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The new age of food production, and other manipulative technologies. Thinktank prediction: fast collapse of cattle farming


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Here is an interesting article about a prediction of the collapse of dairy & cattle industry by technological advancement, and then some. (Found it thanks to @AnnaD 🙂)


A few snippets:

"Precision fermentation (PF) is a process that enables the programming of micro-organisms to produce almost any complex organic molecule. Its costs are dropping exponentially because of rapid improvements in underlying biological and information technologies. The cost to produce a single molecule using PF has fallen from $1 million per kilogram in 2000, to about $100 today. Assuming existing technologies and using well-established cost curves, the report projects that these costs will fall below $10 per kilogram by 2025, and that these proteins will be five times cheaper than traditional animal proteins by 2030 and 10 times cheaper by 2035."


"The report analyzes the way technology and new models of production flip the current food production system on its head.  Instead of growing a whole cow to break it down into products, PF designs and customizes individual molecules to build products. Development is done in a manner similar to the software industry: companies and individuals will build components within layers of the equivalent of a software stack that can be used according to individual needs. The food developer is like an app developer, using the stack that is most appropriate according to market needs.

All aspects of the Food-as-Software model are distributed: building biological parts databases (biobricks), designing molecules/ingredients, designing microorganisms to produce these molecules via PF, and designing molecular cookbooks to integrate them into end-user products. Like craft breweries, food producers will produce food locally, using locally grown feedstock. But with the new Food-as-Software system, they will download microorganism designs, protein designs, and molecular cookbooks from global databases."

I'm wondering how exactly the precision fermentation system works - there's a part of me that is super intrigued by technological advancement and precision designing like this, it simply makes sense. It's smart. It might be the change and development we need.

And then there is the part that is super suspicious of such - gene technology, nano technology, nuclear technology, even all the plastics etc, the articifial food we already have in the shops (think aspartame for example), the potential of thinking we're too smart for our own good trying to manipulate and re-create nature better, failing spectacularly and ruining more than we're saving. It is a real tug war inside me actually!

I would not be surprised one bit if 'I', as an Artisan, too,  have been part of developing some technologies in the past, because i have had really strong fears and aversions towards technology, all technology and especially technology where we go and disrupt the natural structure of things.
Who knows if there is a fear going all the way back to the splicing.


How do you guys feel about this stuff?


Do you know anything about Tony Seba? Seems the guy's been onto something for a while!

At the end of the article they tell about him and the others working on this and other things by the RethinkX thinktank and The Seba Technology Disruption Framework, "which captures the complex and dynamic interactions of disruption and has been proven correct time and again."


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Hi @Miizle, I like that it replaces animals as food, and creates food using technology. As far as food goes, I prefer wholefoods, but I don't mind technology or processing as long as the food is healthy and avoids animal slaughter. I think it is great as it involves fermentation which I am very interested in and is a more efficient use of resources/land/water/electricity/people, and no animals are hurt. I look forward to this and alternative food technologies becoming a new normal.

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@AnnaD I 100% agree.
And it's almost like, whatever takes us out of this nightmare we call agriculture. I can't imagine a plant-based system that could be worse, to be honest.

I was, too, intrigued by the word fermentation there, but weirdly i didn't see any description there that included a further note of it? All i saw was engineering. Anyhow, i suppose i should read the actual report to get a better idea.

I think it is some part of me that has been there done that, and done that wrong, that is preventing me from just going "awesome, let's do that", without wondering, what is it? And why do we need to re-invent the wheel? The plant proteins we already have now are awesome. But i guess the revolution hasn't happened for a reason. 

I believe 97% that this is only a good thing.
I am interested to hear if others get any alarm bells from this sort of rhetorics, though. It is interesting to me for several reasons, and knowing yes or no is equally informative.  I am quite disgusted with gene manipulation, for example, i think it's a dangerous game, and somehow this started sounding similar the further i read.

BUT - also the food as software model sounds like an Artisan heaven and super cool. I am eagerly awaiting for similar change in the fashion industry with 3D printers and reusable material, for example.

So again, 97% hopeful, and super pleased to read this prediction. Very surprised, too. The hope for real sustainable future is getting more and more tangible.

Edited by Miizle
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