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Food Innovations

Posted by terrepruitt on October 9, 2019

Wow.  I have mentioned that my neighbor gives us magazines, I think . . . anyway, if not, I get magazines from a neighbor.  Usually I just pass them on as most magazines are so full of ads they are not worth the time it takes to flip through them.  But sometimes I see something on the cover that interests me.  Or a mention of a recipe . . . that is usually what I end up looking at.  In the latest issue of Eating Well the cover touted a section entitled “The Future of Food”.  Well, that interested me since present food is frightening – at least to me.  The beginning of the section stated “Scientists are using sophisticated gene-editing tools to make our food supply more nutritious, abundant and resilient.”  The promise was a look at future trends and predictions.  They talked to nine people to see what is or may be in store for our food supply.  This post is a summary of some of it, there is so much information looks like I will be doing more than one post.*

One thing they report seeing on the horizon is lab grown “meat”.  Manufacturers will multiply animals cells long enough to form a piece of “meat”. Brad Barbera, director of innovation at the Good Food Institute, predicts this “meat product” will be in stores within 10 years.  He thinks it will “outperform traditional animal products” because they will be able to blend what they want, say, flavor, texture, and the highest nutrients.

Gut bacteria is the new found marker for health.  At least the understanding that it is important is the latest discovery.  Two people (Erica D. Sonnenburg, Ph.D., senior research scientist, and Justin L. Sonnenburg, Ph.D, principal investigator) at the Sonnenburg Lab at Stanford University suggest that there might be something like an “in-toilet device” that could monitor things and people could get nutrition recommendations based on results.

In addition to growing produce in other places than land, say greenhouses and vertical farming – to name just two, Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D, executive director of the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University mentions “a lot of innovations happening around insect protein.”  Not just people eating bugs, but the food we eat, like fish, eating the bugs.  Apparently wild-caught fish are used as food for farmed fish and this is messing up the oceans ecosystem, so she thinks feeding bugs to the fish might be a solution.

Fred Iutzi, president of the Land Institute, explains that perennial grain crops could change the way grain is grown and farmed.  Instead of needing to be planted every year grain could just go dormant and then resprout.  The idea is that there would be less soil loss and the plants might suck up more CO2.  The institute has about 1000 acres of a wheat and barley crop called Kernza.  They hope to have hundreds of thousands of acers in about 10 years.  Currently there is a Kernza beer and a Kernza breakfast cereal.  They hope the future holds perennial sunflowers and legumes and then eventually an entire agricultural system.

So, what do you think?   Would you eat lab grown meat?  Would you have an “in-toilet” poop tester?  Do you care about fish eating bugs?  Are you going to look in your local store for Kernza beer or cereal?

*Of course, you don’t have to wait for me to post about it, you could pick up the October issue of Eating Well yourself.  Or get it off the Willow Glen Community Center “bring a book, take a book” shelf when I am done with it.

6 Responses to “Food Innovations”

  1. Cheryl McGovern said

    Very interesting and encouraging to see the
    importance of gut bacteria highlighted. GMO
    foods don’t support gut bacteria – we have more bacteria than genes. We inherit our gut
    bacteria from our mother’s womb. Aaa vegetarian, I would not eat the fake meat.
    However, even if I ate meat I would not eat it because I believe genetically modified food is inflammatory as it has not evolved with humans over time and is received by the body as a foreign substance. I do like the idea of feeding insects to fish although I only eat wild fish. FYI The new Impossible burger now served at Burger King comes from GMO soybeans.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sonja troncoso said

    Great post, keep it coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sonja. There are a few more pages to go, so hopefully at least two more posts. I don’t know, I haven’t taken the time to read through the whole section. I was reading bits at a time. 🙂


  3. That in-toilet-device sounds interesting to measure gut health.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A long time ago I had mentioned hoping they would come up with a reader, like they have for blood sugar, but it would be to measure your health that day. “Health” in however they could quantify it . . . then we could take a reading in the morning and have an idea of what our bodies really needed to eat that day. I was hoping for a more prick-your-finger type of thing. But . . . I guess a poop reader would be a good measure. Once they figure out what quantifies as healthy and can program a poop-o-meter for it. :-O

      Liked by 1 person

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