Right now, at this very moment, tens of billions of dollars of investor funds are seeking reasonable use in creating a whole new industrial sector in the global economy: the modern food technology industry.
We are in a time of food technology – and the agricultural sector as a whole – that corresponds to the information technology of the late 80s. As we speak, crucial cards are dealt for those who end up leading an emerging new industry, and with it, a new era of humankind.
What does this all mean? For one, it means that meat will continue to be eaten, but killing animals can be skipped as a concept. Eggs will be consumed, but no poultry will be required to produce them. It means that ice cream is enjoyed as before but without the need for cows to achieve it.
The right technology already exists to do all this.
Today, according to FAO, nearly half of the worldwide harvest is needed to feed the livestock population, which consists of about 1.4 billion bovines, 1 billion pigs, 20 billion poultry, and 1.9 billion ovines.
Think about it.
This is an environmental and intellectual problem beyond imagination. It’s also the underlying issue that we work hard at Solar Foods to solve.
As a company, Solar Foods has a role to play in disconnecting food production from agricultural limitations, such as land availability and water use, as well as the negative land-use effects of expanding agricultural needs.
But does COVID-19 have an impact on all of this? Is it the black swan triggering the breakthrough of modern food technology? Yes, it will make the transition to a more transparent, socially and environmentally sound food system faster.
This will happen because of two primary needs that all human beings possess, with social interaction being the first.
In human history, prisons were created to turn individuals from passive to depressed, and finally, almost socially inactive. Once we all get released from our voluntary – and at times involuntary – quarantines, we will appreciate social interaction far more than we have for a long time. And perhaps more than ever, we will also appreciate food as a part of social interaction. Food has higher values than just nutrition and being environmentally sound. It is a framework for the second basic human need: interaction.
People will value the transparency and narrative around food arriving on their plate a lot more than they used to. Some could say it means higher localisation, but it may only be a side note in the big picture – in addition to being physically impossible to realise. Only a small fraction of the global population can be locally fed. Instead, after COVID-19, people will not settle to say the problem caused by their choices is only one out of 7 billion, but rather, they want to be part of the solution.
This shift in attitude has a tectonic impact on how people will act in the future regarding the safety, health impacts, and security of environmentally sound food supply.
While discussing tomorrow, we also need to take a moment to breathe in the present day and say farewell to the past. The year 2020, in particular, has had seismic effects on our daily lives. This is why we have all the more reason to look forward to the new year – and we hope you feel the same way. Do join us in the new food revolution, starting in 2021.