The New York Times latest food article deep-dives into the precision fermentation that produces alternative foods, biotechnology that could turn the agriculture industry “from farming to ‘ferming.’”
The American food system is unsustainable, according to the article, with factories and feedlots producing one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But scientists have an answer for producing protein-rich, sustainable, cheap food: precision fermentation. Using this biotech method, components of animal products (such as beef or eggs) are isolated, and then their cells are multiplied in large vats. But scaling is proving problematic.
“Precision fermentation is the most important environmental technology humanity has ever developed,” says George Monbiot, an ecologist and journalist. “We would be idiots to turn our back on it.”
Startups are lacking infrastructure and even knowledgeable employees “in a food industry trained to support animal farming.” Dr. Liz Specht, vice president of science and technology at the Good Food Institute, says we’re living in a “critical moment for governments to invest,” similar to what’s been done in the renewable energy sector in recent years. Regulations and intellectual property are also concerns.
Read more (The New York Times)