When I was in Lisbon, Portugal recently to do the keynote at the Food of the Future conference, I recorded a vlog reflecting about how food is central to our future as humans, and what that means today….
I am here in Lisbon, Portugal where yesterday I gave the opening keynote at the Food of the Future Conference and Food and Nutrition Awards.
Here I am in LX Factory which is an old industrial area which has been converted into a hyper-trendy area full of startups, creative businesses, and restaurants.
My theme was around food, both at the center of the history and the future of humanity. There are many many key issues around this and these include that we need to be able to have the food production and distribution to be able to feed two billion more people on the planet sustainably, which is obviously not the case today. And reduce the extraordinary amount of food waste that we have today.
But if we look at food at the center of our identities, the key thing is this increasing polarization as in many other aspects of our society where there is a divide between those who have food as something which is really healthy which is the heart of their lives where they’re eating better than ever before where they are highly discerning, they have access to organic, high quality food and have that tension and awareness in how they eat and becoming healthier all the time.
At the same time, we have many people who are living off junk food and becoming more obese. In fact, in the United States, after two centuries of increasing life expectancy we’re seeing that reduced significantly because of increasing obesity. Clearly, there’s an enormous amount we need to do in order to be able to change behaviors, change eating behaviors, from governments, from companies, individuals being able to make it easier and easier to eat healthy food rather than to eat unhealthy food.
However, we won’t eat well unless that really is central to our identity, how it is we feel about ourselves. We need to have this alignment with how we feel and who we are, and who we want to be. In a way that’s the only thing which will drive us to be able to eat healthier and to look for the alternatives as they’re available.
So if we think about food as the center of our human future, but the key part of that is essentially to be able to build greater alignment which shifts behaviors that we have towards being able to both produce and distribute and to consume the food which will make us more and more able to tap our human potential. Whichever way it goes, it’s absolutely true that food has not only been central to our past but absolutely be central to our human future.