I’ve written often on the intersection between food and technology.
To me, it’s a fascinating view on how technology can better the most fundamental need of our human existence: the lowest of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the need for subsistence on a material level.
The World Health Organization has consistently maintained that there is enough food for the entire human population—we just suffer from an uneven distribution of food. While the common refrain about a child dying from hunger every x seconds can be a bit misleading, the reality is that there are millions of children who suffer from malnutrition, and who will die because of it.
It’s clear that in an age where climate change threatens to unsettle the delicate balance between farmer and field, one area of concern will be how to feed ourselves, given the struggles we currently have to do just that for an unfortunate many.
Will we create a more sustainable future through the increase of the use of chemicals, the altering of the genetic code of foodstuffs, or a return to organic farming?
These are open questions. I recently wrote a profile on Montreal’s Provender for Techvibes, a network that connects farmers with restaurants, and one of their founders, Cai certainly has interesting thoughts on the matter of food technology.
Their solution aims to make it easier to reduce food waste by communicating from farm-to-fork, allowing for restaurants to “claim” crops, shortening the sales cycle, and creating value by providing fresher crops, and reducing food waste along the entire cycle.
By collecting data from farmers in the area about their crops and the conditions they are undergoing, they are aiming to create an API that will allow for data-driven decisions across entire areas. It is food technology at its best, better defining the data around the world to create a more sustainable future.
Cai has recently come up with the Grow Food Tech initiative—trying to spark a conversation about exactly how technology can help grow food sustainability. I hope it succeeds, and that you’ll be a part of the discussion.