5 emerging technologies set to transform the global food system
The following is a guest post from Rick Hamilton, a Senior Consultant at 4C Associates. Hamilton shares his insights following the International Food & Drink event in London where Charles Banks, co-founder of The Food People explained how emerging technologies might help overcome some of these challenges.
Over the last 90 years, global population and food production have grown exponentially, however total agricultural land has remained static, putting pressure on the food system to produce more food with fewer resources. The demand for food is expected to further increase by 60% by 2050, thus exacerbating the pressure on food production.
But there are five emerging food technologies that could help the world get to where it needs to be to transform the system.
1. Cellular agriculture
New research from think-tank Planet Tracker has shown that the global food system accounts for a third of greenhouse gas emissions and endangers 86% of species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The animal protein sector is a major contributor to this impact. However, emerging food technologies make it possible to cultivate meat without the need for traditional livestock farming.
Cellular agriculture is one such technology, which involves using cell cultures to produce animal products such as meat, milk, and eggs without the need for animals. This process involves taking a small sample of animal cells and using them to grow muscle tissue, which can then be used to produce meat, or milk and egg proteins for dairy and egg products.
The benefits of cellular agriculture are numerous. For one, it can be much more sustainable than traditional agriculture practices. It uses less land, water, and energy, and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, which can help combat climate change. Additionally, it eliminates the need for animal husbandry, making the process far more efficient, and reduces the risks of foodborne illness.