Food security is no laughing matter at the best of times, but I gasped when I first read the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) annual food civil contingencies infrastructure report in 2018. It is barely a page long (in public at least) and assures us everything is OK and that the food system is resilient and able to withstand shocks. As the coronvirus racks the nation and panic buying continues, this complacency is about to be tested.
Imagine a world where smart pantries sense when you are running out of your favourite food and order more of it, without you lifting a finger. Where intelligent robots roam your grocery store, ever at your service. Where dynamic food pricing changes minute-to-minute depending on the weather outside, or what the store down the road is offering.