You may want to stop all chatter for the next 10 seconds, because if you allow the reality of the next sentence to sink, well, you’ll see…
The (Immediate) Future of Food Will Be Influenced Mostly by Disease
(it’s as uncomfortable to write as it is to read)
Gluten, peanuts, dairy, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts… diabetic-friendly, low cholesterol, FODMAPS…
While the ever-growing list of culprits aren’t affecting everyone, chances are they’re affecting SOMEone(s) at the dinner table, which means that indirectly, it affects everyone.
As a Celiac, even if I attempt to choose carefully from a menu, there are certain restaurants I can’t even step foot in, so it will affect everyone I dine with. Pizza flying in the air is fun to watch, but flour flies, so I can’t go there even if I’m not eating anything. That means I might be the reason six other people will need to change plans. They might not be diagnosed, but now they’re affected. So is that restaurant.
Thanksgiving 2003 versus 2018
This Thanksgiving I noted out of 18 people at the table, we had:
1) Me, acute Celiac, plus three others reacting to gluten but not ready to accept restrictions and taking the pain
2) Two who are lactose intolerant and in even worse denial as they disappear to the washrooms for half an hour after eating, but remain addicted to cheese
3) One severe diabetic (has lost eyesight) + 2 pre-diabetics
4) One cholesterol lowering pill-popper
5) Two blood pressure pill-poppers
As you can see, I don’t force my food knowledge on my family, I only answer when asked, and so far, denial is winning. Though we’ve gotten a few off all meds, so it was actually worse than this.
15 short years ago, the same 18 people were at the same table with no food issues (except for one sugarholic aunt, diabetic then, blind now). What’s happening with my relatives is what’s happening with the entire industrialized food world. These numbers aren’t unusual and it took less than half a generation to get here.
Our Food Is Influenced Mostly by Disease (for now)
My aunt, bless her soul, who carefully cooks for days ahead and marks which plate is safe for whom (mine being the most troublesome), has her work cut out for her. But she’s not under the pressure of busy restaurant flow or under the threat of lawsuits.
So, what are food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants going to do as the conditions keep growing? And they will keep growing; autoimmune disorders and food-related illnesses are rising at wildfire speed.
The Immediate Future of Food vs The Ultimate Future of Food
As much as consumers want to remain in denial about the reality of the situation, so too does much of industry. But I don’t think either will have the Luxury of Denial in the coming short few years. Don’t let this sound grim because it’s actually excellent news. Nature is forcing our bodies to return to real food. Collectively, we might be going there kicking and screaming, but have no doubt, we’re going there.
The immediate future of food is starting to revolve around disease heavily, but the true future of food will be a return to health and purity, and that’s something to celebrate, especially for people and companies who are jumping ahead of the time line and producing real food again.