Food Sources – Current and Future

In most parts of the world, our food sources came from food derived from crops (plants) and livestock (animals). In some parts of the world, some people’s food sources derived from insects and to a lesser extend, testing of lab-grown foods. This article shares some of the food sources that we have, extending slightly beyond the application of crops and livestock in non-food applications.

Crops refer to the plant-derived foods that can come from the leaves, the roots, legumes, fruits, flowers and the stalks of the plant. In fact, plant-derived products also used in different non-food applications such as household detergents, rubber, clothes, soy-based ink, furniture and fuels.

Similarly, livestock also plays a role in non-food products as you may see on the below slide.

They are part of the animal kingdom, although they are not part of our livestock. In some parts of the world, reptiles such as snake and crocodile are hunt for the meats and inner organs. Here is the catch according to the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, people can catch certain diseases such as trichinosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis (2010).

Hmmm… yum or disgusting! Do you know that natural red colour, carmine derived from cochineal are the more stable than natural beets colour? In the food industry, we need stable colour so that consumer (including myself) don’t freak out when our food’s colour deteriorate. The Chinese, in some parts of the world, eat fried crickets as part of their tradition. In fact, there is even a cricket farm for insects such as crickets, as insect protein is known with high protein content. Feeling curious –check this out! Insect protein powder may just be an ingredient of sports supplementation for protein for bodybuilding purposes.

Lab grown meat
Of course, one of the most highly debated food sources is lab-grown meat. Lab meat burger patty anyone-check out this youtube video? Similar to how we can grow human cells for experimental purposes, we can grow meat that we can eat in the lab.

Looks like we got multiple sources of food that we can consume. What are you comfortable consuming and why? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


  1. Cochineal Bugs Create Red Dye: A Moment in Science. North Carolina: Museum of Natural Sciences. Youtube. May 17, 2011.
  2. First lab-grown burger tried and tested in London. EuroNews. Youtube. August 5, 2013. 
  3. How to Breed a Tasty Cricket. Phil Mccausland. The Atlantic. September 24, 2015. .
  4. Non food products from plants. Slide Share. April 18, 2012.
  5. FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. “Biological risks of eating reptiles.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2010. <>.