Science fiction likes to make it look like all of our food will be synthesized in a magic microwave, or some machine that can make a cup of coffee out of nothing. Considering the advancements in 3D printing, that might not be too far off. However, before you hastily assume that people will get their sustenance from holographic French fries in 100 years, consider some other bizarre alternatives, such as…
8. Canned sandwich
Candwhich™ is a product of Mark One Foods, marketed as a great meal choice for someone with an on-the-go lifestyle, as well as a snack that is ideal for an outdoor event or for “disaster preparedness.” As of the writing of this article, Candwich only comes in one variety, peanut butter and grape jelly. Nonetheless, according to their official website, they are planning on coming out with barbecue chicken, a French toast product, and pepperoni pizza product. The can contains bread “made from a special military developed formulation that allows it to stay sweet, soft and fresh for over a year…” Translation: it probably has a good percentage of the daily recommended amount of preservatives. The can also comes with two pouches, one containing peanut butter and the other containing grape jelly, and a Laffy Taffy.
Of all the names they could have given this product, they gave it the very appetizing title of “Soylent,” but it’s not as bad as you think it is. Soylent is basically a drink powder intended to be mixed with water and used not as a milkshake, or even as a supplement, but an actual meal. It supposedly contains all of the nutrients necessary to human survival. The powder contains canola oil, soy, and rice protein, among other things (mostly hard-to-pronounce chemicals.) It is fortified with a variety of minerals and vitamins. Now, let’s just hope there isn’t an extra ingredient they forgot to list…
6. Get Drunk Without Drinking
Despite PSAs about the dangers of imbibing too much alcohol, hard beverages are not only enjoyed by many people, but outright embraced in pop culture. Somewhere along the line, somebody thought, “What if I could get drunk faster, without drinking any liquids?” Lo and behold, a scientific mind with a love of alcohol introduced the world to the vaporizer. Your drink of choice is poured into the container and converted from a liquid to a gas in any of a variety of tactics, such as one including dry ice, or through the use of a bicycle pump. You can then inhale the gas, which travels to your lungs and directly into your bloodstream. Vaping alcohol gets you drunk faster than drinking it. However, there are concerns regarding the inhalation of alcohol, as it is much easier to O.D. on alcohol by inhaling it than by drinking it. Personally, I can’t recommend this, and my advice is to just have a glass of wine instead.
5. Edible Packaging
Nutrition delivery corporation Quantum Designs can be thanked for the invention of Wikicell. This concept involves small morsels of food encapsulated in a shell-like packaging that is edible. I don’t know how they taste, but they are rather cool-looking, they’re an ecological option, and it’s an all around brilliant idea. I do have one small concern, though. The purpose of packaging is to prevent food from spoiling, becoming contaminated with a foreign substance, or being tampered with. If the packaging becomes part of the food, aren’t those risks no longer mitigated?
4. Synthetic meat
Why have a plain burger from McDonalds when you can get one that’s flavored with science? Oh, right, the price tag. Currently, these burgers that are made from animal stem cells (no, not those stem cells) cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the technology is not yet perfect. Give it another thirty or so years, though, and your local steakhouse might serve you a beef patty that didn’t involve killing a cow.
There’s a not insignificant chance that ten years from now, humans’ diets will resemble those of their pet lizards. Bugs are already a staple food in many countries, especially in impoverished countries where the citizens have little else to eat. It may not sound appealing, but insects are high in protein, low in fat, and can be processed into other foods so they don’t taste like slimy bug guts. Pictured is the most notable example, which looks like a pot of sand, but is actually cricket flour, which is (surprise!) flour made from crickets. The best part? Crickets are gluten free, so even if you have Celiac or a wheat allergy, you can still enjoy chocolate chip cookies made with cricket flour.
2. Cotton candy grapes
Cotton candy grapes are made through hybridization. Crossing two species of plants can produce edible hybrids like grapes that taste like cotton candy. Although they have a slightly higher sugar content than regular grapes, they are a healthy snack choice in comparison to other sweets. Oh, and if you have a hankering for this too-good-to-blue true snack, they’re already being sold.
1. Space Food
No, I’m not talking about astronaut ice cream or freeze-dried bacon bars. I’m talking about food that is literally grown in space. NASA has plans to grow vegetables on the moon. It sounds impossible, and I can practically hear you laughing from my computer, but hear me out: it is theoretically possible, provided that the right advancements are made. The plan is to create a terrarium-like environment that stops the plants from being exposed to cosmic radiation, with all of the adjustments to the environment included in the enclosure to allow the plants to survive. It sounds like the stuff of sci-fi, but wouldn’t it be awesome if this was actually done? I hope that in the year 3015, humans will have their leafy greens from the moon delivered so that they can eat them with their lab-grown burger, and then wash all of that down with a cup of soylent.