The Future of Food: 50 foods that could help save the world

Unilever Philippines

Posted at Mar 12 2019 04:57 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2019 02:02 PM

A new report reveals what we should be eating more of today to build a better tomorrow.

Knorr, one of the world’s largest food brands, together with partners, has unveiled The Future 50 Foods report which provides a tangible solution to keep the growing population healthy, and reduce the negative impact our food has on the environment. 

It identifies 50 plant-based, future-facing foods that humans should eat more of for health and the health of the planet. 

The report follows the pivotal Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems released in January 2019 and WWF’s Living Planet Report released in October 2018, which highlight the changes humankind needs to make to the global food system, and the significant overlap between an environmentally sustainable diet and a healthy diet. 

The way food is being grown and produced globally, for instance, is damaging soil, polluting the air, and causing deforestation. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the world may have fewer than 60 harvests left if current rates of degradation continue.

The Future 50 Foods report was written by Knorr, leading conservation organization WWF-UK, and Dr. Adam Drewnowski, director of The Center of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington with the ambition to empower positive change. 

The 50 foods are a combination of familiar, although under-consumed foods, with less globally well-known foods like moringa (malunggay), mung beans (munggo), and white icicle radish (labanos). Each has been selected based on its nutritional value, relative environmental impact, flavor, acceptability, and potential accessibility and affordability. 

Some have higher yields than similar foods and several are tolerant of challenging weather and environmental conditions, meaning they could be invaluable in the face of growing climate uncertainty. Each has a story to tell. 

April Redmond, Global Vice President of Knorr, said 75 percent of what the world eats comes from just 12 crops and 5 animal species, which has serious implications for both the health of the rapidly growing population and the health of the planet. 

"Unless we change the foods we eat and the way we grow them, it will be challenging to have enough food to feed us all well. Our ambition is to make it easy for people to eat a wider variety of foods that are good for us and good for the planet, and, of course, delicious at the same time," Redmond said. 

The Future 50 Foods report notes three key changes for healthier global population and a healthier planet:

1. Greater variety and a larger amount of vegetables; 
2. More plant-based sources of protein in place of meat, poultry, dairy, and fish; 
3. More variety in the types of grains, cereals and other sources of carbohydrates 

The Future 50 Foods report is designed to inspire and facilitate these shifts by celebrating the wide variety of foods available.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

Our well-loved Filipino meals use Future 50 ingredients that are healthy for us and for the environment.

“We are happy to announce that out of the Future 50 global ingredients, eight are found in the Philippines and are already incorporated in Knorr’s top dishes like tinola, ginisang monggo, and sinigang,” said Kristine Go, Foods Marketing Director of Unilever Philippines.

The eight local ingredients are moringa (malunggay), okra, white icicle radish (labanos), purple yam (ube), Chinese cabbage (bok-choi), soybean (tokwa), mung bean (monggo), and bean sprouts (toge).

Knorr Philippines recognizes that it plays a key role in shaping food consumption habits that are good for the Filipinos and for the environment. 

Recipe books under the Knorr Lutong Nanay Nutri-Program are designed to aid homemakers as they introduce healthy and sustainable choices for their families through nutritious, delicious, and affordable home-cooked meals. Participants have access to a supplemental feeding program and nutrition education modules in partnership with the government and NGOs. 

“Since 2002, the program has made an impact on the lives of 1.5 million Filipino children who were previously undernourished. The Future 50 Foods Report provides us with a clear path on how we can continue to empower communities to improve their health, while ensuring the sustainability of our food resources,” Unilever Philippines Chairman Benjie Yap said. 

For more information and to download the full report, visit https://www.knorr.com/ph/future-50.html.

The full list of Future 50 Foods ingredients:

Algae Laver seaweed
Wakame seaweed
Cacti Nopales
Fruit Vegetables Pumpkin flowers
Okra
Orange tomatoes
Mushrooms Enoki mushrooms
Maitake mushrooms
Saffron milk cap mushrooms
Root Vegetables Black salsify
Parsley root
White icicle radish
Tubers Lotus root
Ube (purple yam)
Jicama
Red Indonesian sweet potato
Beans & Pulses Adzuki beans
Black turtle beans
Broad beans
Bambara groundnuts
Cowpeas
Lentils
Marama beans
Mung beans
Soy beans
Cereals & Grains Amaranth
Buckwheat
Finger millet
Fonio
Knorasan wheat
Quinoa
Spelt
Teff
Wild rice
Leaf Greens Beet greens
Broccoli rabe
Kale
Moringa
Pak-choi
Pumpkin leaves
Red cabbage
Spinach
Watercress
Nuts & Seeds Flax seeds
Hemp seeds
Sesame seeds
Walnuts
Sprouts Alfalfa sprouts
Sprouted kidney beans
Sprouted chickpeas

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