The ingenious and tasty cookout of 2030
By Jeff Howe
In the past few years, Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat patties have stormed the market for veggie burgers and earned a spot in fast-food restaurants and cookouts. What innovative food will be served at tasty and sustainable barbecues in the summer of 2030?
On the grill:
· If worldwide demand for beef continues to grow, the price of conventional burgers and steaks could skyrocket. But that should make the bill of fare more interesting in the summer of 2030. Heritage breeds and “red meat alternatives” like emu, bison, and ostrich can fill the gap. Even wild pigs, an invasive species that plague farmers in Texas and Louisiana, could arrive on grocery store shelves. Try the baby back boar ribs?
· The burger took a quantum leap with meat alternatives like the Impossible Burger, but more patty innovations are underway. By 2030 you may well be printing protein patties in a kitchen machine known as a fab lab. They’d contain specific “nutraceuticals” tailored to your particular dietary needs. In the future, food really will be the best medicine.
· The phenomenon of overfishing will give rise to new urban aquaculture farms. They’ll sell locally harvested cobia, tilapia, and Chilean sea bass that could be frolicking in their massive vat in the Boston area in the morning and ready for your plates by the evening.
On the table:
· Lettuces grown on an urban farm near you, in a salad dressed with algal oil, which is both healthier and more environmentally friendly than oils derived from corn or olives.
· Remember that kitchen fab lab? It might not be just for printing burgers. In 2020, two food science engineers at Cornell University were awarded a patent for a machine that makes “instant ice cream” from a creamy liquid and highly pressurized carbon dioxide jets that cool the mixture to minus 70 degrees C. It is, molecule to molecule, identical to traditional ice cream, and will allow us to forgo the energy-intensive “cold chains” that give ice cream its oversize carbon footprint.
Jeff Howe is an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern. Follow him on Twitter @crowdsourcing.