Browsing the products at The Future Market, a conceptual grocery store stocked with potential products from the future, it’s hard to not want the year 2042 to hurry up and get here (at least until I remember how old I’ll be then). From devices that facilitate food as medicine to food that demonstrates how sustainable practices, such as crop rotation, could go mainstream, the pop-up store both imagines and seeks to influence the future of food and agriculture.
“We want to inspire the food industry to think more ambitiously and think about what we could and should be doing around food,” Future Market founder Mike Lee said.
Here are five products we wish were already real:
Polyculture Polenta by Three Sisters
How do we scale the things that people are already doing like rotational agriculture but into a mass consumer product? “If you can sell a product that is accessible to anyone you can change the system,” Lee said. This line of polenta products made from corn, beans and squash (known as the “three sisters” in some Native American agricultural traditions) sounds like a tasty, plant-based way to start.
City dwellers everywhere would appreciate this mini countertop farm. Using aeroponics and AI growing, it would allow consumers to always have fresh fruit and vegetables at their fingertips incredibly fast. The growing system would allow for fruits, vegetables and herbs to grow within 12-24 hours. SproutsIO and Smallhold are close to releasing a similar consumer products).
AnalyzeMe and Custom Culture
“The idea that we can get to precision nutrition is a really interesting concept and that’s what these are playing at,” Lee said.
The AnalyzeMe product is a pill that after you swallow it analyzes and maps the bacteria strains in your gut, and sends the data to a food profile that creates custom nutritional recommendations. Custom Culture is a line of yogurts made to benefit you based on your microbiome.
“It’s exciting because that kind of thing is the missing link between food and medicine, and engineering food that is restorative to our health is hard to do with one-size-fits-all food, so if we can automate that it makes it easier and everyone’s health is better off,” Lee said.
Seaweed is already growing in popularity as a food source, but what would it look like years from now. The Future Market sees it being farmed and transformed into a line of pasta products that look like traditional pasta but have a firmer texture and a mild-sea taste. Seamore already makes similar products.
Photos courtesy of The Future Market.