Note — Sep 08, 2019

Feeding the 11 Billion: the Tiny Dutch Town Ending Our Food Crisis

Wired UK with a visit to multiple researchers at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) where some possible futures of food are being developed. Covers the gamut: edible insects, fake steak, CRISPR-Cas changes for resistance (coeliac-safe gluten!), taste detectives, fuelling green growth, rural robotics, and vanilla flowers.

But crops grown exclusively under [LED] red light can experience abnormal growth, known as “red light syndrome”. So blue light is added to help normal development. While each crop has a unique light “fingerprint”, most of Unifarm’s crops can be found under this careful balance of growth-boosting red and regulating blue. […]

Insects reared on organic waste serve as both food production and waste reduction – a triumph in circular agriculture, where yield and use of resources are optimised for minimal impact on the environment. […]

The PTR-QiTOF equipment thus “smells” the coffee, detecting minute differences in quality that are mapped out with statistical methods, forming two little clouds of data: organic on one side, non-organic on the other. […]

Depending on the species, and how it’s grown, algae are capable of producing proteins, lipids and starches. More than 15,000 new chemical compounds have been discovered in algae in recent years. […]

From the Notes: Come for the Protein, Stay for the Crickets.