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Tech To Table

Tech to Table introduces readers to twenty-five of the most creative entrepreneurs advancing these solutions. They come from various places and professions, identities and backgrounds. But they share an outsider’s perspective and an idealistic, sometimes aggressive, ambition to rethink the food system.

A lot of attention has been given to the innovators producing protein-rich alternatives, especially those focusing on plant-based and cell-based innovations. Sales of plant-based proteins, for example, totaled $5 billion in 2019 and climbed 158 percent in 2020. The financial firm UBS predicts that the U.S. market will grow to $85 billion by 2030, and Entrepreneur magazine suggests that plant-based meat “has officially reached ‘global phenomenon’ status.”

However, the innovators developing serums and mixes in which cell- and plant-based proteins can grow are not yet as recognized. Some of the most creative are using ancient and simple components—including algae and mycelia—to create the foundations for animal protein alternatives.

Imagine eating a burger grown in a laboratory, a strawberry picked by a robot, or a pastry created with a 3-D printer. You would never taste the difference, but these technologies might just save your health and the planet’s. Today, landmark advances in computing, engineering, and medicine are driving solutions to the biggest problems created by industrialized food.

Reinvention is desperately needed. Under Big Ag, pollution, climate change, animal cruelty, hunger, and obesity have festered, and despite decades of effort, organic farming accounts for less than one percent of US croplands. Entrepreneurs represent a new path, one where disruptive technology helps people and the environment. These innovations include supplements to lower the methane in cattle belches, drones that monitor irrigation levels in crops, urban warehouses that grow produce year-round, and more.

The pace and breadth of change is astonishing, as investors pump billions of dollars into ag-innovation. Startups are attracting capital and building markets, with the potential to upend conventional agribusiness’s stranglehold on the food system. Not every invention will prosper long-term, but each marks a fundamental change in our approach to feeding a growing population—sustainably.

A revolution in how we grow and eat food is brewing. Munson’s deftly crafted profiles offer a preview of the coming future of food.



Trademarks and copyrights are owned by Richard Munson and information is based on publicly available data. Ubuntoo is not affiliated with Richard Munson



Richard Munson

October 11, 2021
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