Food and Agriculture Disruption with digestive agriculture

Food and agriculture disruption by fermentation is already here. The manufacture of protein and fat using precision fermentation will reduce agriculture by 90%. So says George Monbiot in his book Regenesis Feeding the world without Devouring the Planet (Amazon).

Tony Seba from RethinkX in his disruption theory of 8 technologies, 3 disruptions and the article on Change Discussion: Food Disruption is Happening details some of the drivers for the change and Monbiot adds to the discussion.

Examples of Food and Agriculture Disruption

In the podcast from The Guardian (Listen Here) on June 2, 2022, Monbiot says when farming is degrading our soils and people are still going hungry, is it time to change how we get our food?

“Ninety-nine percent of our calories come from soil. Everything we are, everything we have built, everything in our lives comes from the soil. Without it, we’re finished and yet, we treat it with extreme disrespect and disregard.”

George Monbiot Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet 2022

Monbiot argues we need to pursue revolutionary ways of getting our sustenance. He argues precision fermentation, where proteins and fats are produced in micro breweries, we could feed the world, contribute to climate action effectively and save our soils.

Monbiot argues farming is the world’s greatest cause of environmental destruction – and the one we are least prepared to talk about. We have ploughed, fenced and grazed great tracts of the planet, felling forests, killing wildlife, and poisoning rivers and oceans to feed ourselves. Yet millions still go hungry.

Monbiot supports Tony Seba’s proposition that the scientific breakthrough in precision fermentation will allow us to grow more food with less farming. He says from the farmers who are freeing the land from ploughs and poisons to the scientists who are finding new ways to grow protein, fats and carbohydrate in the lab – arguments about plant-vs meat-based diets are ultimately irrelevant.

food and agriculture disruption with precision fermentation
Precision fermentation can provide protein and fat at 1% of the energy and land in agriculture

Interesting Data from Monbiots book

  • Humanity has not produced as much food as it has over the past 20 years yet the number of people going hungry has increased
  • 70% of the soils are degraded, and 2 billion people are living in those degraded soil ares
  • The green revolution has created all sorts of food but we are living on borrowed time soils and systems will collapse.
  • We talk about cutting food wastes, but the most that can be saved is 5%
  • Changing from meat products to plant products would increase food supply by 80%
  • Half the food we produce goes to feeding livestock and pasture feed

Soil Health

Land Use

  • Key  environmental inputs is land use
  • About 12% of world is used to grow crops
  • 28% for animal grazing livestock 
  • Animal 1% of worlds protein.
  • Organic farm animals exerbates land
  • 270% more land
  • Every forest
  • No sustainable animal pasture grazing