|Top 10 Future Food Sources|
|Written by Katia Ramadori, Four Green Steps|
|Friday, 12 October 2012 00:34|
Written by Katia Ramadori, Four Green Steps
Your mind is probably racing off to the idea of placing a small packet or seed into an oven and having a meal appear in a matter of seconds, but here is a list of more realistic food sources that could end up in your kitchen in the near future.
Eating a meal could become as simple as taking a pill. It would be a great way for picky eaters to get the vitamins and minerals that they miss out on. Scientists have already developed a pill that provides the vitamins and nutrients that you get from eating six and a half pounds of tomatoes. As of right now these pills act more as vitamin supplements rather than meals, but they are still in development.
This option may not sound appetizing, but it could potentially replace our current inefficient process. Livestock requires millions of pounds of grain in order to grow to its expected size, and they need a large amount of space. The lab-grown meat does not require much space and does not need to me fed. The current method to produce lab-grown meat is achieved by obtaining muscle cells from a pig and growing them in a serum made from cow’s blood. The meat is then zapped with electricity and “exercised” so that it bulks up. Scientists are still developing the meat to feel and taste like conventional meat.
As cities continue to grow we can expect 50% of the world’s population to be living in urban centers by 2050. This will result in less available land for food production to feed the world’s growing population. To counter this problem, vertical farming is being developed. Vertical farming uses skyscrapers with floors filled with orchards and fields that can produce crops year round. Moreover, these skyscrapers would reduce transportation costs and pollution because the food would not have to be shipped all over the country, because it would already be in the city.
Conventional fish farming methods use a large amount of resources to produce a few fish. Aquaponics can solve this problem because farmers will save on water, space and plant food. Aquaponics is a closed system of agriculture that utilizes both aquaculture (the farming of aquatic organisms) and hydroponics (a method of growing plants that uses water instead of soil). This is a self-supporting system and provides a source of protein and vegetables.
Floating Sea-Based Fish Farms
Although the aquaponics are good for small fish, nothing beats the ocean for large-scale fish harvests. Therefore, scientists have been developing a giant glass cage that will travel through the ocean and protect and group together the farmed fish for easy harvesting. This cage will allow water to flow through constantly, removing waste so the water does not become contaminated. The cage would consist of a variety of fish and as well as bottom-dwelling crustaceans that could clean the cage by eating the waste of the fish.
It may not seem appealing, but insects are full of protein and with fish the population depleting and a lack of space to maintain cattle, insects for dinner may become a reality. People from over 90 countries have been eating insects for thousands of years, so it can’t be that bad.
These critters are microscopic algae that float throughout the surface of oceans and lakes. You’ve probably already consumed some if you’ve ever taken in a mouthful of ocean or lake water. They have many vitamins and nutrients that can also be found in land plants, but you would have to eat a whole lot of phytoplanktion. Maybe in the future with some help from scientists, they could become a major food source.
Adding Nutrients to Deficient Crops
Many places are rich in a certain crop, but unfortunately, that crop is deficient in nutrients. The cassava root is the perfect example. It is very cheap and grows even in the worst conditions, but is spoils in two days and offers little nutritional benefits. Scientists have already produced separate strains of cassava that have four times the protein, ten times the vitamin E or eight times the zinc. It is only a matter of time before they produce a strain that combines all these benefits.
Diverse Plant Strains
With Earth’s climate changing, farmers will benefit from having diverse stains of plants, in which some will be able to withstand the changing temperatures. Today many plant stains have been bred out to produce a genetically favoured strain. If farmers can reverse this homogenization, then we will be able to continue to grow crops in spite of the changing climate.
Hybrid Fruits and Vegetables
Many of us are already familiar with hybrid fruits such as pomelo, pluot, kiwi, and even the apple. And much like adding nutrients to the cassava root, crossbreeding may provide more nutrients that we may need in the future.
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