50 Future Foods to increase Dietary Diversity
November 24, 2020
Knorr has collaborated with WWF and Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Director of The Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington, to deliver The 50 Future Foods Report. This collaboration places the spotlight on nutrient-rich plant-based foods that have a lower impact on the planet than animal-based foods.
Securing dietary diversity for future generations
The human population is growing at an incredible rate. By the year 2050, the planet will be responsible for feeding a world population of almost 50 billion people. Our current food system is not geared towards feeding such a large population, and we will need to implement large-scale solutions in order to secure nutritious food for future generations. ProVeg is happy to see big corporations with wide influence, such as Knorr, acknowledging and championing plant-based diets as a solution.
“Our planet is not headed in a good direction on various levels: our collective health is deteriorating, our environment is worsening, and our growing human population will continue taxing food supplies.”
The Great Food Transformation: The EAT Lancet Commission Report
Current Animal Agricultural practices are unsustainable
Our current global food system is supporting a consistent collective consumption of animal-based foods. In early 2020, Knorr launched an investigation into what South Africans are putting on their plates and into their bodies. The Plate of the Nation report revealed that on average, each South African eats 58kg of meat every year. The typical South African plate has a far greater proportion of meat and is lacking in vegetables.
Our planet’s limited resources cannot keep up with the massive demand for meat and other animal products. Meat, egg and dairy production are among the leading causes of climate change, soil erosion, water pollution and decrease in biodiversity. Current animal agriculture practices contribute to at least 50% of all food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
A collective lack of dietary diversity
The human population relies on a small range of foods, with only 12 plant and 5 animal species dominating our plates. The majority of our calories from plants are sourced from only 3 species; rice, wheat and maize. Our collective dietary monotony has resulted in a shocking 75% of genetic plant diversity being lost and is threatening the resilience of our food supply.
Monoculture farming, the repeated harvesting of a single crop, is detrimental to fragile natural ecosystems. It leaves the soil depleted of nutrients, vulnerable to pests and pathogens and damages nearby water systems.
Our food choices determine our carbon footprint
Plant production is less land, water and greenhouse gas intensive than animal agriculture. Consider, for example, that producing 1kg of beef releases between 16kg and 30kg of carbon dioxide into the environment, while producing 1kg of tofu releases only 1kg of carbon dioxide. Studies suggest that personal food-related carbon footprints could be halved with the adoption of a plant-based diet, and that if everyone adopted a vegan diet, worldwide food-related greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 70% by 2050.
Knorr’s champions dietary diversity
The Future 50 Foods urges us to secure health and sustainability by choosing to diversify our plant-based food sources. The report details 50 affordable plant-based food sources with optimized nutrient density, environmental impact and flavour. The options are also balanced across all food groups, including 18 Vegetables, 13 Cereals, Grains and Tubers, 12 Beans, Legumes and Sprouts, 4 Nuts and Seeds, and 3 Mushrooms.
Several of the Future 50 Foods deliver significant amounts of critical nutrients, while remaining tolerant of challenging weather and environmental conditions. From Algae to Soybeans, each plant has a story to tell and can be found in the full report, here.
The Future 50 Foods
Algae Laver Seaweed “Nori” , Wakame seaweed
Beans & Pulses (Legumes) Adzuki beans, Black Turtle Beans, Broad beans (fava beans) , Bambara groundnuts/Bambara beans, Cowpeas, Lentils, Marama beans, Mung beans, Soy beans
Cacti Nopales (Prickly Pear)
Cereals & Grains Amaranth, Buckwheat, Finger Millet, Fonio, Khorasan wheat, Quinoa, Spelt, Teff, Wild Rice
Fruit and Veg Pumpkin Flowers, Okra, Orange Tomatoes
Leafy Greens Beet greens, Broccoli rabe, Kale, Moringa, Pak-choi, Pumpkin Leaves, Red Cabbage, Spinach, Watercress
Mushrooms Enoki mushrooms, Maitake mushrooms, Saffron milk cap mushrooms
Nuts & Seeds Flax seeds, Hemp seeds, Sesame seeds, Walnuts
Root Vegetables Black salsify, Parsley root, White icicle radish
Sprouts Alfalfa sprouts, Sprouted kidney beans, Sprouted chickpeas
Tubers Lotus root, Ube (purple yam), Yam bean root (jicama), Red Indonesian (Cilembu) Sweet Potato