Britons could be eating jellyfish chips and cricket burgers by 2050, says new report

Harriet Brewis
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Britons could be eating jellyfish chips and cricket burgers by 2050, says new report

Britons could be tucking into battered banana blossom and jellyfish instead of cod and chips by 2050, a new study has predicted.

Insect protein bread, cricket burgers and algae milk could also become common household staples by 2025.

According to the Future of Food report, eating trends will increasingly shift towards insects and other nutritionally-rich “last-resort” food sources.

The research, commissioned by Sainsbury’s supermarket in collaboration with plant scientists and futurologists, considers the nation’s possible eating habits and means of food production in 2025, 2050 and 2169.

“In 30 years, jellyfish and other invasive species could be found on the fish counter as recent research has found them to be full of nutrients and vitamins,” the authors write.

“Jellyfish are typically regarded as a last-resort food source but the growing interest of researchers and seafood chefs is triggering a rethink.

"A team of Danish researchers, for example, has devised a method to turn jellyfish, which are rich in nutrients, including vitamin B12, magnesium, and iron, and low in calories, into crunchy chips in just a few days.”

Warmer oceans and reduced predators could lead to an abundance of jellyfish, meaning it may be transformed into crunchy chips or other supermarket products (ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The study further predicts people will be able to “grow” artificial meat at home, much like many beer fans currently brew their own lager.

“We could even be introducing a ‘lab-grown’ aisle, where people can pick up cultured-meats and kits to grow meat at home. Meat, as we know it today, could instead start to become a luxury product," it added.

By 2169, people will be fitted with microchips to gauge what foods they need to eat to stay healthy, while “skin patches” will keep them topped up with nutrients and vitamins.

Meanwhile, “space farms” on Mars and the moon will offer up valuable research, to help turn deserts on Earth into food-producing land.

“The evolution of technology and advancement in smart AI mean these transformations could well be managed by robots rather than people,” the report explains.

“We’re already seeing AgBots, agricultural robots, performing tasks ranging from planting and watering to harvesting and sorting.”

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Plant scientist James Wong said humans must continue to adapt according to changing ingredient availability.

“For decades, diets have been simplified to include core ingredients that provided sustenance, and with that we witnessed a decline in the varieties of some ingredients.

"What we are seeing now – especially with the explosion of plant-based foods – is that diversity in food is returning to the British diet, including ancient crops like quinoa and south-east Asian staples such as jackfruit,” he told the Guardian.

Food historian Polly Russell also pointed to major shifts in eating habits as a necessary part of human development.

“Although in many ways how we shop, eat and cook looks radically different from 150 years ago, there are some things which will never change — food has always played an important part in bringing people together." she told the Times.

“So, even if we end up relying on patch or pill dinners for our physical health by 2169, food will still play a key part in our emotional, social and psychological wellbeing.”