Maybe it has to do with reaching the threshold of adulthood, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the future.
It’s not just me: whenever my friends and I meet in a cafe, the conversation inevitably turns to what’s going to happen in the coming years. We hunch over cups of Horlicks, BBC News open on our phones, and prophesy doom about global politics, Brexit, graduate schemes, house prices in London. That kind of thing.
To be honest, when I’m on my own, I rarely think about such lofty aspects of future life. When I’m done with my homework and I’m too lazy even to watch Netflix, I like to sprawl in my armchair, wrap myself in my duvet, and think about how life will be in the year 2079.
What will people do for work 81 years from now? I ask myself. Where will they live? What will they do for fun?
I will be an old lady in 2079 with squadrons of great-great-grandnieces and nephews, and I think it’s important to catalogue my expectations of society so when, bribed with sci-fi sweets and glow sticks, they gather around my atomic rocking chair I can bore the kids with stories of retrofuturism.
“Put down the nanoflobuliser and stop messing with your sister’s space suit,” I will say, “and come listen.”
As any dedicated bland-blog reader will have discerned, approximately 60% of my brain power at any one time is spent considering food. It’s not surprising, then, that one of my favourite things to wonder about is food in the future. Will, as my parents believed, the next generation grow up on pills, spurning regular food for lab-generated, vitamin-balanced supplements?
No. That’s science fiction, and on this blog, dear reader, I’m concerned with facts. I’ve studied global food trends and conducted surveys with consumers and with giants of the food production industry, and now, after years of painstaking research that’s had a huge impact not only on my degree but on my private life as well, I present to you my findings. This, I can tell you with 84% accuracy, is the food that will dominate the dinner table of the future:
Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a peanut butter sandwich.
More specifically, it’s smooth peanut butter spread on white bread with a garnish of sliced bananas.
Maybe you’re disappointed: maybe you were hoping for something futuristic and unrecognisable – a plate of concept food you can barely comprehend. Test tubes of gloop or strange, fluorescent orbs full of a viscous jus. Compared to the science fiction food of your fantasies, the humble peanut butter and banana sarnie must be something of a disappointment.
The science doesn’t leave room for interpretation. The peanut butter sandwich is the food of the future, and, if you think about it, it makes sense. As the meat industry loses its capacity to sustainably feed a growing population, more of the world will become vegetarian. And the vegan’s treat of choice – a spoonful of peanut butter scoffed over the kitchen sink.
In the year 2078, the status of the peanut butter sandwich will have been elevated. Now a guilty midnight snack, in the future it will be the very zenith of haute cuisine. The Queen (yes, she will still be alive) will spurn roast swan for her Christmas dinner in favour of a toasted peanut-butter-and-banana delight; the top restaurants in London will boast about the superiority of their bread:spread ratio; and cooking shows, from Saturday Kitchen to Hairy Bikers, will be centred around making your own peanut butter from scratch.
People, living in their biodomes on Mars, will stockpile bread and jars of peanut butter and the artisan coffee shops of the Martian capital will be rated based on the quality of their sarnies.
Also, and I don’t want to believe this either, instead of pudding, people in the year 2079 will eat ham yoghurt. To be clear, that’s a regular greek yoghurt with Billy Bear ham stirred through. Stuff like that is just hard to swallow.