Life in 2047: How are Helmi, the Anderson Family and Jonas “Brad” Salmi doing?

Let’s have a look at the year 2047 and meet Helmi and her family, the Andersons and Jonas “Brad” Salmi! They were introduced in the "People in the Bioeconomy 2044” report which was published by VTT in 2014:

Planet earth

It is 2047. A group of friends is gathering for a Sunday brunch on the outskirts of Helsinki.

The Anderson family is hosting, and they are getting busy preparing the meal. It is mostly cooked from semi-personalized food products. This way all the participants can share the same meal but in a personalized way: portions will look the same with or without lactose, gluten or dairy products. A bioreactor that enables anyone to grow plant cells for food at home, has been busy all week growing berry and birch cultures for the meal.

Kids love the Asian-style worm-snacks

The Anderson family children, Lisa and Sam, love the worm-based snacks with Asian-style sauces. Their mother, Vilma, must keep an eye on the already prepared dishes, otherwise Lisa and Sam would eat most of them before the guests arrive.

Vilma is in her forties and wearing a new blue dress that she just manufactured from a pile of old jeans in the neighborhood recycling center. The recycled cotton feels silky and smooth since all the polyester fibers are gone, thanks to the new machinery at the recycling center that separates fibers with precision.

Her husband, Philip, is at the door, welcoming the first guests, Igor and his wife, Helmi, with their children, Avena and Linum.

Helmi extracts proteins from insects with a carry-on device

Igor is bringing some roach with him, a fresh catch from the local lake. He and his wife own a business, the modern-day version of an eco-friendly vitamin and cosmetics shop. As a 34-year-old, city-bred but eco-minded woman, Helmi has grown her various organic businesses into profitable ones. She has brought her favorite kitchen appliance with her: a small carry-on device that extracts the protein from insects. The device produces protein powder for food, oil for feed and, for French cosmetic factories, the chitin extract is a high-value pharmaceutical ingredient.

Lisa and Sam have heard about the device but never seen one live. After a few minutes, they have taken over the machine and started dividing the mealworms and crickets, preparing some dipping sauces for the snacks. Helmi tells them that she bought the device from Australia, where the abundance of crickets has made the insectractor-type devices a huge hit. Avena and Linum want to try it too, but Helmi says that they are too young to use the device themselves.

Vilma’s recycled, polyester-free dress gets attention

“Oh I love your dress! Did you make that at the new recycling co-op center? It looks like silk,” gushes Helmi after seeing what Vilma is wearing.

Vilma notices Helmi’s new bag. “That must be the new nonwoven material from cellulose you make at home? You must show me how to make things like that with the foam-forming home kit!”

Helmi has recently started manufacturing things from cellulose and is ready to move one step further: making her own clothes from the flax they grow. Igor says it would make their family almost 100% self-sustainable. The robots are doing most of the manual labor at their farm; everything is recycled and power comes from renewable sources and is stored in liquid form for the colder periods when the demand is higher.

The doorbell rings and in walks Jonas “Brad” Salmi. He is a serial entrepreneur and his latest business is a biorefinery that utilizes pig manure as raw material. After a microbial fermentation, feed protein and oil for transport fuel is formed.

Philip gets exited about Brad’s herbal digipots

He brings a selection of herbs in biodegradable pots that have all the necessary sensors printed in them. Philip is excited to see the digipots live and starts placing them next to the kitchen window. The plants will literally take care of themselves, ordering nutrients and watering from the miniature drone that carries out multiple tasks at the Anderson home.

Text: Pekka Pekkala Photos: Jutta Suksi

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