Tech-savvy scientists have been experimenting with ways to produce alternative foods that could help overcome the threat of widespread famine as the world prepares for a looming food crisis partly as a result of carbon emissions continuously heating up the planet.
According to researchers in the food industry, advanced technology could prove effective in creating new food sources.
Through cutting edge innovation, problem solvers are racing against time to ensure there will be a sustainable variety of foods accessible to all for a future that otherwise seems bleak in the face of climate-change consequences.
1. Plant-based Meat
People who fancy meat can still enjoy plenty of options without having to feel guilty for consuming environment-harming red meats.
Synthetic Biology, if you’ve ordered an Impossible Burger, you’ve taken a bite of an engineered food product. The "meat flavor" comes from heme, an iron containing molecule from a special soybean protein, that was isolated from fermented yeast. #syntheticbiology pic.twitter.com/YLnmKZfmP3— Reap What We Sow (@WeReap) October 20, 2019
Recently, scientists were able to develop plant-based meat that tastes exactly like the ones we get from animals, using a molecule called heme. Heme is the ingredient that gives meat its flavor and it proved to have less cholesterol, more fiber and sodium, but the same amount of calories found in real meat.
Another attempt to deliver a tasty synthetic substitute for meat used dulse, a red seaweed that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and can be a healthy and sustainable replacement for bacon.
Scientists at the Oregon State University have developed red algae called 'dulse' that tastes just like fried bacon. pic.twitter.com/AuvXDpJWzA— SERIOUSLY STRANGE (@SeriousStrange) July 19, 2015
2. 3D printed food
The future of food is here - and it's 3D-printed pic.twitter.com/k0uZHyPZ56— Mashable (@mashable) February 11, 2020
Technology-developed software and laser printers can now work together to produce all kinds of food with a click of a button.
Once these carefully designed printers are loaded with the main ingredient needed for the meal, it prints its different parts in extremely high resolution. Vegan steaks, pasta, and pizza have undergone successful 3D printing experiments.
Will the food of the future be printed? This company is 3D printing vegan steaks pic.twitter.com/KrCrdPKvgx— Reuters (@Reuters) March 1, 2019
This 3D-printed pizza takes about a minute to print and could find its way into future space travel, including five-year-long trips to Mars. pic.twitter.com/Gmh1WdKNV9— BuzzFeed Tech (@fwd) March 20, 2017
3. The Miracle Berries
The fight against sugar and the many health risks it causes has driven scientists to employ a West African fruit that adds a sweet taste to any edible item.
Plating Fresh Lemon, Lime & Grapefruit, Salt & Vinegar Potato Chip, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar in an eyedropper, served standing in a small Citrus served with a preparation made from Synsepalum Dulcificum Berry of an African Tree, which was consumed 5 mins before eating pic.twitter.com/gt8db8RKVf— Enville (@enVilleCatering) August 8, 2019
It has been promoted as the "Miracle Berry" thanks to its synsepalum dulcificum, a chemical taste modifier that causes one's taste buds not to detect sourness, eventually making food sweet.
A 2013 UN Food and Agriculture report noted that humans can make use of about 1900 edible insect creatures that are full of nutrients such as low-fat protein, minerals and fiber, and can be added to daily meals.
Butterflies, locusts, beetles, and other critters have already been in use across several cuisines around the world.
A Suffolk-based horticultural firm has successfully developed a hybrid plant that grows both tomatoes and potatoes through a tomato vine above the ground and potato plant beneath it.
According to BBC, each plant can produce up to 500 tomatoes that are sweeter than varieties available at supermarkets.
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