I love grilled chicken, steak and fish as much as any foodie, so this post is going to sound way “out there.” Within 15 years, you’ll be eating insect protein on a weekly basis and we’ll have the explosion of Artificial Intelligence to thank for your substantially critter-based diet.
Here’s why: as we push to create more perceptive artificial neural networks, the metric of “intelligent systems” will eventually be compared to living organisms as an unintended consequence. We’ll start seeing AI systems as smart and “conscious” as our chicken, cows, pigs and sheep. That will permanently change our relationship with those species. What many have struggled with, the sentience of mammals and birds, will cross a tipping point where livestock are quantitatively more our pets and friends and the conflict of terminating their lives for our sustenance will end. At that point, we’ll need options of not killing our smart and emotionally connected friends so we can eat. It will become politically and socially unacceptable.
Insect-based, less sentient protein alternatives will take center stage because they will:
– Show no measurable emotion.
– Measure extremely low on the cognitive scales compared to AI and our pets and animal friends.
– Require no antibiotics
– Contain no pesticides
– Will be grown in a laboratory environment with reduced contaminants.
– Significantly reduced fat content
– Will be engineered for specific flavor profiles.
– Will contain no plastic byproducts or waste.
Plant proteins will still be an option but they will remain contaminated by many of the issues listed above that lab harvested insect-based proteins will not.
Just as the majority of the U.S. population slowly started to adapt to the idea of eating raw fish 30 years ago, we’ll start to adapt to eating cricket, termites, grubs and other crawler-based products. They’ll be delicious and their adoption will lower the death rates due to diabetes, heart disease and cancers.
See you all in a healthier and crunchier 2035.