The Future of Food

A HARD LOOK INTO THE STATE OF FOOD, CURRENT CONSUMPTION PATTERNS, AND WHERE FOOD IS HEADED IN THE NEAREST FUTURE.

Source: Diaspora Kitchen

Source: Diaspora Kitchen

Did you know, today, worldwide, for every malnourished person, there are two people who are obese or overweight? 868 million undernourished people and 1.5 billion obese or overweight people globally – according to Eating in 2030: trends and perspectives 2018 report. Guess where the highest concentration of malnourished people reside, yes your guess is obviously as good as mine. Africa remains the continent with the highest prevalence of undernourished people in the world. Affecting almost 21% of the population (more than 256 million people), South America follows immediately after with 5% in 2017, and fewer in Northern America and Europe with 2.5%, according to the state of food security and nutrition in the world 2018 report.

Did you know 36 million people die every year from lack of food and 29 million people from too much food globally? This is a perfect case of choosing your demon, would you rather die from the lack of or too much food? My answer is neither.

And did you know one-third of all food produced worldwide is made for feeding livestock? In addition, a growing share of agricultural land is used for the production of biofuel. This means we are choosing to feed both animals and automobiles instead of people (Eating in 2030: trends and perspectives 2018 report).

Also, did you know every year 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food is wasted, while 868 million people suffer from hunger globally? This is the state of food in the world at the moment, we are likely headed for hunger, aren’t we?

Source: Video Blocks

Source: Video Blocks

Right now there’s so much conversation about the importance of food, which is why we see an increasing number of Africans adopting health consciousness and consuming more organic food as opposed to the synthesized meals. However, following the obvious trend of emotional eating the conversation would soon shift from the importance of food to the importance of healthy eating. People are anxious with weight loss and as such take up unhealthy dietary plans that do more harm than good. The growing scale of depression and emotional ill health in Africa is causing people to find solace in food without much care of the composition of what they put in their mouths.

The future of food is seemingly bleak but the great part is, it can be salvaged. We do not have to adopt the knee jerk approach where we have to wait for the future to come before we implement measures to deal with it.

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What can we do?

  • Use the high interconnectedness that currently exists among people to disseminate information around the importance of healthy eating.

  • Institutions should promote the adoption of lifestyles and eating habits that favor the consumption of foods that contribute to a healthy diet and have less impact on the eco-system of the planet

  • The industry should focus more on promoting the purchase of healthy foods and use balanced price leverage to discourage the use of junk food

  • Strategies should be deployed to encourage people to find the space and time to devote to meals in the company of other people. This way they are motivated to eat healthier meals.

  • More so, the food industry must continue to develop new forms of convenience foods that have a high level of nutrition

Africans with the Floss

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AFRICAN TWIG? PEOPLE NO LONGER FIND IT FANCY OR WHAT?

Source: Chicagokidsdds.com

Source: Chicagokidsdds.com

Back in the day I always heard older ones say how that the African twig is more natural, healthy, and yes of course, cheaper – some even say that it is medicinal and cures certain ailments unlike the “modern day” means of keeping great oral hygiene. Fast forward to a couple years later, no one seems to be spotted using the African twig, called chewing stick in Nigeria, Sothiou in Senegal, Mswaki in Swahili speaking African speaking nations.

However, this trend isn’t about the extinction of the African twig (still in use in many rural places in Africa), or the use of a toothbrush (whether manual or electric), but it is about the fact that Africans have begun to floss.

It is true that Africans have increasingly become health conscious and oral hygiene is gradually becoming an important topic for discuss. Although we are still trying to get a hang of flossing but it is likely to become an important part of culture.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

No one likes a bad breath, plaque, or discoloration of the teeth. Millenials and generation Z communities want to look presentable when they step out and also exude utmost confidence. As a result seeing the dentist, brushing the teeth twice a day, and flossing is becoming the way to go for oral hygiene.

Bye bye to the twig.

Rise of the Green

WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR MOUTH IS ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOUR BODY.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

A friend of mine got ill once and she was complaining to me about the ailment. As she started highlighting the effects of the ailment she mentioned loss of appetite. Immediately, my doctor cap came on. I always advocate for people to ensure they eat something whenever they get sick even if they have to force the food down their throats as your body needs food to function optimally and the more you stay away from food, the more powerful the ailment becomes.

The paragraph you just read was just to buttress the importance of eating but here is what this article is truly about.

The other day, a colleague of mine asked me to totally cut out processed food from my diet and stay strictly organic if I wanted to lead a healthy and long life. I thought to myself, I do not have a farm so how in the world am I supposed to stay organic? A huge percentage of foods consumed in Africa are processed and not everyone gets to have access to organic meals as they ought but this is gradually changing.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Africa is beginning to see the rise of the green, as African consumers become the more health conscious and are going for organic meals. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of green product retailers, thereby enhancing the ease of access to the desired organic meals. The health benefits of green –vegetables –are tremendous. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals, low in cholesterol, boosts immune system, ensures strong bones and vitality, they enhance skin health, they prevent obesity and diseases and so much more. Processed foods on the other hand have been found to be harmful to the body over time.

Source: Nature

Source: Nature

What does this mean for many FMCGs?

It means that as 2019 is gradually ushered in, some FMCGs are sure to record a drop in sales as the movement against processed meals will heighten among consumers. However, if these companies could come up with communication strategies enlightening consumers about the health benefits of their products, then they are sure to stay in business otherwise they stand the risk of being phased out. Consumers across the content are strictly considering the health implications of what goes into their bodies.