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Scientists are working to synthesize edible molecules through chemical and biological processes so that food can be produced without relying on agriculture.
On Monday, the journal Nature Sustainability publish and study showing that booming farm-free food may produce huge environmental and social benefits and help mankind to address the growing climate crisis.
In the study titled "Food Without Agriculture," researchers from University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), said the huge amount of food produced by global agriculture had correspondingly resulted in a large amount of land being unavailable for natural ecosystems, overused and polluted water resources, and large amounts of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere.
Scientists from all around the world are working hard to find another possibility to synthesize edible molecules through chemical and biological processes so that food can be produced without relying on agriculture.
The raw materials used to produce synthetic foods may come from fossil fuels, waste, or carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the study said, adding that commercial production of synthetic dietary fats could potentially ease pressure on the global agricultural sector that is struggling to decarbonize.
Soil organic carbon sequestration is one of the most cost-effective options for:
The benefits include reduced water use, reduced air and water pollution, improved food security and food sovereignty, resilience to certain global disaster scenarios, and reduced demand for low-income and physically demanding labor, and large tracts of land could be used for reforestation, bringing benefits to biodiversity and natural carbon sinks.
"Synthesizing edible molecules at scale through chemical and biological means without agricultural feedstocks is a very real possibility," said lead author Steven Davis, professor of earth system science at UC Irvine.
However, the authors admitted that this conclusion still had some limitations. There are huge obstacles to large-scale synthesis of food for human consumption.
Synthetic food production may require more mined minerals and metals than traditional agriculture, which uses large amounts of these materials in fertilizer plants and farm machinery. Barriers around cost, consumer acceptance and life cycle sustainability must be addressed further.
#Germany | Climate activists from the Last Generation group staged a protest at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, spraying the structure with orange paint to urge the government to take stronger action against climate change. pic.twitter.com/NLZeg2xgaH