TEDx Talk: What we eat can shape the future
As food and drink innovation consultants, we are always plugged into the latest consumer trends and hot topics. We recently went to TEDxHackney future of food festival to get inspiration from 12 world-renowned thinkers and doers from all disciplines within the food tech industry.
Here are some of the headlines of what we heard:
Food shapes the future
One of the big themes from all the speakers was how our consumption of food shapes our future. One trillion dollars’ worth of food is wasted annually and 2.5 billion dollars of food is wasted daily, as Elle Gillespie said: “What we eat and where it comes from matters – we either eat for our future or eat our future!!”, hence we need to take care of our ecosystem both by thinking about what we put in our mouths and generally by thinking about our food consumption behaviours. But it seems like this is not the only problem. In
In Africa, only 40 percent of what is grown and harvested makes it through the supply chain, while in the UK 20percentt of the food produced doesn’t meet our expectations and are thereby wasted. In total 30-50% of the food that we produce never reaches a human stomach! We therefore need to not only think about our food consumption but also about our food production and planning.
So how do we feed sustainability? As one of the speakers pointed out, we need to help the farmers and invest in technology, we need to look into new solutions and acknowledge that cities become bigger and bigger and people are demanding more and more food. There were solutions from the speakers such as warehouses in cities where we can produce food, urban farming, recycle systems, Aquaponics and cutting food waste by using technology.
Food is energy
Food is one of our main energy sources – especially protein. We are consuming a lot of meat each day, which has a big impact on our ecosystem. One of the speakers actually posted the ‘threat’ that beef, chicken and pork would be priced as high as caviar by 2050, so we need to find new sources to keep up with the amount of protein in demand; one solution on offer is crickets!
The company Bitty Food infuses what we eat with protein from crickets and is removing actual meat from the plate. One of the main hurdles when it comes to edible insects is the visual barrier, which is why companies are treating the crickets like coffee and grounding them into flour so they can be used to make bread and cakes among other things. The benefits of crickets are that they are easy to grow in cities and one of the most sustainable forms of protein on the planet. So our advice is dig in! Eat some insects.
Or if you don’t fancy crickets for a protein fix you could always try the new Weetabix protein drink which we worked on, find out more here!
Food is a creative tool
Food is not only about taste and nutrition. It’s about unique experiences and we are demanding multi-sensory ones. We don’t just want food on our plate, we want the stories, we want to know where it came from – we want transparency. As Zoe Collings pointed out: “It’s through authenticity that we can be consistent and through consistency that we can build trust”. A key message was don’t hide anything, don’t jump over steps in the food chain, think big scale.
Food is love, social and part of our identity
Food brings people together and it’s a way of sharing love with friends and relatives. In Egypt, mothers often only pass recipes to daughters and not their daughter-in-law because they want their son to keep coming home! Food is a global language and expression of cultures, it define you and your heritage.
Food plays a big role in a person’s identity: do you want to be featuring on Facebook with a cheeseburger in your hand stating “I don’t care” or a green juice stating “I think about my health”, the choice is yours! Personalization diets are key, and food is becoming pornographic; it speaks volumes about who we are, just imagine the millions of ways we can order a simple coffee.
Where is the future of food going? How will the new kids on the block Gen Z consume food differently?
Click here to download our Gen Z book to find out more.