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Issue 4: Tasty revolution: Startups disrupting the food supply

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Hi guys,  It’s Aleks & Andrea here!  In the next couple of decades, the world’s population will r
 

Planet:tech

September 24 · Issue #4 · View online
Dedicated to curating tech products and startups solving the world's most pressing problems, including climate change, pollution, and sustainability.

Hi guys, 
It’s Aleks & Andrea here! 
In the next couple of decades, the world’s population will reach almost 10 billion, it’s getting kinda crowded in here and the demand for food is growing exponentially! 
There’s no denying that our global agricultural systems will have to radically transform to avoid further environmental and social problems, the question is, what are the best approaches and how can tech help us achieve them? 
In this week’s newsletter, we highlight the latest research and companies that are trying to create sustainable food ecosystem around the world.

Can we pioneer a sustainable solution to global hunger?
Globally, food and agriculture are a $7.8 trillion industry. At the same time, they are one of the largest sources of environmental impact, with around 1.3 billion tons of food and packaging waste produced every year. Furthermore, agriculture contributes to water scarcity, soil degradation and the destruction of biodiversity. 

The farming crisis: what’s at stake 
As climate change reshapes agriculture around the world, the impact will be felt unevenly across regions and countries. Countries in low latitudes - some already suffering from poverty and malnutrition will be hit hardest with rising temperatures while regions with temperate climates will experience a rise in agricultural output. 
As a collective, we will also have to do more with less, as we cope with the rise in population and decline of our natural resources. Many startups are taking on the challenge, and finding ways in which tech can help us achieve this paradox. 
  • Arvegenix: Developing a new cash-crop called pennycress that can be added to field rotations between corn & soybeans. The winter cover crop protects the soil from erosion and soaks up nitrogen pollution - while providing income for farmers.
  • BrightFarms: Building and operating greenhouses in urban and suburban areas to meet booming demand for hyper-local produce. They have partnered with supermarkets such as Giant, ACME and Pick ‘n Save to bring the farm to your nearest store to maximise its freshness. 
  • mOasis: Non-toxic gel-like soil additive that help seeds get farther on less water.
  • RipeIO: Blockchain technology for the food supply chain. Its algorithms crunch data to calculate sustainability scores, as well as scores for spoilage and safety levels. 
  • Trace Genomics: 23andMe for soil health: uses machine learning and genomic testing, it can ID microbes and other biological data in soil, helping farmers maximise yields. 

All of the taste, none of the guilt: From cultured meat to 3D printed food, can we give meat a sustainable spin?
Did you know that the livestock industry potentially emits up to 18% of greenhouse gases? There’s gotta be a better way. What if we could grow enough meat in a lab to satisfy at least some of the world’s meat demand, and at the same time solve all the problems of animal welfare and environmental impact?

The future of meat is cheaper, faster and more environmentally friendly. 

Inside the Quest to Make Lab Grown Meat | WIRED - YouTube Inside the Quest to Make Lab Grown Meat | WIRED - YouTube
The Boston food party - an ecosystem of food innovation
Boston is a city that has been breeding multitudes of technologies disrupting food and agriculture. The city has become a hub of food and farm startups that are working towards creating more sustainable food systems. 
Here are two of the city’s most notorious startups revolutionizing the food supply
Makes seed treatments that help seeds resist high temperatures or drought conditions. The results so far include a 10 percent increase in crop yields across the board. The company has raised $250 million in new venture capital investments, one of the largest funding rounds for a private company in Massachusetts in 2018. 
A company that creates shipping containers decked out with enough hydroponics equipment and tools to produce two to four tons of produce a year, in any climate or location. Whether you’re on a lot of concrete or pavement, you won’t need good soil, which is what most urban areas are short on.
What the future holds
These hubs across the world are seeking the next big break on food innovation: 
Chobani Incubator: Based in New York, it runs a four-month program for food startups, including working together on-site with its team members. Has a focus on building sustainable business and nutrition/food labelling. 
Terra Accelerator: Based in San Francisco, it combines RocketSpace’s global tech ecosystem and startup network with Rabobank’s food + agribusiness expertise. They focus on startups that are seed funded and ready to launch in both food-tech and ag-tech. 
H-Farm: Based in Italy, they’ve partnered with Cisco, to invest in early-stage startups that are developing innovative solutions for the food and agriculture industry. 
The Good Kitchen: A London-based social enterprise accelerator that supports entrepreneurs tackling food poverty all over the world.  
A TED Talk to watch
Which one creates more greenhouse gas: transportation or animal production?
Gerardo Urbina gave his answer based on some data and facts. He talked about his reason why and how he decided to be a vegan and indicated the possibility to create a food revolution with science and technology.
Sustainable Food: Let's Start a Revolution! | Gerardo Urbina | TEDxNagoyaU - YouTube
A tweet to retweet
World Economic Forum on Twitter: "Banning plastic bags and straws is a drop in the ocean. Here's what else we need to do
Wrapping up... We are happy to have you here ✨
Your feedback means a lot to us. 💚Let’s connect on twitter and let us know what you think or email us at: planettechnewsletter@gmail.com. 🌎
Till next week,
Aleksandra, Andrea, and Jessica. 💚
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