Are you a flexitarian? Futurist plots new trend

Business futurist Morris Miselowski has hypothesised the coming emergence of the flexitarian diet and its potential impact on the food industry.

Flexitarianism is a dietary trend of mostly plant-based food with the occasional inclusion of meat. Miselowski’s thesis is that the rise of veganism and consumer interest in where and how our foods are grown is evolving towards a new status quo, where diners are likely to eat fewer meals containing meat.

His observations are bolstered by figures that show a declining consumption of meat per capita, despite an overall increase in meat consumption due to rising population and the growth of the middle class.

“My take is that by 2025, the average Australian will have three meat-included meals per week,” says Miselowski. “The rest will be a mixture of vegetable, plant and alternate proteins – including plant based non-animal meats, such as Impossible and Beyond Meat, that are literally taking the food planet by storm.”

The futurist suggests that departures from our traditional ways of farming will help us grow more crops with less land, water and labour.

“Technology will step in with artificial thinking to increase yields, help select the best crops, reduce the need for water and fertiliser and with artificial robot and autonomous hands to plant, weed, and harvest,” he writes.

“Perhaps vertical skyscraper hydroponic farms, which have 365-day-a-year yields – literally going up, first floor beans, second floor potatoes, third floor tomatoes – may add huge constant production on a relatively small piece of land.”

Miselowski also suggests that people will face the need to revisit what we eat as global patterns change, swapping out resource-heavy post-harvesting processes for wholefoods and ancient grains.

“The future of food debate needs to evolve, if we are going to feed our increasing population,” writes Miselowski. “The future of food consumption is more likely to be found in our journey towards flexitarianism.”

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