Food and Drink

Algae food plant

You are what you eat, and in 2050 what you eat is entirely a matter of your status and wealth. In a world ravaged by climate change and war, one in which there’s been a massive exodus from rural areas into the megacities, what most people eat may look like the food of the close of last century, but appearances can be deceiving.

The bulk of the food consumed by megacity Zoners, Doles and Proles is reconstituted, gene-tailored, algae or designer bacteria – grown in vats in vast factories like the one shown above, then shaped, textured, flavored and colored into dozens of forms before being sold in outlets as widely varied as corporate stores, mall eateries and curbside handcarts. Even bread isn’t really bread any more – it’s a type of vat-grown algae with added wheat genes which is ground into floor and mixed with cultured yeast before being baked into loaves and rolls. Not an ounce of it has ever seen a field. It has the same nutritional conent as real bread and the ads say you can’t tell the difference, but your tastebuds just can, somehow.


In the cities, the further up the corporate food chain you are, the more your own food begins to look like what pre-Collapse folk would have called real food. Massive “farmscrapers” and underground farms in corporate arcology sub-basements provide real, grown, food for upper-level management and the Glitterati, the shareholders. Middle management might afford some real food as treats, mixed in with a higher class of substitute.

Outwith the great conurbations, grown food is the norm rather than the exception – but at least as far as North America is concerned it’s liable to be far more difficult to farm anywhere except the Canadian temperate zones nowadays. that’s actually true for much of the world- the time when the planet was in a “sweet spot” for agriculture has passed, and most farmers or Nomads live a hard-scrabble existence from patchy crops and wilderness foraging which is then supplemented by old and temperamental smaller versions of the big food plants in the cities.

Underground farm

Food and Drink

Edgerunners Langy Langy