There are more than 8 billion people on the planet, and that number is expected to increase by 3 billion in the next 30 years. It is imperative that we find ways to increase production without a significant increase in emissions that contribute to climate change, and that is where food technology can help.
According to reports, more and more sensitive ecosystems would need to be converted into agricultural land to support the population. The United Nations and the World Bank expect that the global need for food will increase by 50% by 2050. The need for meat, milk, and eggs alone will increase by almost 70%.
The area to meet such needs would be so vast that it would result in 15 billion more tons of carbon dioxide, methane, and other gasses. However, the researchers who compiled the report also suggested various food technologies could be developed to the point where such drastic measures would not be needed.
Move Toward Plant-Based Diets
Whether you switch to a totally plant-based diet, or you simply decrease the amount of meat you eat, plant-based proteins are one of the technologies that can help save our planet. While growing the crops needed to produce such food products still have an impact on the environment, it can be done with less impact than livestock farming.
Plant-based products also tend to be cheaper than animal products, and this means players have more money left over to enjoy the real money pokies NZ has to offer.
Supplements Help Reduce Methane
Obviously not everyone will follow the trend and switch to a plant-based diet, which means there always will be the farming of animals. Thanks to Dutch scientists, the amount of methane produced by cows and other livestock by be reduced.
Scientists have developed a supplement from seaweed that reduces burping in cows (seriously). This has nothing to do with etiquette, and everything to do with halving cows’ carbon footprint.
Spray-On Film Extends Shelf-Life
Almost one-third of food produced by farmers is lost due to spoilage, whether that happens during transport or storage. Companies such as Apeel Sciences, Nanology, and Bluapple are trying to change this by developing spray-on films and other non-toxic products that can help extend the shelf life of produce.
For example, Apeel produced a spray-on film that inhibits ripening. The other two companies have produced films that slow down the decomposition of fruit.
Reduced-Methane Rice Production
One of the great staple foods of the world, rice production is responsible for almost 15% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The grain crop is grown in watery paddies, in which methane-producing microorganisms thrive.
However, researchers discovered that some varieties of rice are less supportive of those microorganisms. One rice strain showed a 30% reduction in methane produced in the paddy.
Solar-Powered Fertilizer Production
The production of the nitrogen-based fertilizers used in food production requires a significant amount of fossil fuel. 85% of the process is devoted to producing the hydrogen that is essential to the process.
Solar power already is being used in hydrogen production for vehicles. Experiments are underway in Australia, in the hope of using similar technology in fertilizer production.