Over the next 30 years, consumers will be embracing a diverse range of plants and foods like fungi, seaweed and insects.
The topic was discussed during the ‘What will we be eating in 2050?’ session at the Dietitians Australia National Conference.
The idea of deepening understanding and value for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people’s ecological knowledges, high-tech food production, locally-grown produce and enhancing our cooking skills will be vital to transform the food supply.
The panel during the conference faced a challenging task with current trends placing doubt over the future food supply.
“Globally, we’re facing serious food security issues, as we grapple with how to produce enough nutritious food to feed our growing population in a warmer and more turbulent climate,” says Science communicator Associate Professor Paul Willis.
Calls for the food industry to accept greater ethical responsibility, and the need to advance food science to produce food will be made. However, Dr Rosemary Stanton sees one fundamental issue to be addressed.
She says, “We must change our mindset from thinking of foods as just a profitable commodity and put the health of our population and the environment first.
“We need to prioritise food production that is both nutritious and supports our environment. This means highly processed, nutrient-poor foods need to be dramatically reduced, and we also need to consider the types and quantities of animal foods we produce.”
Looking to our First Nations People
Proud Gamilaroi descendant, Tracy Hardy encourages looking to the past success of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples care and management of the land to embrace a brighter food future.
“First Nations People of Australia hold a wealth of knowledge about landcare, native food production and connection to Country that we can celebrate and make part of our food heritage,” says Ms Hardy.
“It’s about working in partnership with mutual respect with First Nations Peoples towards the shared goal of producing unique, nutritious and sustainable food in harmony with the land.”
Dr Stanton concludes, “Implementing community gardens, urban agriculture and kitchens in homes, schools and workplaces are just some of the ways communities can access nutritious food and work towards a zero-food waste target.
“When it comes to food, we need to get back to a more empowered, hands-on, personal approach.”