Editor’s note: Quartz asked some of the boldest thinkers how they envision the future for their The World in 50 Years series, with various experts across fields answering questions about the future of work and the economy to what we will eat. Here’s a16z general partner Vijay Pande’s answer to the question, “What will we eat?”
Food will in fact look and feel remarkably similar to what we eat today — but will come from radically different sources. There simply won’t be enough fish for sushi or cows for steak the way we’re living today. The extreme conditions currently needed to scale enough animals for our food consumption today won’t be scalable to 20 billion people, and one day will seem as cruelly barbaric as human slavery.
But we won’t all be vegan either, because for many, that will be neither their preference nor what might be most healthy. We will eat meat and dairy grown in alternative forms, produced and scaled through plants and bioengineering processes.
And when we have perfected the ability to create those meat, dairy, and other food products, currently sourced from animals and other natural sources, we’ll begin to design them in new ways. No longer limited by living animals, we will use nature’s own proteins and structures as building blocks for creative new forms for both our sustenance and our pleasure.
— first appeared here; see also related pieces for more on the topic, below!