Food, Finance, And Future
Examining how innovative food trends will revolutionize our ways of eating, and help you thrive at work and home
2020 woke people up in regards to foodways
Twenty twenty provided 20/20 hindsight about some of the ways we produce, obtain, and distribute food. There are lessons to learn, but also opportunities for aligning our food habits with healthy Earth ways.
If you eat every day, you should invest a bit more time in thinking about food.
Possibly, you might consider investing your energy and time into related industries, or actual financial investments.
The world of food is our world. It is undergoing remarkable revolutions.
Food is more than our sustenance, most of our industries are in one way or another related to how your lunch is sourced, where you eat it, and the reason you work at all in order to “bring home the bacon.” Obviously, if we are to continue to eat and sustain a planet to raise plant- and animal-based foods, we will have to innovate quickly, and with tremendous determination.
Location and Innovation
Even whether you own or rent is related to food, because you either commute and eat primarily at one or two locations (home and/or work), and you source your food accordingly. For example, owners are much more likely to have a window, or backyard, garden. Doing so allows an owner an advantage to accumulate saved wealth, food convenience and quality, and considerable savings in time spent shopping, and waste (garbage/recycling/compost) streams. Growing food at home is especially helpful for those people who work from home, or who crave food security during pandemics and social upheaval.
According to the Wall Street Journal, cooking at home has been even more evident in 2020 than ever before.
Of course, it’s also worth considering your health. Fast food and processed food is well-known to be detrimental to overall immune health, and in addition to the usual suspects of extra body weight, heart disease, and cancer, there are many other considerations.
Farm to fork trends that will require startups and investments
As the world moves toward awareness of both our limitations, our tolerances, and our sustainability, we will see millions of new technological innovations, and eventually, billions of new employment opportunities.
Given globalization, new trends in food production, distribution, and sales will continue to be led by the dawning realizations of changes coming due to things like pandemics, the climate crisis, and species extinction. The whole world is beginning to see the many thousands of ways we can innovate and collaborate to increase yields even as we protect soils, water, air, and land.
A few areas that are being closely studied include vertical farming — (critical to save space and habitats as well as to green our cities), AI, robots, aquaponics, and genetic tinkering. Other new innovations are being developed worldwide in things having to do with material themselves, such as biodegradable polymers, packaging, GMO crops, meat substitutes, and insect protein development.
Many people believe that the tendency for baking bread and developing new family rituals in favor of in-home dining may become a new piece of whatever new normal we attain.
Our present system, of on-the-run eating, fast food drive-thru meals, eating at the desk, and other “convenient” methods could hopefully be replaced by wider, greener, city spaces where parking garages and offices are converted to ‘pocket’ food growing space, and occasional take away kiosks, or outdoor cafes where food becomes more social, (or think of a spread out block party food fair) and less of just a ‘fueling station’ feel to them.
The future will run on food
All of these things will be collaboratively driven in order to feed a few more billion people while at the same time preserving climate and environmental health. Over the next thirty years, these revolutionary new habits will fundamentally change our human relationships to food innovation and production itself.
Many of these new trends will face social and political struggles, but in the end, society will always choose to feed itself. Controversy such as those over GMO foods, for example, will drive food trends in different directions among different cultures. In the west, our disdain for insect protein is presently being re-examined. Will people opt for a cultured meat that is cruelty-free and climate-friendly, or will they simply switch over to more genetically modified and enhanced plant protein?
Much of what lays ahead will depend upon public preference and public pressure to wean ourselves away from carbon heavy “junk food,” sugar and fat addiction, awareness of animal suffering, awareness of deforestation, and awareness of mental, physical, and spiritual needs of people and cultures.
There will likely be trends that ebb and flow, according to human need, cultural foodways, and technological advancements.
From pandemics to remedies
These trends are well under way in 2020, given how many people are accepting the reality of climate change and the realization that pandemics are often zoonotic (animal flesh originated) in our endless search for food.
In 2020, for example, food sourced by animal flesh — bats or pangolins — has provided insight to many millions more people about zoonotic illness and the great need to protect habitats as well as human health. But you don’t have to eat a bat to get Covid-19; just getting food at the supermarket where anti-maskers shop could do it! Nor are livestock diseases from domestic animal husbandry something we can continue to ignore.
Awareness alone, if done in true public health awareness campaigns, will continue to surge the search for healthier eating habits that sustain all life.
Last week, for example, Spillover author David Quammen wrote about bats in the New York Times. Our relationships to all beings on Earth have a direct bearing on how, what, where, and what we will eat in the future.
Then there are the very real concerns about employment for restauranteurs, food outlets, service people, farm workers, and related industries. There are also legitimate interests in local food shortages while at the same time we had record amounts of food waste as the whole economy weakened.
Issues like this will require creative minds, collaborative efforts, startups of every kind, and a full range of people to participate in all of the above.
Awareness and acceptance are at least half of the battle. If we are creative, we will innovate entire new industries. If we are investors, we should look toward the newer, safer, food trends — wake up and smell the sustainably-sourced coffee — as it were.
If we are wise, we will invest in every remedy that we can in order to find which trends will be hit and miss, and which trends will ultimately steer us toward foodways that make a healthier you and a healthier world.