Foods that will be unavailable/rare in the next 50 years

A practical and mundand perspective on conservation:
(if a mod thinks this should be in GD, feel free to move it; I tossed a coin and it ended up here)

After looking at this thread, I got to thinking. Right now, I can go down to the grocery store any day of the week and get many kinds of fish. Farm-raised salmon goes for 5 or 6 bucks a pound. Atlantic, organic, all natural, etc salmon is about twice that. Swordfish, tuna, and a multitude of other mundane and exotic fish are available to me here in the States on a daily basis at a reasonable price. Almost every cookbook I own has a section devoted to preparing fish.

Fish is a staple in our diet. Will it continue to be so? In 50 years, will my grandchildren have limited to no experience with fish? Will I tell stories of my youth, when I indulged in rare cooked tuna fresh from the sea?

Are there other foods that are in danger of being food no more?

There are some that are more or less economically unavailable - I am thinking here that it is easier for me where I live in Glasgow in Scotland to buy bananas from far-flung places than raspberries, this despite the fact that Scotland produces the greater part of the E.U. raspberry crop.

However, I see that this is not quite what you meant. Yes - if anything, certain fish could be the candidates for becoming unavailable. I know the domestic fishing industry here does not have its problems to seek, and things may be similar elsewhere for all I know.

Hmm - - another slight tangent - when would you ever see mutton for sale, - now it is always lamb for some reason.

Then there are fruits that you scarcely ever hear of and I do not quite know if they still exist - quince, for instance.
A related theme might be the food that is theoretcially food, but lacks taste. Our local tomato “industry” is more or less defunt - so we have early picked, tasteless, transported things
This is interesting - do you think I should go out and raid the shops now just in case? :slight_smile:


My vote is for Frog Legs…

There was a report a few months ago that bananas may become extinct because of a lack of genetic diversity.

Unsure about that one - (NB I mean lacking in knowledge, rather than disagreeing.) I mean the bananas we get from, say, Kenya, are different from the ones from South America.

And I could hope that the people dealing with the “Fair Trade” bananas take things like future stock and genetic diversity into account.

Hope so - dammit - they are about the healthiest thing I eat. (Not that I think I have 50 yers left anyway.) :frowning:

If that lawyer has his way, I’m going to say Oreos.

Ah, now - a list of “foods” that ought to be unavailable is a fun idea too.

What are the snack foods we’ll all be posting about in the distant future in those “Foods you miss from your youth” threads? (If there are threads 50 years from now - they’ll probably have some new crazy word for them by then.) I’m gonna guess Moon Pies will be gone by then.

From this BBC article,

Please note, however, that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that bananas are not on the verge of extinction. From this press release,

It will be interesting to see what happens to bananas over the next ten to twenty years.

Another cite for the banana thing:

Along the same lines of fish, how about Caviar?
Also, what about Truffles?

There was something in National Geographic a little while ago about caviar, IIRC…

This is not the article I read, but at any rate here’s a news article from National Geographic about caviar.

At the moment the foods that are becoming unavaiable are becoming so for sociological rather than ecological ones. For example one can no longer get elephant meat in South Africa, while the UK recently banned kangaroo meat. These things are possible to grow in captiviity for economic reasons, and so they are no longer available despite not being any rarer.

Celyn’s raspberry example is another aspect. With too few customers in a locale the foods won’t be available there. If there are to few customers worldwide then the food won’t be produced.
I suspect that will be the way with most foods. They will simply cease to be economical to produce, or else it will become ‘politically incorrect’ for shops to stock them. Vanishing species seems like the least likely cause of food loss.


News reports from last summer here in Minnesota were all about frogs with extra legs – 5 or 6 of them, and all kinds of worrys about what was causing that.

Major suspects were overuse of pesticides in farms in the area, or leakage from the nuclear power plant spent-rod storage also in the area. I don’t recall what the end result was, or even it there was one.

So 50 years from now there may be a bumper crop of frog legs!

My guess is that fish is one thing that DEFINATELY will not be gone in 50 years. Ocean fish, maybe, but farmed fish is a booming industry and looks like a winner. Fish require far less feed per pound of protein and you can pack them more densely than cattle.

No ‘final result’, but majority opinion now seems firmly in favour of a natural parasite, possibly encouraged by fertiliser conatmination of the water.

This banana blight could be the best thing ever for banana lovers. Instead of the monocrop of bland cavendish bananas we get in the supermarket we could have dozens of new varieties available. Imagine if the only kind of apple available in the supermarket were red delicious. That’s the situation with bananas today.

Lot of discussion over here atm about the overfishing of the baltic sea when it comes to cod. A lot of people are calling for a complete ban on cod fishing in the Baltic. Dunno how it looks in the rest of the world.

Well, at the current rate of sales, there can’t be many winged buffaloes left.

I’d vote for real caviar. It’s getting harder and harder to get now, smugglers are involved, etc, etc. Of course, there are plenty of other fish whose eggs are eaten, but I’m referring specifically to the eggs of the sturgeon.