There are 7.1 billion people on the planet today, and that number grows at a rate averaging around 90 million per year. These people of course need to eat, and while much of the world is currently experiencing the most abundant and healthy proliferation of foodstuff in human history, there is still a third of the global population that suffers from hunger – 30 people die of hunger every minute.
So as the population grows exponentially, the question is, and will continue to be, how do we feed this growing number of people in a way that does not diminish the quality of life via manufacturing side effects? The Food of the Future examines the outlook on just how we intend to do this.
After highlighting the problem and supporting it with a litany of statistics, the film turns its attention to early 20th century experimentation and food science developments. Norman Ernest Borlaug, an American biologist who would go on to be a Nobel laureate, is featured for having been credited with developing semi-dwarf, high-yield, and disease-resistant wheat crops that were able to produce record yields that saved millions of people worldwide from starvation and catalyzed the “Green Revolution,” an agricultural boom that changed the way humanity sustained itself on our planet.
The page then turns to the status and development of animal husbandry over the years, which is not the most considerate towards the animals themselves. In conditions that are entirely devoid of those we consider to be natural and humane for the animals, the food they lead to is more prone to disease and a lack of quality because of the diminished lifestyle they lead.
This leads the film into alternatives to our reliance on current staples like beef and chicken – things like insects, crocodiles, and an assortment of ocean-based protein sources are posed as ideas that in many cases will require massive cultural shifts in what we humans deem acceptable and desirable food sources. “Aquaculture,” as it is termed in the film, is particularly challenging because of the degradation we have imposed on the oceans and our lack of understanding of aquatic farming. If we are to make it as the 21st century plods on, that will have to change.