Would you eat a meatball made out of algae? How about one made out of bugs? Ikea is betting you will. In an effort to make sustainable cuisine more ubiquitous, the retailer’s innovation lab Space10 is launching a cookbook. Set to debut May 1, it’s called Future Food Today, but don’t go into it expecting to find recipes for the Swedish meatballs or cinnamon rolls you know and love from Ikea’s restaurant.
Instead, the book is full of recipes that sound like they came from a science fiction novel. Forbes reports the inclusion of dishes like a “Dogless Hot Dog” (essentially, a dressed-up carrot in a spirulina bun) and “Tomorrow’s Meatball” (an assortment of meatball alternatives, including the aforementioned algae and bug options).
Before you roll your eyes too hard, the experimental cookbook is meant to be taken as just that—experimental. “Some trends are inevitable. You can try to predict the future, but the people who envision it often shape it. Let’s dream about a future we want to live in and pull the present in that direction,” Space10 cofounder Simon Caspersen told Forbes.
As such, Future Food Today appears to be more about opening people’s eyes to sustainable alternatives in cuisine than doling out easy, attainable recipes that will become instant additions to your weeknight meal rotation. It’s all in the name of eco-friendliness. That’s where the Ikea tie becomes crystal clear: While you won’t be seeing bug-infused meatballs lining the store’s cafeteria menus anytime soon, it’s all part of the retailer’s larger aim at making sustainability mainstream.
Past efforts range from the large-scale, like testing furniture rental and buyback programs or selling solar panels, to the attainable, like designing an eco-friendly version of the Frakta bag. It seems that food is the next frontier of sustainability, in Ikea’s eyes, and we can’t wait until the cookbook’s spring launch to see what going green truly tastes like.
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