Food and Technology, coming together as one?

Food and Technology, coming together as one?

Louis Sztayer Edwards
IORMA Researcher

Since the dawn of time, food and water have both remained a necessity for our survival. We have been able to use our intellect to form near-perfect meal plans as well as working out which foods contain the most beneficial nutrients and vitamins for us. We can see through this that the way we look at food has changed as time has passed, our understanding of how beneficial it can be to us has only grown.

However, despite all this progress, there remains many different issues surrounding food globally. Poverty still is a massive problem, with food shortages affecting many different LEDC’s (Less Economically Developed Countries) and wasted food can lead to problems of its own, with its rotting process greatly contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases such as methane. As a result of these issues, we need to start looking towards introducing more innovative ideas into the world of food. One way that this has already started to be done, and in a variety of ways, is through the involvement of technology.  

One of the most frequently discussed coming-togethers of food and technology has been the development of GMOs. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) involves the alteration of genetic makeup of living organisms, usually in order to better suit a specific purpose. It can be easy to see straight away why so many would be against it, there could be worries about how healthy they are to consume, especially the effects in the long term, which can be hard to measure. There also may be those who argue scientists who are trying to attempt this are trying to play around with the role of God too much, and that this could only lead to consequences. Despite these worries, there are still a lot of reasons as to why GMOs could be beneficial to us, for example,

Tackling food poverty on a global scale has and continues to be a serious issue. It only appears to grow each year, and the Covid crisis also hit vulnerable areas particularly hard and only exacerbated this issue. For example, it was noted that in 2020 over 2 billion people did not have access to sufficient food, and that between 720- 811 million people went hungry the same year, almost 10% of the global population! Another issue slightly related is the fact that the population of LEDCs may not have sufficient knowledge on food and the nutritional values that they bring. Through teaching this, we can encourage healthier lifestyles.

With regard to innovation in the agriculture sector, one that’s has been largely successful has been the implementation of vertical farming. As the name implies, it incorporates the idea of growing produce in columns, and typically occurs indoors within an easily regulated environment.

IORMA Future of Food

IORMA Disruptive Technologies Strategy Director

See Articles, Videos and Events of IORMA Research concerning the future of Food:

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