With the growing awareness of the impacts of livestock farming, vegan and vegetarian alternatives are in demand. While many restaurants continue to offer chicken and beef, more are introducing alternatives to meat. Food systems leave an important footprint on the environment, from agriculture, which uses half of the world's habitable land and most of its fresh water, to livestock production, which generates 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. Since the world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, that is, two billion additional mouths to feed, the world will need to increase food production by about 70 percent.
If the food industry learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's how fragile the foundations of food production can be. Systems that rely less on manual labor and weather conditions are more likely to be sustainable and resilient. A solution? Cultivate indoors, even in urban spaces, with a little help from high technology. While some cities are planting, others are planting.
Abandoned underground spaces can (surprisingly) be the perfect home for seeds to flourish. In France, Cycloponics hydroponics grows drought-resistant vegetables and fungi hydroponically in unused Parisian car parks, where temperatures tend to remain stable and energy-efficient LED lighting meets the light needs of crops. Growing Underground in London carries out similar methods in a World War II bomb shelter, located 33 meters below its feet. And speaking of dining out, you can expect to see fewer and fewer single-use containers in food deliveries.
In New York City, a company called DeliverZero allows restaurants to send deliveries in reusable containers that can be returned to any of the nearly 150 participating partner restaurants. On a smaller scale, the Parisian restaurant Rose Kitchen, in the Marais, began offering deliveries in stackable metal containers (inspired by food cans from the owner's native Thailand) earlier this year, which regular customers can now buy and carry to refill them, a small gesture that, when many adopt it, can have a significant and significant impact. For brands and manufacturers, the growing consumer interest in natural, organic, sustainable and healthy foods (NOSH) represents an opportunity to update products so that they are organically certified to meet this trend. The future of sustainability in the food industry looks promising and there are many different ways in which people and companies can be part of the solution to ensure a sustainable system throughout the food supply chain.
These products tend to have higher prices and are not always easy to find, especially in food deserts, but they are an excellent alternative to processed foods.