Welcome to Throw Forward Thursday. My name is Graham Codrington, and every Thursday we take a look at something that might happen in the future. Today, we’re going to be talking about Smart Foods. If you do a Google search, you’ll see thousands of different things that come up when you talk about smart foods. I mean, three things, three specific things that are likely to happen, I think, in the near future. The first is that we’re going to change how we get nutrients into our system.

Right now, the proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that we need basically get into our system from the food that we eat and the liquids that we drink. And we kind of rely on our system to give us a little sense of what we need. And then we sort of eat the appropriate foods, except most of us don’t eat as healthily as we should. What we’re going to be able to do in the future is we’re going to be able to not just replace the odd vitamin or nutrient with a pill here or there, but we’re actually going to get most of the nutrients that we need in the form of pills or it’s not medication, it’s smart foods.

Now, that leads to the second thing that will happen, and that is a lot more personalisation of those nutrients. So, if we do a genetic test, if we get our blood taken in an analysis of that, and then a nutritionist is able to tell us exactly what we need in terms of the different nutrients, we can then create pools that we eat or very specific foodstuffs that are rich in the things that our specific bodies need. And so, there’s going to be a lot more personalisation of what you put in your body.

Look, I think we’re still going to be able to eat and drink for fun and enjoyment, but I think we’re going to be a lot more scientific about getting the correct nutrients and the balance of nutrients into our system, which will make us a lot healthier while we’re enjoying things. And that leads to the third bit of smart foods, which is a bit more fun. Basically, the smell and the taste of all food that goes into your system is a chemical and electrical impulse that ultimately makes its way to your brain. A chemical reaction happens in your nose and on your tongue that gets converted into signals that can be sent via your nervous system, and that includes electricity and neurons flying and all sorts of things happening. What happens if we could trick the neurons in your brain to smelling and tasting something that isn’t actually what you’ve put into your system? Let me be very, very practical if you take a sip of water, right, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would be able to turn that H2O, that chemical combination on your tongue by the time it hits your brain and has been turned into a neural signal mansion if we could?

Make it taste like fine wine, if that’s your choice, or orange juice or any other liquid or taste sensation. I’m sure that we can and science is already beginning to investigate the possibility of changing the distance or what happens in the distance between the chemical reaction in your nose and on your tongue and the neural transmitters and memories in your brain. It’s not quite smart food. That’s a little bit of a bit of a trick food, if you like.

But wouldn’t it be amazing if we were able to eat the food that was incredibly healthy for us while tasting the food that was most enjoyable for us? So however, we do that and however we get it done, I think Smart Foods, in the way I’m envisaging it is certainly something that’s in our future, hopefully sooner rather than later. As always, thank you for joining us in the Throw Forward Thursday studio.

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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.

For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.

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