Since time immemorial, humans have tried to improve their health through their diet. This has resulted in ironic turnabouts in beliefs about what constitutes healthy, rich or inadequate food: the Middle Ages feared fresh fruit, the 1950s sung the praises of sugar, the early 21st century demonises gluten, while “100% natural” is just part of the cycle, periodically calling us to order.
How do science fiction authors imagine the food of the future? Works conceived between 1896 and 1973 addressed standardised consumers, alienated by a capitalist society in pursuit of profitability. Were these works prophecy or metaphor?
Despite positive developments in reducing undernutrition over the last decade, today one in nine people – 805 million worldwide – still goes to bed hungry every night (1). At the same time, an estimated two billion people are affected by “hidden hunger”, or micronutrient deficiency, which is the lack of essential vitamins and minerals required in small amounts by the body.