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What will we eat in the year 2050?

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Is it premature to start thinking about what lunch will look like 30 years from now? The Nikkei Marketing Journal (May 11) doesn't think so. Worrisome signs are already here: climate change, and with it, shortages of fresh water. Warming ocean temperatures. And failing crops that point to the prospect of insufficient food for the earth's still-growing human population. 

Some people have already begun to strike out on their own. Take Sumi Masuda, a resident of Osaka's Suita City. 

"My monthly electric bill's about 1,000 yen," she says. "That gets me about 30 heads of lettuce." She grows them in elongated tubs inside the oshiire (closet) normally used to store a futon, with "sunshine" supplied by a 10,000-lux LED tube, which she says is designed to provide the "ideal wavelength for growing vegetables." 

Masuda began her small farm about 18 months ago, and as her store purchases for lettuce products declined, she has since expanded it to other vegetables and even sea vegetables like umi-budo, edible algae purchased via mail order from Kagoshima. With the aim of developing a self-sustaining cycle, she saves raw waste as compost and "farms" insects that can be used for fish or bird feed. "In one household, I've got an entire planet," she smiles. 

Her next project is to generate her own electricity to power the LEDs. 

Another emerging food for humans of 2050 is expected to be insects. At the Ameya Yokocho (Ame-yoko) shopping street near JR Ueno station can be found a vending machine selling edible insects like crickets -- which are said to go well with udon noodles -- and also arachnids such as scorpions. 

The vending machine, which was installed last February, is supplied with merchandise by Bugs Farm, based in Saitama's Toda City. Prices of the items start from 450 yen. 

Another machine offering bug snacks has already been installed some time before in the Akihabara electronics wholesale district. It has been designed with bright pink trim, so as to attract female customers. 

"Next, we've got our eyes on other hangouts of young females, like Harajuku and Shibuya," says the proprietor of Kome to Circus, which operates the machine. 

From January, Yamamori KK, a food producer based in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture, launched sales of its 2050 Curry. Sold in retort pouches, the new product features a spicy gravy containing morsels of a soya-based meat substitute. 

According to the company's website, the curry is available in three flavors: garlic-chili, pepper chili and ma-lah (with Chinese style spice).  

The product developer of 2050 Curry at Yamamori tells Nikkei, "I'd like people to develop a sense of the looming problem of obtaining foodstuffs." He decided to go with curry because it's practically a national dish among Japanese people. And the company went with a sci-fi package design that suggested a meatless future and the highly spiced flavor of the contents. "We did that to stimulate young males, who are less likely to be concerned with environmental problems," the developer added. 

A young gent named Tadokoro who offered to serve as guinea pig gave the new curry high marks. 

"I actually thought I was eating meat," he said. "Soya meat typically has the image of being dry and crumbly, but that can't be said in this case." 

Yamamori's 2050 Curry varieties retail for 360 yen per package. The company is reportedly at work developing less spicy varieties.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Soylent green.

Sol: Son of a bitch. I haven't eaten like this in years.

Det. Thorn: I never ate like this.

Sol: And now you know what you've been missing. There was a world, once, you punk.

Det. Thorn: Yes, so you keep telling me.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Plant-based food is the way to go.

Carnivores can eat humans, if they want!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Met-Rx, like Melanie in Jackie Brown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's for young generation under 30 to think about. So they have to do something, not just games all the time and they're the ones to waste food like nothing.

Remember the scene from 1980 Shogun Assassin. Ogami Itto isn't happy when a single grain of rice is being ignored. Respect Rice!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Reading articles like this make me realize how lucky Iam living in a first world country. Back home in my native land some don't even have anything due to the pandemic extreme emergency measure. They have problem feeding their empty stomachs now what more with their stomachs decades from now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

By 2050 we'll probably eat the rich.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Years ago National Lampoon magazine once covered this topic. Among other things, they suggested overpopulation of the subcontinent be alleviated by having its excess inhabitants processed into curry-flavored dog food. The suggest brand name was "Bangla-Bits."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Soylent Green.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Longpig!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Roast Beef an Yorkshire pudding!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't know because worms will probably be eating me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't know because worms will probably be eating me.

We'll all end up there. I want my worms to then go in tequila bottles, so I'm taken to some parties...

"My monthly electric bill's about 1,000 yen," she says

The currency in your country should now called "kuwai" (renminbi ). And you have no energy bill. It's 2050, most devices are self-powered or you have a gadget that produces electricity either by sun (solar panel)/ differences of heat (heat pump)/new technics we don't have yet in 2020.

the new product features a spicy gravy containing morsels of a soya-based meat substitute. 

That has existed for a while. In addition, the biggest market of faux-meat is not the vegetarians (that eat mostly beans, mushrooms...) but the omnivore fast-foods. The "meat" they serve enhanced with cheaper ingredients. It's obvious for "chicken nuggets", but what do people think they get inside sausages, burgers, gyoza, meat sauce ?

@NCIS, Swift started the joke with his modest proposal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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