In 2016, about 815 million people, or 11% of the world population, were undernourished. Although advanced food and agriculture technologies have eased hunger issues, warnings of food shortages have escalated recently for the following reasons. First, the world population is projected to grow from today’s 7.6 billion people to 10 billion by 2050. If that rate of growth continues, food production will not be able to keep up with consumption. Second, rapid urbanization has created an unprecedented expansion of the middle class who can afford high-quality fresh food. To meet that demand, intensive farming has become more widespread with increasing amounts of chemical inputs like pesticides.

In this context, potential food sources must be identified to satisfy future demand sustainably. With a shared understanding of the potential food shortage, many startups are jumping into the future food industry for commercialization. Food enterprises are turning their attention to alternative sources as a new growth engine with a blue ocean strategy. According to a 2016 report by Boston-based Lux Research, the market size for alternative protein is estimated to expand by at least 14% annually up to 2024.

One possible future food source is insects. Globally, there are 1,700 edible insect species, and more than 2 billion people already consume insects. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region like Thailand and PR China eat insects as part of the traditional diet. The insect food market in North America, led by the USA, is also growing as consumer awareness and acceptance are gradually increasing. Most insect food is richer in protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to meat. Furthermore, raising insects requires fewer expenditures on transportation and facilities than conventional agricultural production, which lowers entry barriers for developing countries. In addition to insects, clean food produced in an eco-friendly, sustainable manner includes “vegetarian meat.” Algae and seaweed are also being promoted as food sources.

Despite the benefits of those alternative sources, perceptions of future food vary in APO member countries. For example, insect food might not be allowed for religious and cultural reasons. Lab-cultured meat is often associated with artificial or chemical substances that humans should not consume. Therefore, increasing awareness of alternative food and ways to bring it to the kitchen table is another challenge.

Module 1: Global food crisis and world hunger

1.0 Introduction

1.1 State-of-the-art of global challenges

1.2 Food systems and the sustainable development goals

1.3 Systems thinking

1.4 Climate change and the effect on livestock raising and agriculture cultivation on environment protection

1.5 Carbon & water footprint for conventional food production

1.6 Increased consumer awareness

1.7 Food security

1.8 Neglected and underutilized species

1.9 Sustainable diets

Module 2: Introduction to alternative food sources

2.0 Overview of future foods

2.1 Edible insects

2.2 Cultured meat

2.3 Meat analogues

2.4 Plant-based dairy and egg substitutes

2.5 Foods derived from the sea

2.6 Neglected and underutilized species

2.7 Success criteria for future foods

Quiz 1-Module 1+2

Module 3: An in-depth analysis of different future foods-Part 1

3.1a Edible insects

3.1b Why should we farm insects?

3.1c How are insects farmed?

3.1d Insect food processing, manufacturing, promotion and packaging

3.2a Meat analogues

3.2b Processing meat analogues

Module 4: An in-depth analysis of different future foods-Part 2

4.1a Cultured meat

4.1b Introduction to engineering cultured meat

4.1c Current investment in cultured meat start-ups

4.2a Microalgae

4.2b Processing microalgae

4.2c Microalgae products

4.3a Plant-based dairy and egg substitutes

4.3b Plant-based dairy and egg products

Quiz 2-Module 3+4

Module 5: Successful cases studies on future food businesses

5.1 Overview of current and future market opportunities

5.2 Innovative products

5.3 Novel business models of future food ventures

Module 6: Matters to overcome

6.1 Consumer acceptance

6.2 Religious issues

6.3 Barriers and strategies for commercialization

6.4 Cases for increasing social acceptance and marketing strategies

Module 7: Institutionalized systems to nurture experts in future food and associated businesses

7.1 Legislation and regulatory pathways

7.2 Private and public schemes and policies for promoting future food

7.3 Systematic support in nurturing future food experts and entrepreneurs

7.4 Future-proofing your food system

Quiz 3-Module 5+6+7

Final Exam

Course Duration in Hours: 20 hours
Skill Level: Beginner
Upcoming Course: No
New Course: No