greece. Certainly, flatbreads with toppings were staples in the Mediterranean region during ancient times from Italy to Egypt, and pizza-like dishes were described by Cato the Elder in the third century B.C.
We’ve seen the reaction to some people, particularly Italians when others put pineapple on pizza, so this could truly rock their world.
“And as we become more and more connected to other cultures around the world, we can expect to see lots of new flavours. In 20 years, we might see pizzas inspired by some of the fastest-growing countries around the world. Maybe Yaji spice mix from Nigeria, or sweet and hot Indonesian Rujak,” he said.
He added: “The people who object to pineapple on pizza will really hate that. Every step we take has huge potential for change.”
Just don’t tell the Italians.