Hyphen tech is popular, and essentially illustrates the impact that technology is having on every segment of our lives. Fintech—finance and technology. Fashion-tech—fashion and technology. Agrotech—agriculture and technology.
Doesn’t the concept itself of a “food computer” just sounds exciting? 0’s and 1’s and broccoli.
Well, this was one of the ideas introduced by the presentation of Caleb Harper, the Principal Investigator and Director of Open Agriculture at MIT Media Lab.
So, dig this.
We have a world of varying climates throughout its many regions. Each region is conducive to growing certain types of food. As we know, natural resources have always given certain regions certain advantages over others because of the demand for food to sustain life.
But what if we could engineer climate in a way that would allow any region to produce any type of food? An arid region, with the right climate setting and lab, could produce fruits found in tropical regions, for example.
With a projected world population of nearly 10 billion people in 2050, Harper stated that we could code our way to the next agricultural revolution, by developing labs with climate settings amenable to growing particular foods.
His presentation highlighted a shrimp farm in Germany, where outside of the indoor farm was cold, but inside, it was 30 degrees celcius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Or plant factories in Japan that grow food to offset the effects of pollution and pesticides. See here.
I was really intrigued by this presentation and think that, simply put, a lot of good can come from the ideas that Harper shared.