Ever wonder what people will be eating 30 years from now? Will we still sit down at a table with family and friends, enjoying all the same sights and smells as we do now, or should we expect something completely different? Will overpopulation and resource depletion force us to make drastic changes in our diet?
The world’s food system is desperate for an overhaul. By 2050, studies show, the world will have 3 billion more mouths to feed than it does today, and demand for food will rise by 50%. More of those people will live in cities, much farther from the “traditional” sources of food. Exacerbating the problem, climate change will put more demands on how food is grown, while fewer people will work in the farming industry.
As a result, scientists and companies are tinkering with many innovative food types today, which are poised to make a showing on dinner plates or in lunch boxes in the not-so-distant future such as bugs, lab grown meat, GMO everything, superfoods and more.
New innovations in Food
The food industry over the years has grown remarkably and has been expanding at astounding speed. And as in so many other sectors, the rise of tech innovation is reshaping the food market both on the production and the consumer sides. While technology is by no means a panacea, it offers opportunities in an internet-connected world. Technology can create a more productive, efficient, sustainable, and resilient food system.
Investments in manufacturing and producing food have been rising. For example – the agriculture investments through venture capitalists funding has risen to $735 million for 147 deals in 2017, according to CB Insights. That is a jump from $57 million for 71 deals in 2013. In addition, automation technology is continuing to vastly change farming with automated tractors that will enable farmers to work several fields simultaneously with the same number of workers — or fewer — and operate equipment day and night. Automated irrigation systems that collect information about soil and water levels will allow farmers to use water more efficiently. Start-ups in this category have raised over $400 million.
Food2050’s role in the future
Clearly, we do not have a crystal ball to show us the future of food, but never has it felt more important to inform and educate ourselves about how our decisions today can affect the future. That is why decision makers, innovators, and experts from the food industry and start-up scene, funding, and education shall meet in Bologna at FICO to discuss, debate and perhaps change the future of food.