Kitchen of the Future is Sustainable

My week started inspired with the Ikea Concept Kitchen 2025.

This kitchen is compact. We won't need an appliance for each step of the cooking, eating and cleaning process. We won't be using energy to inefficiently heating and cooling a box nor will we be mapping out extra space in our homes for them. This is music to the ears of this new yorker where a square foot of space is more prized than some of my vital organs. The kitchen is also water efficient, having graywater storage capabilities automatically built in.  And my favorite part, the smart meal planning.

The table will provide smart recipe suggestions based on your time allotment and things in your pantry. I am currently struggling with meal planning; I actually just picked up a few glass containers this weekend to help me in my efforts... and a smart database, preferably one that syncs to my phone for my sopping trips would be immensely helpful. Despite all of my list making and planning I still throw away perishable food every week. If my kitchen could save me time and tell me what I have and if I need to eat it soon far less food would make it into my garbage pail.

Although all of these ideas are brilliant and I look forward to having this kitchen in the next decade, the whole premise of having an urban, food storage-light space requires addressing the issues of food accessibility. Even though more than half of the world lives in cities and cities are believed to have open-access to quality food, it is not always so.

I live in a wealthier neighborhood in downtown Manhattan, and while we have some small groceries in walking distance they are not what anyone would consider affordable nor do they carry quality fresh produce. The best option is a Whole Foods and it is a 10-minute walk and requires crossing a highway (not kidding). And Whole Foods certainly isn't friendly to my tiny post-grad, non-profit salary, debt & rent burdened budget.

These kitchens are brilliant, but to avoid them becoming a sustainable commodity for only those with the means (much like electric vehicles or solar panels previously) the underlying social issues have to be addressed.