Food made 'from air'

Food made 'from air'

by Nikolaos Dadios -
Number of replies: 1

Picture of Nikolaos Dadios

Food 'made from air'

Tuesday, 21 January 2020, 12:59 PM

More news about alternative sources for protein production.

Food 'from air'

What is your opinion about this? Is this a dramatic new development or old news recycled?

Will it really cause a total disruption with the traditional way of producing food (proteins) all will it just fade away?

From my side, as a lecturer in food safety and animal products production, if these promises are true this technology unavoidably weill send shock waves through the agri-farming and traditional food processing industries. If not this then some other new technology will. My question always is if these changes will be sudden and 'violent' or gradual, allowing adaptation of the traditional food productio systems.

What other implications and effects do you see in food systems? As a technical person I am particularly interested here on the humanistics side of things. What about the perspective from different countries and continents?

See also comments about this on a different blog - The variety of view is staggering, as the prediction of the future has always been difficult...

Food 'from air' blog

In reply to Nikolaos Dadios

Re: Food made 'from air'

by Léna Prouchet -
Hi Nikolaos,

Thank you for sharing this very interesting innovation.

I agree that it can address some issues our food systems face nowadays such as the space used for farming. Here is an example for the US: https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/.

I do not consider the argument about demand exposed at the end of the article as a key issue. It is true that this product will never fully replace "real" meat but it can replace meat in a lot of products. We have also seen that plant-based products consumption is on the rise. (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/sep/03/the-vegan-halo-how-plant-based-products-are-transforming-british-brands)

However, this previous argument only applies to developed countries. In developing countries, there is an increase in meat consumption since inhabitants have higher living standards and they consider as a privilege to include meat in their diet. Not sure they would like the idea of lab-protein. (http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/esa/Global_persepctives/world_ag_2030_50_2012_rev.pdf)

Also, as explained in the article, the question of cost is crucial. Intensive farming resulted in very-low production costs, so it is hard to compete with them (also a huge economy of scale).

Finally, the biggest matter for me is the question of employment. Coming back to more local agricultural systems with less environmental impact (organic, agroecology) would be a great opportunity to create jobs as well as creating healthy food.

Generally, food-tech is linked to high mechanisation and therefore has very low social benefits.