In our third instalment on the future of food, Foodie CEO Lily Ng delivered an intriguing speech on 20 September at a reception hosted by InvestHK. With over 150 entrepreneurs and business leaders in attendance, Lily shared her thoughts on the future of food: where it will come from, what it will be made of, how we will consume it and how the full cycle of the food journey will be ever more integrated. Here are some highlights from the evening:
• Food in the future will come from both near and far places. The natural evolution of people travelling and sharing more and our increasingly refined palates mean that we want more choice and variety, sourcing food and ingredients from both far and specific places. While our quest for variety will take us looking for food from all corners of the world, we will be turning our gardens and kitchen counters into our own private markets, making the shortest distance from farm to table.
• In terms of what food will be made of in the future, we will continue to look for alternative proteins such as flour from apple waste and mayo made from peas and bugs. With a growing population and the need to reduce animal by-products, we will strive to push the boundaries of science to generate protein and do it efficiently.
• Experience will be a key driver in how we consume food. The dichotomy will find us looking for dining adventures in both exuberance and raw experiences. We will search for more unusual dining experiences that entice not just our sense of taste but also our senses of smell, touch, hearing and sight. The popularity of molecular gastronomy is just the start of how we will twist and push the boundaries of cooking and dining. We are not only feeding our stomachs but consuming a multisensory experience.
• The discussion on the future of food also encourages us to examine the cycle of our food journey, which means not only practising how to reduce food waste before consumption but also effectively managing leftovers. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which aims to build healthy eating habits amongst kids, is a great example, as is his advocacy of using up 'ugly' food to reduce food wastage, putting these food management issues together in one conversation. Moving the dialogue of food upstream is critical and will continue to shape our relationship with food in the future.
Source: Daily Mail
• Equally important is the downstream management of food waste. The practice of farm to table has now been extended to 'fame to fork to fuel to farm'. The city of Sacramento, California, has already started producing energy from food waste. We anticipate more innovative ways to reduce landfills becoming mainstream in the future.
Given that eating is the most shared common human experience, businesses from all sectors should take note of the evolution of our food and dining habits. Innovation and technology will be key drivers and push boundaries in all aspects of what we eat and how we dine. Food will be increasingly personal, as it speaks to the many choices available to us. We will strive for strong identities and self-awareness in the food we choose. While our own health and well-being will always remain important, it is the health of the environment and the ecosystem that we will focus on and that will drive the future of food.
Let us know what you think the future of food will look like and continue the conversation.
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