The Future of Food 2025 to 2050 to 2169

It’s Saturday 1 May 2025, a holiday weekend and the sun is shining in Leeds.

Julia has just returned home to her parents from university in London where she is studying her degree in eco-health.

Tomorrow is her mother’s 60th birthday and she’s planning to cook a meal for all the family. She opens up her meal planner app and asks it to update the quantities for seven, taking into account her sister’s gluten intolerance, her brother’s love of Italian and her grandparents’ MIND diet – designed to prevent dementia and loss of brain function as you age.

She smiles gleefully at the thought of showing her dad that the entirely vegan meal has surpassed daily recommended nutrition guidelines. Secretly he would prefer to eat steak, but she’s determined that the whole family follow a more flexitarian 1 diet . The app alerts her that the order has been placed at the local supermarket, and will be ready for collection at 1pm. At the supermarket, Julia makes her way to the pick-up point through the vegetable area. Micro greens are lapping up the LED light and water softly dripping across the hydroponic shelving stack growing leafy vegetables all year round.

It’s Monday 3 April 2169, 150 years from now.

Jill (Julia’s granddaughter) feels a vibration in her wrist. She taps her skin twice to switch off the alarm, which notifies her nutrition drip to prepare her breakfast shot, which was dispatched last night from Sainsbury’s in preparation. Today is the 50-year anniversary of Drawdown, the first mission of robotic farmers to resuscitate the desert, triggering a chain of global rebalancing that reversed climate change.

Jill blinks right to the latest news and closes her eyes to watch the report. The famous scene with the autonomous arm laying the first layer of soil on baking sand, the temperature of the air too hot for humans, fill her with wonder at one of the major feats of humankind.

In the last 50 years, communities around the world have worked tirelessly to re-introduce the plants and vegetables that were once indigenous to their regions. These ‘stewards of the land’ have done much to understand the language of nature so as to develop a circular life within planetary boundaries. Waste wasn’t just eliminated, it is a word no longer in use. Jill is interrupted by Hal-Lo, who administers her intravenous breakfast, before she gets ready for her day.

The local community outside of Leeds, where Jill’s ancestors lived as far back as 2019, are planning a social eating experience to celebrate. The committee has been planning the major and micro tastes and textures for some weeks, sourcing the ingredients from both its own supply of vegetables and grains as well as local bio-reactors and culture farms. Despite this technological shifts, the celebration of food continues to be
a celebration of life.

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