What do we eat tomorrow? How will food be produced in the future? What does a climate-friendly diet look like? Over 100 nutrition experts have created the “Menu of the Future”.
Good for us and good for the climate
The “Menu of the future” is one Vision for nutrition in Germany. It describes what food at home and nutrition in cities and communities should ideally look like and how food will be produced in the future. The menu must be good and be good, for us, for the climate and for society. The goal is to provide guidance that can inspire people.
Nutrition Hub, the largest nutrition network in Germany, and the Federal Center for Nutrition have interviewed a total of over 100 nutrition experts for the future menu. Our colleague Brigitte Raab was also there. This is what makes the “menu of the future”.
1. Regional and vegetable
At home we enjoy good food – with food that comes from the region and is in season. Experts mainly see plant products on the menu here. Meat, fish and dairy products are only available on special occasions and are therefore a special treat. All products are of high quality and are produced fairly and ethically. Animal welfare is important.
Plus, digital tools make life easier. They show which foods are personally good for everyone and suggest healthy and climate-friendly recipes. E: Meals are decelerating. They take place together with family or friends, but also willingly alone. Children learn to cook in kindergartens and schools.
2. Sustainable production
Businesses and retailers operate sustainably. In supermarkets, according to the vision for the future, there will be mainly regional and vegetable foods on the shelves. The offer varies according to the season.
Origin and production are always transparent. Consumers can understand this digitally: the nutritional values, the degree of processing and the ecological footprint are visible at first glance. Recognized seals also build trust in companies, brands and products.
Also, unpackaged foods and reusable solutions are important. Plastic packaging and water bottles are a thing of the past. Also, there is no advertising aimed at children for foods high in sugar, fat and salt.
3. Vegetables on the roofs
Cities are self-sufficient, experts see fruits and vegetables growing on roofs and even on the walls of houses. Maintenance is automated.
In community gardens and small town farms, people meet to plant, harvest and cook together. When the harvest is large, it is shared. Digital applications help with this.
Food is appreciated and not thrown away. Also, people want to know how and where food is produced. Economic communities are formed based on solidarity with farmers.
4. Healthy fasting instead of fast food
If you’re on the go or have limited time to cook, you can get healthy and sustainable meals at fast-healthy restaurants. These offers are available almost everywhere, for example at train stations and service areas. The classic fast food chains with high-fat dishes no longer exist.
Healthy and sustainable dishes are also available in canteens, company canteens and restaurants. In schools and kindergartens there is freshly prepared food for children, free for all.
Utopia or Reality?
The “Menu of the Future” is a vision. “There is no lack of solid numbers and results. What we lack is an idea of where this can lead us. Thus was born the idea of the menu of the future, “explains Dr. Simone Frey of Nutrition Hub.
When the vision becomes reality, everyone benefits: people and their health, society and, of course, the environment. The menu experts of the future also have facts and figures ready:
- 25% of all emissions that affect the climate come from the food sector.
- A balanced, plant-based diet can extend anyone’s life for up to 10 years.
- Switching to this diet can reduce greenhouse gases produced by food by 73%.
Thus was born the “Menu of the Future”.
In an online questionnaire, experts from the Nutrition Hub network and the Federal Center for Nutrition stated how they envisioned a desirable future for nutrition in Germany. The data collection took place from 27 October to 12 November 2021. A total of 107 experts from science, economics, agencies and politics participated. The responses were grouped into categories and summarized. The 2022 Nutrition Trend Report was also created as part of this survey.