We all love food, right? I mean, it’d be weird if you didn’t enjoy biting into your favorite foods three times a day (or more, if you’re me!). Whether you’re eating lunch at your desk or sitting down with a group of friends at a trendy spot in your hood, food gives us immense pleasure.
Despite the incredible flavors pouring out of our favorite meals, many of them are threatening our environment, contributing to climate change, and adding to an already dire water shortage problem across the globe (including the USA!). The good news is, there are some amazing companies tackling these issues head on. More than ever, the food industry is transitioning rapidly. Many are calling this the era of “future food.”
You have the opportunity to get on board with some of the fastest growing and most innovative trends that will shape the future of our food. So strap on your seatbelts and get ready for a glimpse at five futuristic foods you’ll want to add to your foodie bucket list:
LIONFISH: UNDERWATER SERIAL KILLERS
With a voracious appetite, almost no known predators, and venomous fin rays, lionfish are a destructive force threatening the entire underwater ecosystem. Think of them as the Donald Trump of the ocean. Described as “one of the most aggressively invasive species on the planet”, lionfish are wreaking havoc along the eastern United States and Caribbean, decimating fish populations and coral reef ecosystems.
Lionfish can eat up to ten times their weight in a day.
Amazingly, lionfish can eat up to ten times their weight in a day. (So I guess it makes sense they’d choose Florida as a habitat…) This means these fish are consuming massive amounts of fish every minute of every day, threatening marine life on a massive scale.
Luckily, lionfish are actually quite tasty. As people get more familiar with this type of fish and start demanding it in their restaurants and supermarkets, we’ll be able to remove this destructive species from our waters and help restore a sustainable path to fish consumption. Restaurateur Ryan Chadwick was recently profiled in Forbes about his thriving restaurant empire and how lionfish was a big part of his success. Don’t be surprised when you start seeing lionfish on the menu at your favorite restaurant in the near future. And when you do, be sure to order it!
Recipes for lionfish include deep frying, ceviche, jerky, grilling, and sashimi.
THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER: BLOODY, DELICIOUS, AND 100% PLANT-BASED
For most of us, we grew up eating burgers. Whether at a friend’s birthday party, a backyard BBQ with friends, or even fancy restaurants, burgers have been a staple of our American culture. Few would ever think of tinkering with such a powerful brand, but the creators of Impossible Foods set out to do just that. This burger, however, is made entirely from plants. And yet, it bleeds.
Huh!? Come again? How could anyone do the impossible and create a burger made from plants that tastes just as good as burgers made from cows? Well, the Silicon Valley folks at IB did just that. Don’t just take my word for it. Ask celebrity Chef David Chang (founder of the Momofuku restaurant empire), a purveyor of foie gras, pork belly, and just about every other kind of meat on the planet, what he thought when he sunk his teeth into this juicy miracle.
“Today I tasted the future and it was vegan: this burger was juicy/bloody and had real texture like beef. But more delicious and way better for the planet. I can’t really comprehend its impact quite yet…but I think it might change the whole game.” – Chef David Chang
The implications of The Impossible Burger are hard to comprehend. Right now, it takes over 600 gallons of water to make ONE hamburger. Wow. The Impossible Burger doesn’t use animals, so they can make it using 95% less land, 74% less water, and 87% less greenhouse gases. It also avoids you having to ingest any hormones or antibiotics (that’ll save you a lot of $ at the doctor’s office in future years!). Add this baby to your foodie bucket list, you won’t be sorry. Just remember to thank me later ?
POPSHRIMP®: ONCE YOU POP, YOU WON’T STOP
Did you know that the USA recently approved consumption of shrimp fed with pig feces. Yep, you read that right. Pig $hit! Who woulda thought ordering a shrimp cocktail was so damn dirty? If you need more reasons to avoid shrimp, much of the shrimp we eat is peeled (the legs and head removed) by slaves (as young as three years old…) in Asian shrimping slave-labor camps.
And yet, shrimp is the most valuable traded marine product in the world. Over 10 billion dollars worth of shrimp will be sold this year alone.
Oh, and did you know that the carbon footprint of shrimp is TEN TIMES greater than for beef? Yup. In order to grow shrimp, companies are burning rainforest wetlands (killing the life the was there) and growing shrimp in the swamp that’s left behind. But because growing shrimp creates so much pollution, the land quickly becomes so toxic that it can’t sustain life, so they have to start over in another area of the rainforest every four to five years. Talk about destructive!
Fortunately, there’s a company doing something about this problem that’ll allow us to keep eating these tasty little critters. New Wave Foods, run by two kicka$$ women, is engineering a better shrimp with texture technology that allows them to create a superior product without sacrificing taste. It’s actual shrimp, grown in a lab. Not only does it avoid pig feces and slavery, but when they grow the shrimp, they also strip out the cholesterol and allergens. Pretty cool!
Google has already started placing orders for their office cafeterias, and other companies are starting to line up as well. It won’t be long before PopShrimps will make their way into your next bowl of Pad Thai. Who knew doing the right thing would taste so good?!
MEATBALLS: CULTURED, OF COURSE!
Memphis Meats has created the first cultured meatball. Now, you might be asking yourself, “what the heck is a cultured meatball?” We’ll get to that. But first, let’s find out why they exist in the first place. As you know by now, raising animals to feed us is a very costly process, both for the environment and for the animals. Given the issues we’re facing around climate change and the horrors of factory farming, cutting-edge companies like MM are bushwhacking their way into the Food Hall of Fame by creating the same great taste you’re used to, but without all the crummy stuff previously needed to deliver us the goodness of meatball subs.
MM makes the meatballs by taking “cultured” cells from an actual cow or pig and uses technology to recreate the same (cellularly-identical) beef and pork we’d get if we just raised and slaughtered the animals on a farm.
The possibility of growing meat in a lab has long captured the public imagination. Winston Churchill suggested in 1931: “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”
The company thinks it’s about a decade away from being able to produce these delicious treats on a global scale, so you’ll have to wait a bit until you can sink your teeth in to these bad boys. Until then, start sharpening your knives — it’s gonna be a tasty future!
PEA MILK: BETTER THAN ANIMAL MILK IN EVERY. SINGLE. WAY.
Let me start by asking you a question. If you could drink milk that had eight times the amount of protein as almond milk, ½ the sugar as regular milk, and didn’t require cows on factory farms to be harmed in the process, would you try it? My guess is the answer is yes. Now, if you found out that it also tastes amazing, and has 50% more calcium than milk, would you drink it on the regular? My guess is the answer is ‘f&ck yes’!
Pea milk has 8x the protein, half the sugar, and 50% more calcium than cow milk.
Welcome to the deliciousness that is Ripple Foods. From the same founder that brought you Method (listed as one of the fastest growing companies in America in the last 10 years), Adam Lowry needed a new challenge. When his daughter started asking him to bring home more “vegetable milk,” Ripple Foods was born.
In addition to all the positive benefits of drinking their pea milk, Ripple’s bottles are also made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic; and that plastic can be recycled in over 99% of households. It also requires 93% less water than milk (it takes 1000 gallons of water to make 1 gallon on dairy milk). Oh, and they only use non-GMO ingredients. Talk about a ripple effect! That sound you just heard was the mic drop.
Expect to see this incredible beverage on shelves across the country very soon, and you can likely already find it in your local Target store. So, before you pour regular old milk on your next bowl of cereal, make sure you remember to Ripple it up instead.
The future of food has never been so exciting. For us, for the planet, and for the animals. Check back in with us in the coming weeks, as we plan to post more on the deliciousness coming out of the incredible businesses taking our world by storm…
Which of these delicious foods are you most excited to try?