With sea temperatures rising, traditional sea-caught fish could be off the menu in as little as 50 years, meaning fish and chips will probably be a luxury item for future generations.
Fish could be so scarce that you wouldn’t even get a bite if you took your own sea fishing tackle and went fishing yourself – and who’s to say that will be legal in the future!
Fish and chips 2.0
So a future without fish and chips could be a reality – and we’re seeing the early signs of that already with the decline in some species of fish like cod due to overfishing. This has resulted in the rise of fishy alternatives in some UK chip shops with hake, pollock and barramundi (and chips) just a few of the examples.
But with the current global population of 7.3 billion growing by an average of 74 million people a year, it is predicted to peak at around 10.5 billion by 2050. That’s around 50% more people, which is bad news for fish and your fish and chip suppers. So hold that thought and examine our suggestions for the brave new world of fish and chips.
Squid and chips
Calamari with a little salt and pepper is very popular as a starter in restaurants around the world, but is it big enough to sit on the newspaper throne with the chips?
Well it’s certainly tough enough with its ‘chew harder’ texture but it’s very different to traditional fish and chips and it is a popular appetizer for a reason – it’s not very filling (unless super-sized). It could be pricey too for what you get — at least five squid a portion.
Overall, we think it lacks the near universal appeal of traditional fish and chips. Sorry squid!
Sardines and chips
Whilst some of the larger fish are endangered the smaller ones like sardines are getting on okay. In Portugal, one of the biggest exporters of sardines in the world, they are already very popular as a main dish.
Sardines can also be much bigger than the type we are used to seeing in tins and 3-4 good-sized sardines with chips would be a substantial meal, although they might not be the best fish for battering.
Salad and chips
Oh – the thought of it! There will be uproar for sure as carrot-sticks, bean sprouts and pickled onions just aren’t unhealthy enough to give you the greasy satisfaction only cod in batter can.
Sure, the chips could be greasier and cooked in lard and there’s the nostalgic hit from the onion’s vinegar, but carrot sticks (not even battered) just aren’t up to it – unless that is, the future is exceptionally healthy. Sounds boring.
The UK’s fish and chips industry has a turnover of £1.2billion and there are 10,500 chip shops nationwide, so with money and profit as the driving force there will probably be an excellent alternative (created).
The jury is out on food science, because for the most part it’s controversial due to it’s caginess about revealing ingredients, but it’s highly likely that there will be a scientific solution to the fish and chips problem. Whether it’s grown, produced or beamed down from space we cannot predict but it’s probable that it will taste just like cod in batter. It’s entirely up to you if you eat it though.