It is not easy to create a diet that is 100% nutritious. Despite more than 100 years of research, we still don't know everything that the human body requires to survive.
Recent lists include recommendations for 15 elements, 14 vitamins, 7 macronutrients, and each of those are required in different amounts depending on whether you are male or female, pregnant, or even your age.
Future foods are designed such that you can treat them as your entire meal plan. You do not need to eat anything else at all.
The current cost per day for these meals (in native currencies, not including shipping):
The average food cost per person in Europe is €1982 per year, or €5.43 per day. It is cheaper for a person to pay for a food that is designed to be nutrionally completely, then to buy random stuff and hope it covers all the recommended needs.
One problem that the all-in-one meals have not yet addressed, is that they are designed for the "average" person. So if the average person has one full portion per day, they get 100% of their nutritional needs. I spent a month in 2017 eating almost nothing else but Jimmy Joy, and found it impossible to complete a full portion, as they were too filling for me. This meant that I was eating less calories than the "average" person, and managed to lose an average of about 100g per day. That's great if you want to lose weight, but not so great if you want a nutritious meal, as the fact that I was eating less than 100% of the meal portion meant that I was also getting less than 100% of the recommended daily amounts of all nutrients. I alerted them to the problem and gave them a solution, and they say they will implement it next year.
A Short History of Nutrition
Your body knows what it needs in most cases. If you do not have enough water, you feel thirsty. If you need food in general, you feel hungry. But the body is also smart enough to know what's in the foods. You might find, for example, that you are hungry for specific food types.
This kind of variable hunger makes it possible for your body to stay generally nutritionally balanced. It can be seen across the animal world as well. For example, chickens know to eat calcium-rich soil in order to lay eggs healthily.
Nutritional imbalance is usually only obvious when you are unable to provide the needed nutrients, because you do not have access to a large variety of foods, or because you adhere voluntarily to a specific diet that makes it difficult to obtain those nutrients.
Let's take a look at some of the events that led towards recognising nutritional needs.