As usual, I was browsing through the internet and this strange article caught my eye. It’s an old BBC article about an American Civil engineer John Elfreth Watkins, in the year 1900, who made some predictions on what may happen in the next hundred years i.e., the year 2000.
This made me contemplate, how things will be changing in the next 100 years. Precisely, I was thinking on, how does food look like in the year 2117?
To understand this food journey of 100 years into future, I will take you 21 years back into my past.
The year was 1996 and I was a fifth grader then.
We had an intra-school exhibition and anyone can participate, with a small project. Later the day, I discussed the same with my father and we came up with an idea. Well, most parts of the idea were my father’s. OK. The whole idea was his. (Let’s not rub it in)
The concept of our project was The Past, Present and Future of mankind with reference to food.
We made a Thermocol (Styrofoam) model with 3 partitions.
Here we showed a small water well with shadoof (for watering crops) and a farmer plowing his land with the ox. This showcases that agriculture work was manual in the past and the food we yield as a result were pure and healthy.
In this partition, we made a small pump (for watering crops) connected to the water well and farmer using an agriculture tractor for plowing. This showcases how vegetables and fruits are cultivated nowadays, which is more of a mechanized era with the usage of electricity.
We displayed a small house powered by a solar panel which will be the only source of energy in future. Food will be consumed in the form of tablets (pills) where one can take 1 or 2 pills each for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Well, we predicted that in future, our traditional food will be replaced by energy pills. I think we haven’t reached to that time, yet.
Let us look into some of the famous foods around the world and their evolution over centuries.
- French fries are still French fries starting from the 18th century and are popular around the world. I haven’t tasted the 18th-century French fries, but what could have changed? There may be many variants of French fries, but, same potato, the same type of oil, same seasoning element etc…
- The burger is still a burger, from the 19th century.
- Italians invented pizza during the 10th century and still, pizzas are pizzas.
- The traditional South Indian dish, steamed Idly (mix of rice and black lentils) is still a custom breakfast from the 10th century.
- The fish and chips are still famous in England way from the 19th Century.
Has the food changed over all these years? I don’t think so.
There is no actual evolution of food. It is us, human beings, who changed over time. We may have changed our taste over food, but we never changed our food. We have tasted various cuisine from various locations. I sure have tasted different versions of Kung Pao Chicken in different parts of India, but never visited China.
So, how does the food look in the year 2117? My guess is, after 100 years from now, food will look exactly the same as it looks today, but our taste would have completely changed over this period of time.
With all the health related questions, increase in genetically engineered food and minimal availability of fresh organic fruits and vegetables, we are already half way towards hurting our own body.
Anyhow, I “may” not exist during the year 2117, so I don’t know how food may look like. But I know for sure, which food I will select from the below options.