Food in the future has always been a popular source of speculation. Whether they imagine replicator-style units in Star Trek, plates of alien seaweed teeming with live insects in Titan AE, meal ‘pills’, tasteless rations, meat vats, yeast farms, and more, people have come up with as many visions of what food will be like in the future as there are types of food here and now. People have imagined the availability of food in the future ranging from scarcity—even driving people to cannibalism—to great bounty—the end of hunger entirely.
In our Pandora Project universe, we decided to strike something of a compromise. Earth itself is being restored to a garden-state with vast expanses of continents devoted to farming, and colonies also produce both natural and artifical food sources. Being a farmer in our imagined future is anything but a job for ‘simple folk’, both in the colonies and on the mother planet. It’s a complex and highly respected profession with those farming on Earth often also called upon to preserve and replicate the traditions of the past.
We both love to cook and it’s a rare person who doesn’t like to eat, so we like to put a little love into our mentions of food in the future. Food for our characters can represent tradition, love, and stability. What they like says a lot about them—do they love the foods of their childhood, something a lover used to make for them, something that reminds them of a happier times? You’ll often see foods you recognize because in our future, food is a way of keeping in touch with and honoring the past.
And, when it comes to our favorites (chocolate, cheesecake, seafood, and so much more), “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”—even if this is the future.
Anah Crow and Dianne Fox write sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary queer romance for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and Amber Allure. They’ve been writing together for more than 10 years. You can find them on the web at anahcrowdiannefox.com and on Twitter at @anahcrow and @diannefox.