5 Strange Foods of the Future
HealthCentral Editorial Team Aug 7, 2012 (updated Oct 9, 2013)
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Some cultures already eat insects. Grasshoppers are not uncommon in some Mexican cuisine; crickets are eaten in Thailand. According to researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, insects are a great source of protein and are much more sustainable than cattle, for example. The researchers speculate that insects, including crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as ingredients in other products, such as hamburgers.
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Technically, it's in-vitro meat, grown from stem cells to create muscle tissue. Supposedly these new meat strips most resemble calamari, but are actually beef. From an environmental standpoint, lab-grown meat would eliminate the carbon footprint normally associated with raising cattle, and, also, ethical concerns about factory farming. Researchers who created the product say that at this stage, a hamburger would cost roughly $350,000 to make.
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Joining halibut and tilapia, cobia may be the next big thing in fish-farming, as this fish, also known as the black salmon, grows to be fairly large – up to 78 inches in length and 150 lbs in weight. In Taiwan, cobia are farmed to weigh about 12 pounds in a year; salmon, by contrast, take 3.5 years to grow to a comparable size.
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Seaweed, contrary to popular belief, is edible. In fact, with the rising popularity of sushi, more people are eating it these days. But this accounts for only one way in which this food is consumed. In fact, according to the BBC, there are more than 10,000 types of seaweed in the world. Since it grows naturally in the ocean, which covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, seaweed is truly a sustainable food.
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If modified correctly, algae—yes, algae--may be a secret weapon in fighting world hunger. It’s one of the most prominent food sources on the planet and produces nearly one-third of the world's oxygen. Instead of a carbon footprint, genetically modified algae could actually help the environment. It could be mass-produced, is edible and has nutritional value. What's not to like?