Where are the Fantastical Future Foods?

The Legume Lab retweeted an opinion piece from the Washington Post some time ago titled “Why are we so bad a imagining the food of the future“, but it probably deserves more attention.

Science fiction has inspired many people to advance and improve products, services and living standards. Whether it is tablet computers appearing in Star Trek episodes or fears over the intrusion into our privacy by technology advances inspired by Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter’s “Light of Other Days”, futurism (at least, some of it) can present challenges that draw scientists, engineers and everyday tinkerers to look for ways to make these imaginings a reality.

The opinion piece in the Post dismays at the lack of futuristic foods imagined in such seminal sci-fi stories as Star Trek and The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and how in many works the interference of technology in food production/taste/look/choice is portrayed negatively. This is hardly inspiring to farmers and chefs in the way that Asimov or Adams inspires astrophysicists and astrobiologists.

How might food look in the future? Will we have found a way to extract carbohydrates from atmospheric elements akin to a plant using atmospheric carbon dioxide, alleviating the need to eat food as we know it but for pleasure? Could the alleviating of hunger be predicated on some synthetic crop able to provide produce whilst growing on little to no nutrients or human care?

If anyone has an example of some novel imagining please share!

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