To inspire the next generation, U.S. Soy is writing the future of food.
Beyond the last of the suburban strip malls and gas stations, where roads transition from names to numbers, America can seem a “time that was.” Without the modern idols so common in cities, the expanse of forest and farmland feels somehow unchanged. The pace of life slows to that of the seasons, and the same calloused hands plant the same orderly rows the same every spring.
As we speed past, the story of American agriculture can appear as a historical text. But these places – plus the invisible infrastructure that fills our plates – are writing the future of food. The hidden stories challenge our drive-by perceptions and empower us to make positive change … if we only take the time to listen.
U.S. Soy and Bigwidesky tell those stories in Eating Tomorrow, a podcast about the future of food and how we’ll make it. The creative collaboration is Bigwidesky’s strategic foresight capabilities brought to life, and the latest expression of U.S. Soy’s future-forward repositioning. As the narrative pivots from tradition to innovation, the agricultural cooperative doesn’t play a character in the future – but its author.
Each quick-listen episode of Eating Tomorrow poses off-the-menu questions, then responds with expert voices, surprising connections, and speculative stories. In context and content, it speaks the language of U.S. Soy’s most desired audiences: millennials, and the future evangelists of soy. These savvy younger consumers swarm bar trivia nights and gobble up podcasts. They also (according to studies) distrust brands and feel powerless to make change. So Eating Tomorrow doesn’t present soy as a singular solution (it’s not), but rather a component of a fascinating, interconnected system in which the listener must play their part.
Alas, the willpower to define our path forward is not a foregone conclusion. To make the presented futures feel actionable to these audiences, we must first make them tangible. That’s why Eating Tomorrow leads each episode with an audio “artifact from the future.” These fictional advertisements, programming notes, and show trailers amalgamate the insights to follow and paint a picture of the future on the most visceral level. Would square chicken eggs disturb you into action? A dumpster-diving culinary competition?
The voices of renowned scientists, artists, and activists add rigor and context to these provocations, and highlight the very human, very shared experience of food. Jonas Verhees, the founder of Cassonade, a restaurant with no prices, redefines the role of dining in community-building. Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart, chef and entrepreneur, challenges us to honor indigenous foods in every home. Dr. Claire Bomkamp, food scientist, invites us to “enter the meatspace” of designer protein. These varied, sometimes contradictory perspectives of expert guests remind us that the future of food is still up for grabs – and the missing voice is ours.
Available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, Eating Tomorrow is a five-episode story of interconnected ideas. But it makes good snacking, too:
Maybe it was the way your childhood home smelled on Thanksgiving, maybe it was that slice of watermelon outside on a hot day, maybe it was the first time you tried that unfamiliar food you never thought you would like.
In this episode, we explore the history of food, from topics such as heritage seeds to heirloom recipes — with a focus on how history is, even still, directly affecting the future of food.
Who among us has not, upon awakening to the glory of a weekend morning, wondered what breakfast would be like if all the bacon were as smooth as granite? Or perfectly crispy? What if the eggs in the pan gave off a cinnamon aroma or if the sizzling sausage tasted like lox?
In this episode, we explore the scientific advancements in food technologies. There will be resurrected extinct mammal sliders, cell-cultured chicken thighs, and printed ribeye steak from plastic bottles. More than an entertaining tour of the possible, the purpose of this journey is for you to determine what future you want based on the future that could be.
We uncover a lot of oddities in our journey into the future of food. But no matter what kinds of food we hope to have in the future, one thing remains: we will be reliant upon our Earth to provide it.
In this episode, we explore what it will take to produce the foods of the future. We take inventory of our already and soon-to-be endangered foods, investigate alternative farming techniques, and regenerative solutions. Don’t be surprised if you walk away with more ideas about what is possible even though the theme of this episode is about our present-day limits.
Tonight at 10
Try this. Close your eyes. Add ten years to your age. Now, think about sitting down to dinner in your house. Who else is there? Where is your house? What kind of music are each of you streaming into your personalized experience domes?
In this episode, we uncover the not-so-obvious, quiet trends that have the potential to drastically impact the future of food. We examine the human values, assumptions, and traditions that define a “good food.” And, of course, it would not be an episode about the future of food without talking about artificial intelligence.
Every day your social media feed is full of new food and diet experts, some new technology, another report of endangered foods, and the global impact of water shortages. All of this can overwhelm, and, in some cases, make attempts to solve challenges feel impossible.
In this episode, we venture into the world around us with a new set of eyes. We convert limitations into possibilities. We transform trash into treasure. We yum the usual yuck. Be prepared to break taboos and adjust your vision to include the impacts of climate change and the future that is already upon us.