How Biotech Will Save Us All

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur the collaborators are his.

Modern humanity could not exist without biotechnology.

The fact is that we all eat genetically modified foods. It is just the reality of modern life. There may be a very small number of people who have been 100% organic all their lives, but I am willing to bet that most have eaten soy products, wheat products and corn that have been genetically modified. These staple foods are mass-produced all over the world and feed us.

For a long time, most of the innovation has been focused on the development of crops resistant to pests, infections and drought. Despite these efforts, this year’s headlines have been published by TheWorldCounts, a Copenhagen-based group of scientists who have calculated that the world will run out of food in just over 27 years. The fact that there is a growing supply and demand problem to feed the planet is not new, but it was not until recently that consumers began to understand the scope of the problem.

We have a problem with meat

Today, the U.S. alone produces 52 billion pounds of meat and 200 billion pounds of milk a year. Globally, food production is the source of 25% of our planet’s greenhouse gas emissions and occupies 50% of the Earth’s habitable surface. Meat and dairy products specifically account for about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

As a predominant Western meat diet becomes more popular around the world, it is clear that our planet cannot meet the needs of its 8 billion inhabitants with food of animal origin. The truth is that animal farming has become a sunset industry. The dairy industry is starting to go bankrupt because these low-margin products are expensive and inefficient to produce. The thin margins of the razor are already being eaten by plant-based milks, and it will only increase now that we have recombinant protein products that are gaining market share. Finally, we will have a complete bioidentical replacement of milk that will be done by cell-based milk companies.

Everything that nature can create is built by biology. I see biology as a next-generation sustainable biofabric: everything from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the building materials we build, the medicines we take, and, finally, the organs we replace. in our body when they fail.

In fact, the Schmidt Futures Foundation, founded by billionaire and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, predicts in its recent Bioeconomy report that the value of the future global bioeconomy will be worth $ 4 trillion. The future of manufacturing is the future of biotechnology.

Related: Sustainable food supply companies thrived during Covid-19. What does this mean for the future of food?

Do we really want to use biotechnology for food?

Biotechnology allows us to change the way we make food and that is why we can feed billions of people. Take cheese, for example.

For more than a century, humans produced cheese en masse using the lining of cows’ stomachs, called rennet. It’s only been 20 years since Pfizer’s genetic engineers that Pfizer) gave us vegetarian cheese when they discovered how to isolate the rennet gene, insert that gene into bacteria or yeast, and simply make it by producing recombinant chymosin or fermentation-produced chymosin (FPC). Then they could just add FPC to the milk, and voila: you made cheese incredibly efficiently and without contributing to horrible contamination and inhumane conditions for the animals.

Today, FPC is considered a miracle of biotechnology. It makes up the vast majority of cheese consumed in North America and Europe, and paved the way for a colossal disruption to the meat and dairy industry.

Who dominates the biotechnology food startup industry?

With some of the most successful pioneers in the biotech food space, such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, it’s time to recognize what biotechnology is like. now feeding us and rewarding food startups that are leaning towards it.

Pay attention to recombinant foods. For example, Perfect Day is a recombinant food company that makes ice cream with real whey protein, but it is made efficiently, sustainably, and without the cow, using biotechnology.

If you look at the space, there are companies that delve into the world of biotechnology with the same mission in mind: to find solutions to the current challenges of climate, health and sustainability. All of these companies not only see the value of this journey, but also know that it is critical to our planet and its people.

Related: The future is … fungi ?: this biotechnology company transforms mushrooms into luxury materials used by Hermès

What about jobs?

We humans are very good at creating jobs. There will be a million new jobs with the expansion of biotechnology. We need technicians to run cell-based meat farms, software experts, robotics experts, product transfer people, product testers, evaluators, and much more than bio-food manufacturing.

The bottom line is that biotechnology makes modern agriculture possible. Farmers are much more technological and those who are not will have to adapt.

We have just begun to learn to read and write in the “Book of Life,” but as we do so, we continue to guide our own destiny and elevate the human species beyond the famines and diseases of the past and into the stars where we belong, while saving our beautiful planet and our fellow earthlings with whom we occupy it.

Go on and on, my friends!

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