10 smart food solutions for the future

Sky greens
© Sky Greens

By Joachim Christensen, Sustainia

Hunger and food waste are the defining characteristics of our global food system, both of which are exacerbated by a climate changing planet. By 2050 there will be more than nine billion people to feed, in a hotter and less predictable world. Rather than be daunted by the scale of the problem, and to mark World Food Day, we present ten of the most exciting sustainable food solutions that promise us a tasty bite of the future. Bon appétit!

1. Totally meatless beef-burger
Impossible Foods’ mission is to replicate the taste and texture of meat to convince people to eat fewer animal-based products. By using the protein heme, found in plants, the company’s technology can make plant-based burgers taste like the real deal.

2. Tortilla-style chips made from cricket-flour
By combining corn, beans, chia seeds, peas and cricket flour, Six Foods has created a healthy, low-fat snack. Crickets are rich in protein, calcium and iron and have low environmental impact. The chips also help promote insects as an acceptable foodstuff in western society.

3. From Coffee Fruit to Coffee Flour
CoffeeFlour is made from the coffee cherries that hold the beans, which would otherwise be discarded in early coffee-production. Now farmers have the opportunity to rely on more than just the coffee itself, as the nutritious flour can go into bread, sauces and many other dishes.

4. Urban farming in dense Singapore
How do you secure fresh vegetables in densely populated Singapore? SkyGreens has the answer. In its vertical farming system, plants are stacked in rows and watered by a closed-loop irrigation system that requires minimum water, fertilizer, and most importantly, space.

5. Solar-powered drip irrigation
Every drop of water counts in a hot environment like Kenya’s. That’s why SunCulture has created an affordable sun-powered irrigation system, which saves up to 80 percent water by dripping directly onto the plant. The system can increase yield gains of up to 300%.

6. Cheap, rentable tractors for smallholder farmers
Hello Tractor rents and sells low-cost tractors to smallholder farmers. The company relies on a smart SMS system in which farmers can request, schedule, and prepay for tractor services. Low-income farmers avoid having to invest in expensive tractors and can increase their yields by up to 200%.

7. Solar-powered walk-in coolers
ColdHubs battles food waste in sunbaked Nigeria as it provides farmers with solar-powered walk-in coolers for their perishable food. The farmer stacks his produce in a clean crate inside the cooler and pays only a small daily fee of $0.50.

8. Non-chilled food preservation tent
Refrigeration is energy-intensive and often not an option in rural areas. Wakati addresses this problem by offering a portable tent that keeps perishables fresh for up to a week without cooling. The tent produces a sterilized microclimate through a small solar-powered ventilator.

9. Making ugly fruits and vegetables attractive
Supermarkets discard piles of two-legged carrots and discolored tomatoes every year because of the way they look. French supermarket chains Intermarché and Marcel are changing this wasteful practice by selling cosmetically unusual fruits and vegetables at a lower price.

10. Restaurant leftovers sold via smartphone app
The Too Good To Go app connects late-night diners to restaurants that wish to sell their daily leftovers at a lower rate to avoid food waste. Pre-order on the app and grab your meal before closing time for as little as $2.50.

Find more intriguing food solutions at solutions.sustainia.me and get behind the food systems of the future this World Food Day.

10 smart food solutions for the future
By 2050 there will be more than nine billion people to feed, in a hotter and less predictable world; these products and ideas can help.

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