How to feed 10 billion healthy people by 2050?

At the Bite 18 exhibition many interesting people came to give speeches about some major hand-on topics. We'll give you a loop about what they had to say. The main issues at hand: 

  • Global Warming 
  • Food waste  
  • Lab grown meat 

In most of the western world a meat-centric diet has been the ideal for over 100 of years. But now we stand against some major issues due to that diet and adjustment. 

The issues with meat-centric diet is that the demand for meat will double by 2050. And we stand against health, sanitary and environmental issues. 

Global warming and food waste is some of the most important issues we stand against in the near future. So it is essential that people start eating more plant based diets but also working towards preventing food waste. Animals pollute a lot of Co2 which is one of the reasons for more plant based products. 

So how do we feed 10 billion healthy people 2050? 

But a more plant based diet will come with a lot of positive things:

  • Healthier,  more sustainable products 
  • More green proteins
  • Less sugar and meat 
  • No antibiotic use 
  • More resource efficient production 
  • Simpler, more secure supply-chain 
  • Can be produced 24/7, close to growing urban areas 

We do see a lot of changes for the newer generation where 1% of baby boomers are vegetarian, 4% of GEN X’ers are vegetarian and a whole 12% of millennials are vegetarian. 

In the United States, we’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins. In fact, as many as 50% of consumers now are seeking more plant-based foods in their diets and 40% are open to reducing their traditional meat consumption.” - Nestlé USA chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood

But you don’t have to get rid of all your meat. Technology will make sure of that. “Meat the Future”, “Future Meat Technologies” & “SuperMeat” are som of the major clean meat companies. They invest in lab-grown meat, which they among many others believe will be the only available option by 20-50 years. 

China also signed a 300 million deal to buy lab-grown meat from Israel. For many environmental and animal rights groups, lab meat is seen as a positive move away from slaughter of billions of animals.  

Afineur also had a lecture at the exhibition. Afineur is a company already working with fermentation technology. Their using products such as chocolate and coffee. Microbes is the tool to naturally enhance the nutritional value, flavour of food and texture through fermentation. 

We believe teaming-up with microbes can be one of the most impactful way to naturally produce better food products economically and sustainably by unlocking the full value of plant-based foods.”

We interviewed Birthe Linddal who held a speech about foodfuture, she's a futurist, and had some interesting things to say about food waste. 

From the interview with Birthe Linddal from FoodFuture /

“As I see one of the biggest dilemmas in the future of food industry is the individual relation to the collective, because the last 30 years in the society also in food industry which has exert to contact for the individual rather than the collective for the products. But meanwhile what has happened is that especially the youth has a huge longing for community and what can bring people together is to dine.

 Now there is a lot of initiatives and arrangement for community dining and social dining, the restaurants utilize social dining to prevent food waste and this is a tendency.

 So what I think is a challenge for the food industry marketing but also a big possibility that food is a social thing/subject. That means that you can make a delicious smoothie which will cost at normal price 30 danish crown but you can sell it cheaper at a children’s birthday party or at an event, marketing actions and PR, where you can positions yourself or invite people to socialising and be together.” - Birthe Linddal 

The Grand challenges for the future will be: 

>  We need to provide better plant based food options (Better for you: more nutritious, healthier and tastier) to reduce dependance on animal protein 

>  We need to reduce food waste (1/3 of the food does not make it to our plates)

> We need to produce more with less available resources (without changes to our producing or processing system, we would need twice as much arable land by 2050)

So theres a lot of opportunities for us in the future. Its gonna be exciting to see what the future will bring us foodwise. You don’t have to become a vegetarian or vegan to help the environment. But it is important that people adjust to these changes in the ways we eat to prevent food waste, reduce the pollution being caused by farming animals and at last the slaughter of billions of animals. 

What will be your role: “Benchmarker or benchwarmer”?

More from Taste Team CPH