Sometimes you hear these warnings by doom-mongers that by 2050, when the world population is projected to reach close to ten billion people, we will no longer be able to feed the huddled masses.
That is nonsense. Technology is already being developed to solve all the food problems we could ever have.
Agriculture embracing technology
First of all, there is the marriage of technology and agriculture. Just look at the tiny Netherlands which has recently become the world’s 2nd largest food producer. Hi intensity, high-tech farming is profitable and will be affordable even in the poorer places responsible for the fastest population growth, like India or Nigeria.
Innovative new concepts
Secondly, around the world, people are coming up with really innovative new concepts, like this fish farm on a rooftop in Stratford which supplies restaurants in the area with herbs and leafy vegetables. It uses agriculture LED lighting (more blue and better than sunlight)
More than half the population worldwide lives in cities, and there are plenty of spaces where we could produce food indoors. Vertical farms can be many stories high, and virtually every plant on this earth could be grown indoors. Japan turned to the indoor growing industry after the Fukushima disaster and is today the world’s leader in growing everything from tubers to salad and even rice indoors.
Thirdly, there is lab-made food.
Memphis Meats and a handful of other startups around the globe want to change the world by growing meat from cells in the lab. There are other solutions made from soy for example, but lab-grown mean results in actual meat, just without all the animal torture and slaughter.
And that goes even for eggs. Hampton Creek has produced an egg substitute made from mung beans that foodies say tastes like the real deal.
Finally, the smarter we get at molecular manufacturing the easier it will be to simply create food by assembling the right molecules. Perhaps in a replicator, like in Star Trek. But that will surely take a few more years in the making.
So, in the meantime, all we need to do is make sure it is not huge corporations that build all these shiny farms, but everyone who wants to. Blockchain might have a few solutions for that.