In two decades, your future meals will be flavored with trendy contradictions

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As Sunday morning, January 1, 2040, dawns, Coloradans will wake up to a breakfast of lab-cultured sausage, mung bean–based eggs, and tiger-nut-flour banana bread—all prepared by robots who talk like Alexa’s much smarter granddaughter. There is no kale in sight, and almond milk was banned long ago for being an environmental threat.

The first month of the year is still filled with new diets, new calendars, new dire warnings, and the traditional predictions from culinary prognosticators.

I’ve been the guy predicting the next big food thing in newspapers and magazines since the early 1980s. See how official I just sounded?

Admittedly, I’m a food data geek who soaks up stats from the market research firm NPD Group, Whole Foods, food industry insight source Technomic, Forbes, the National Restaurant Association, and similar sources. Tell me what you’ll eat, and I’ll tell you who you’ll be.

Looking forward 20 years in nutrition, there are dining, grocery shopping, and farming trends that I think will be going strong.

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People lacking access to food 10-37% more likely to die prematurely: Study

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People with inadequate access to food due to financial constraints are 10 to 37 per cent more likely to die prematurely from any cause other than cancer, according to a study published on Monday.

Researchers, including those from the University of Toronto, looked at data from more than half a million adults in Canada.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, categorised people as food secure, or marginally, moderately, or severely food insecure.

By the end of the study period, 25,460 people had died prematurely, the researchers said.

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Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth by 40 percent

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Aerial view of the 2017 field trials where scientists studied how well their plants modified to shortcut photorespiration performed beside unmodified plants in real-world conditions. They found that plants engineered with a synthetic shortcut are about 40 percent more productive. Credit: James Baltz/College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis; however, most crops on the planet are plagued by a photosynthetic glitch, and to deal with it, evolved an energy-expensive process called photorespiration that drastically suppresses their yield potential. Researchers from the University of Illinois and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service report in the journal Science that crops engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40 percent more productive in real-world agronomic conditions.

“We could feed up to 200 million additional people with the calories lost to photorespiration in the Midwestern U.S. each year,” said principal investigator Donald Ort, the Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Science and Crop Sciences at Illinois’ Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. “Reclaiming even a portion of these calories across the world would go a long way to meeting the 21st Century’s rapidly expanding food demands—driven by population growth and more affluent high-calorie diets.”

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Toronto pay-what-you-can store aims to tackle landfills and hunger

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Initiative aims to reduce dumping of ‘waste’ and sell it at prices set by buyers.

In a bright, airy Toronto market, the shelves are laden with everything from organic produce to pre-made meals and pet food. What shoppers won’t find, however, is price tags. In what is believed to be a North American first, everything in this grocery store is pay-what-you-can.

The new store aims to tackle food insecurity and wastage by pitting the two issues against each other, said Jagger Gordon, the Toronto chef who launched the venture earlier this month.

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