Better World

“Play Food From the Future” Might Help Normalize Sustainable Foods For Kids

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If today’s families are having kitchen table debates over tofu and kale, the kids of the future may find a few more reasons to push their plates away. Due to many environmental factors, including climate change and population growth, the food of the future will need to rely heavily on sustainable ingredients.

According to an article on sustainability in Eco & Beyond, “Sustainable food isn’t only about the food itself. It’s a combination of factors including how the food is produced, how it’s distributed, how it’s packaged and how it’s consumed.” Sustainable foods, like ground-up insects and plant derivatives, typically consume far less water and other resources than traditional foods. In order to survive in the climate of the future, society will need to look at food in a whole new way.

The inventors of a line of pretend food based on sustainable options have just that in mind. Along with scientist Ingrid Strid at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, the Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors came up with the concept to give children permission to play with the food of the future. They hope to get children comfortable with these alternative food sources at a young age, so they accept them more readily as they get older. The toys are now a promotion for the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award, which focuses this year on eliminating food waste. 

So what’s on the menu of the future?

Bug Mac: This green stack of super food relies heavily on protein-friendly bugs packed between patties of… more bugs!

Algae Ball: What lives in an algae pile under the sea? Lots of vitamins and minerals that can be shaped into a meatball-like feast.

Power Powder: If those picky eaters won’t eat a balanced meal of proteins and carbohydrates a scoop of this super powder containing all of the nutrients a healthy diet needs might do the trick.

The Mighty Bean: Want layers and layers of protein that can be grown almost anywhere on the planet? This bean is here to save the day, and our planet.

Tasty Waste: Mmmm, the garbage of the future wrapped up in a pretty package. Seriously though, the consumers of today waste so much and this is a future luxury we just won’t have.

Good for Strid, Forsman & Bodenfors, and their team for bringing the future to life in a way that prepares our kids for what is to come, algae and all. Possibly the best part of this toy line is that it’s available for 3-D printing at no cost for schools or individuals with access to a 3-D printer. Anyone can download the files for printing on Play Food From the Future. As the video below shows, these toys may even help kids teach their parents a thing or two about the nutrition of the future.

Jessica Watson is a freelance writer, author and the blogger behind Four Plus an Angel. Mom to five kids, four in her arms and one in her heart, she tries hard to enjoy them every moment but sometimes dreams of a week alone with a pile of her favorite books. "Four Plus an Angel" -