Joel Kahn, M.D., a past panelist at revitalize, sees plant-based food growing exponentially. "In five years, more factory-produced synthetic food substitutes that are environmentally friendly will appear due to the immense funding of this sector. The Impossible Burger and synthetic meat are just the beginning," he says, referring to the no-meat burger that looked, smelled, and tasted just like a grass-fed version. He also thinks that plastics will disappear from packaging, being replaced by non-hormone-disrupting innovative solutions. "Bottled water will be outlawed, and taxes on soda and foods with added sugar will be routine," he says.
Aviva Romm, M.D., a best-selling author and hormone specialist who's speaking at this year's revitalize, doesn't have the rosiest view of the future. "Unfortunately, I see a trend toward more options for eating on the go—more functional foods, protein powders, smoothies, energy bars, juices, and more reliance on nutritional supplements rather than real, whole foods. My hope is that we’ll all take a breath, slow down, reclaim our kitchens, and realize we already need to know all we need to know about food, which Michael Pollan summed up so nicely: Eat real foods, not too much, and mostly plants."
Kahn, though, is excited about these innovations. "Foods will be enhanced with 'superfoods' and new agents like CBD routinely," he says. Amy Shah, an M.D. who consulted about attendees' gut health at last year's revitalize, thinks the next superfood will draw on ancient wisdom. "There are tons of studies to support the anti-inflammatory activity of saffron—in fact, it's found to be just as anti-inflammatory as ginger and garlic. I'm always surprised that we talk so much about tea, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and never about saffron."
Will Cole, D.C., a functional medicine practitioner and regular revitalize attendee, agrees with Aviva that a return to real food is necessary—although perhaps not likely. "GMO and food engineering at large, government encroachment, advancements in the tech industry, and society's insatiable need to have anything quick and convenient will continue to grow. These factors will produce some great things but, I believe, many more horrible things for our food supply." He isn't all pessimism, though! "I also believe this system will ultimately strengthen the counterculture of real food activism, foraging, sustainable living, and a farming renaissance—all out of necessity."