Unless there are big changes within the next 20 years, I foresee a two-class food system. One class will eat industrialized food produced as cheaply as possible at the expense of its workers and natural resources. The other will enjoy home gardens and locally and sustainably produced food, at greater cost. I’m hoping for the enormous expansion of this latter approach. For that, we need a farm policy inextricably linked to health and environmental policy. We can achieve that, but only with serious advocacy and political engagement.
Marion Nestle is professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University.
Looking forward, there might be some higher tech food but I don’t see a lot of soylent in our future. The highly processed junk that dominates our diet takes advantage of the way we grow and process crops and turns them into food-like substances that to many people taste good, provide enough calories, and are cheap and familiar enough to tolerate, but they barely sustain basic nutrition. There might be some fancy footwork but a 3D printed cheeseburger will still be a cheeseburger.
Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York Times and the author of How to Cook Everything.
Rat meat dressed up as lamb, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/03/china-meat-offence-rat-mutton adulterated milk and baby formula, substandard school textbooks – the Chinese have plenty to be concerned about right now apart from the perennial problems of pollution and growing concern about falling economic growth. The country’s new leader, Xi Jinping, has been talking of pursuing a “China dream”, but cruder everyday realities keep intruding, posing what may be the central challenge for his administration.
The past fortnight alone has brought news of the arrest of a gang that added gelatine to flesh from rats, foxes and minks, and sold it as lamb without any testing for quality or safety. In Shandong province, farmers were found to have used a highly toxic pesticide on ginger plants, while in central China, 3m school dictionaries were discovered to be rip-offs full of errors.
Paper profit for Chinese stalls’ cardboard buns