The food industry is constantly changing, but it’s never been more exciting than in the 21st century. There are innovations in technology, agriculture, and even cooking. It seems like there are constantly new things to learn about this ever-evolving field.
- GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FOODS
One of the most controversial topics in the food industry is genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products. While numerous reports support both sides of this argument, one thing remains clear: it has been scientifically proven that GMOs significantly impact our environment. To provide an environmentally safe alternative to GMOs, companies such as Monsanto have begun developing new seed varieties resistant to drought or disease while also requiring fewer pesticides. These seeds will reduce environmental hazards and are expected to increase crop yields, which will help feed more people around the world.
- GENETICALLY MODIFIED, LAB-GROWN MEAT
While GMOs are highly controversial due to their potential negative consequences on humans and the environment, efforts are being made to overcome this hurdle by creating new kinds of foods with the same properties but do not contain any genetically modified substances. One example is lab-grown or cultured meat that uses stem cells taken from living animals to develop muscle tissue instead of traditional farming methods. An advantage of this product would be that it does not require antibiotics when introduced into our food supply since there are no animals involved in its production process.
- ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
As people become increasingly health-conscious, they are looking for ways to limit their sugar intake while still enjoying the sweetness of desserts and drinks. For years, the Food and Drug Administration has approved artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame in a wide range of food products.
However, in recent months consumers have voiced concerns over the lack of conclusive evidence that these sweeteners are, in fact, safe for human consumption over an extended period.
- FOODSTUFFS IN SPACE
Every year, NASA spends close to $200 million on food for astronauts at the International Space Station. To make these rations edible and enjoyable, NASA has been experimenting with new methods of cooking and packaging foods that do not require any refrigeration or freezing for storage. In addition, since many vegetables lose a significant percentage of their nutritional value once they are freeze-dried, NASA has been growing to produce directly in space by using a special fertilizer that provides nutrients without requiring water. Mainly focusing on lettuce and cabbage, this method does away with the need to transport seeds into outer space and provide fresh vegetables for its astronauts.
- VIRTUAL SUPERMARKETS
For many individuals living in rural or remote areas, it’s not feasible to own a car and travel to the nearest grocery store. To solve this problem, Amazon partnered with Whole Foods to introduce Amazon Go, an app that allows customers to walk into a physical grocery store, pick up the items they need, and walk out without waiting in any lines or stopping at a cashier counter. For now, this app is only available in Chicago and Seattle, but with a success rate of over 95%, Amazon plans to expand into Vancouver, New York City, and San Francisco in the upcoming months.
The food industry is an exciting place to be right now with new technologies, innovative ideas, and creative business models. With so many options for consumers today, it’s vital that businesses keep up with the pace of innovation.