What will we eat tomorrow?

Sandwich © Izumi Miyazaki

Future Food

Unable to visit in person, our Germany correspondent Inés Lauber talked online to the curator Viktoria Krason from the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, about her current exhibition “Future Food. What will we eat tomorrow?”. This broad-ranging show considers how we can adapt to feed a global population under climate change; addresses appalling inequalities behind trade practices; looks at how choice can leave a bad taste in the mouth and puts interesting future food scenarios on the table.

14th September 2020

The exhibition Future Food. What will we eat tomorrow?, which is on show until February 21, 2021 at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden, explores possible future food scenarios and aims to educate about the circumstances and complexities of our food systems. 

The ways in which we eat and grow food shape the planet like nothing else. Over the past fifty years agriculture and food systems have changed dramatically worldwide. Today, we need to realise that it is time to think of alternative solutions for sustainable development in our food systems in order to make sure that we can provide enough good and clean food for our future generations.

This exhibition looks at such possible future food scenarios and introduces us to new ideas and possible solutions, some of which already exist, some are being researched and yet others are speculative future scenarios. The exhibition encourages us to look at the topic of food from political and scientific as well as historic, cultural and artistic perspectives. 

Taraco © Izumi Miyazaki

"Do we need to rethink and redesign our consumption habits?"

“Future Food” is clustered around four main topics. The first introduces us to Production of food, specifically how we will feed a growing world population with the resources available, which may need to be reduced, rethought and adapted in the face of climate change. 

Then we move on to Trade. Here, we are confronted with the often ugly truths behind some of the foodstuffs we may know and eat on a daily basis, such as sugar, cacao, coffee and avocados. The history of trading these exotic foodstuffs dates back to colonialism. But still today there are modern slave systems in food production worldwide. Do we need to rethink and redesign our consumption  habits? Are we able to make rational decisions about emotional and desire-laden topics like food?

Clever Robots for Crops © Uli Benz / TU München

Sensory Stimuli © Jinhyun Jeon

This takes us to the third section: Choice in the “supermarket of the future”. Today, we are overwhelmed by choice, which can sometimes be more stressful than pleasant, as well as confusing. Amongst all these offers, are we really free to choose? What influences our choices and how can we make better ones which are actually good for us, our society and the climate?

In the final section of the exhibition, Epilogue: “The Big Meal”, we are invited to imagine “palatable future scenarios” such as: What if we were able to grow our own coffee beans? What if we all ate only sustainably-farmed meat once a month during a big slaughter celebration event? Here, literature is used to question the status quo and allow us a fictional vision into the future of eating. 

The “Future Food” exhibition aims to inspire and open up our minds to rethink and question the way we eat, while providing us with historical and political knowledge and insights to make better choices for a desirable future. 



Article by our Germany correspondent Inés Lauber