It’s no secret that everyone’s pretty freaked out about our food future. With many people already suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and the population ever growing along with environmental constraints, the future of food is in dire need of something to save it. Food tech could be the only way we move forward and sustain future generations, or else we’re sure to face extinction.

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One South African company which is making massive strides in the food tech front is Fry’s Family Foods. The company is currently celebrating 25 years of successful food tech innovations and is holding its delicious and informative Annual Green Meeting happening on 05 November 2016. We spoke to Digital Marketing Manager, Brett Thompson about the food tech innovations the company uses.

Which key digital tools and food tech will help shape the future of the food industry? 

Where we get our protein from will define the food industry in the future. Food tech will make the concept of getting protein from an animal that was once alive obsolete. Meat that comes from a lab and plant-based meats, will soon overtake conventional methods of raising animals for food.

Lab-grown meat or “clean meat” will enable us to feed 10 billion people with a fraction of the land use and half the energy use while eliminating all concerns regarding animal welfare. Livestock farms will be replaced with cleaner cultured meat production facilities that will produce a protein that is arguably healthier for you. Once 3D printing has become scalable for widespread home use, 3D food printing will soon follow and allow us to have our own clean meat food tech appliances next to the toaster.

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Plant-based meats have also come a long way since the tofu hot dogs of the 70s. New products are being release all the time that are able to satisfy the most carnivorous of carnivores. Pepper-steak pies? Burgers? Nuggets? Are all possible to be made from plants with new food tech being developed constantly to improve the taste and texture. The food tech industry is expected to grow to $5.2 billion by 2020, I feel this an underestimate. Furthermore, there is a mounting case for a diet that has no animal products in it whatsoever. This will push the demand further away from meat towards a plant-based diet, with advancement in food tech making this possible.

Does food tech have the ability to drive more humane consumer food choices?  

The new developments in VR are making it possible for animal advocates to allow members of the public to have a real insight into where their meat comes from. This is powerful to create change in eating.

I feel that the biggest food tech driver for more humane consumer food choices has been the internet which allows for information to be easily shared on how animals are treated in factory farmed conditions as well as the environmental impact of our food choices.

Will the advancement in food tech hinder or help shape the future of the food industry?

New food tech will only help shape the future of the food industry. In order to feed the 10 billion people that will inhabit this earth in a few decades, we will need drastic changes in the status quo. Changes that are already afoot. By allowing for people to have a tasty, convenient and cost-effective alternative to where they currently get their protein from; we will be to eliminate the industrialised cruelty to animals in South Africa on a daily basis, and promote not only human health but the health of the planet, with the help of many cool food tech advancements.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the advancement Fry’s is making in food tech, get your ticket for the Annual Green Meeting HERE.

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