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Comment PDF Sustainability

A Taste of Foods to Come

By Gerald Ondrey |

Biotechnology plays a key role in sustainably feeding a growing global population How are we going to feed 10 billion people using 35% less land by 2050? This was the question posed by Ian Roberts, chief technology officer at Bühler AG (Uzwil, Switzerland; www.buhlergroup.com) at a (virtual) press event last December. Reducing agricultural land usage is necessary to restore forests and wetlands, not only to sequester CO2, but also to ensure the biodiversity in our ecosystem that is critical to life, explained Roberts. “This is where we believe new protein sources come into play, and we have to focus on them deeply,” he said. Bühler is not alone in this focus. In fact, the number of new startup companies developing new and alternative protein sources is growing explosively, not to mention the growing participation — and investment — by traditional food, pharmaceutical and chemical companies.   New protein sources There are several fronts attempting to meet these challenges: traditional plant-based proteins (vegetarian and vegan meat-like products); cultured meat (growing real beef, pork, chicken, seafood and more from cells); and alternative protein sources (derived from insects or produced by genetically modified…
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