05/16/2012 01:28 EDT | Updated 07/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Review: Book asks 'What's for dinner in 2035?': Test tube meat? Weeds? A food pill?

"The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches From the Future of Food" (Harper), by Josh Schonwald: What will we be eating in 2035? That's the question reporter Josh Schonwald sets out to answer in "The Taste of Tomorrow."

The food odyssey that follows takes him from his neighbourhood farmers market in Illinois all the way to the Netherlands, where he visits a lab making the world's first serious effort to grow meat in a test tube. Other stops include a California farmer who grows produce for renowned chef Alice Waters, the world's largest indoor fish farm in Martinsville, Va., and an Army food lab west of Boston.

Along the way, Schonwald eats his way through a buffet of possible foods of tomorrow including stinging nettles, a fish called cobia, "Stay Alert" caffeine gum and an African dish called fufu that he says tastes like raw sourdough. At the headquarters of a California food research and development company he even tries a balsamic-infused pickle in the prototype stage.

Luckily for readers, all this food exploration is divided into manageable and palate-pleasing bites. Different sections explore the future of salad, meat and fish. Schonwald also asks what will be the next big ethnic food, the next pad thai. And a final section explores the idea that we might be able to get all of our needed nutrients without even chewing, by taking a "food pill."

Readers who expect to come away knowing exactly what will be on the dinner table in 2035, however, will be disappointed. After thousands of miles of travel and a whole lot of eating, Schonwald confesses he still doesn't have a definitive answer.




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