October 4, 2023

Innovations in Food Technology for a Long-Term Future

The development of plants has been aided by genome sequencing and AI in the past decade. Environmentally friendly and useful, these tools assist farmers in satisfying a rising global demand for food and fibre. Farmers and store owners, among others, need to work together so that consumers can get the most out of modern breeding techniques.

Worldwide, farmers are feeling the effects of climate change. Agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change, as noted on the World Bank’s page on climate-aware farming. To keep current yields and boost productivity and food quality to satisfy demand, it would require massive adaptation expenses.

Increasing plant hardiness with modern technologies and genetic coding these days, plant breeders can alter a plant’s genetic code with the help of tried-and-true techniques like CRISPR. To create long-lasting seed stock, Inari employs predictive design and multiplex gene editing.

To better understand variation pathways and genetic linkages, genomic sequencing and AI have provided previously unimagined research and development alternatives for scientists and breeders. Companies have benefited from technological and gene editing advancements. For example, in 2021, Sanatech Seed used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to develop the Sicilian Rouge High GABA tomato. The stress- and blood-pressure-lowering amino acid is more abundant in recently harvested tomatoes. Pairwise, an American company, uses CRISPR-Cas9 to improve the Conscious Foods salad greens it breeds. This firm employs multiplex gene editing, which improves sustainability by enabling many sorts of alterations in multiple sites within a single organism. It’s exciting to see new businesses taking chances on novel breeding techniques like this. In my opinion, this pattern won’t change.

Organizations and governments should make decisions based on data to give businesses a fair chance to do well. According to the press release for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, “ambitious and quick action is needed to adapt to climate change and cut greenhouse gas emissions quickly and in a meaningful way.”

Both corporations and governments are going to need to move quickly to handle these problems appropriately. The Population Reference Bureau estimates that by 2050, the world’s population will have risen to 9.7 billion. An increase in output is possible. According to the UK’s Global Food Security Initiative, 795 million people worldwide face daily hunger, and over 2 billion are malnourished (for example, lacking iron, zinc, and vitamin A). This is just going to get worse as climate change continues. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a report stressing the need for a holistic strategy to combat climate change. Companies need to be relevant, but they can’t ignore environmental protection.

Climate-smart agriculture, according to the World Bank, needs to increase output while decreasing vulnerability and emissions. Revenues from agriculture need to be equitable and reasonable. CRISPR businesses, universities, and NGOs could benefit from more market competitiveness. What we do right now will have a direct influence on the events that take place in the future.

A sustainable food system is everyone’s responsibility. The federal and state governments may encourage robust competition and develop evidence-based policy by working together. Companies in the food supply chain can benefit from working together to better understand emerging technologies. Effective communicators are valuable because of the spoken word. In today’s connected society, erroneous information can swiftly go viral. If you want to do the world a favor, you should make sure the information you’re using is correct.

A future food system may be shaped by all of us. It is our responsibility as communicators to ensure that as many people as possible have access to information and can apply it. Restoring faith in science and the food system is essential if we are to reap the benefits of these revolutionary discoveries.

By Mehreen Bano

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