From plant-based pork combating diseases to microbes converting greenhouse gas into food – these sustainable food innovations are some of the ideas competing for the Food Planet Prize award aimed at remodelling the global food sector.
Ending hunger by 2030 is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and it looks like we might be falling behind, even more so due to the ongoing health crisis, which is threatening our food supply chain.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom and these six food innovators, from around the world, have found a way to creatively sustain the way we produce our food without damaging the climate:
MiAlgae – United Kingdom
This Scottish startup uses fermented algae and whisky waste – residues from the whisky distillation – to grow Omega-3 rich microalgae to sustainably feed fish and other animals, and produce fish oil.
MiAlgae estimates that one ton of its product can save up to 30 tons of wild fish and reduce nutrient pollution to the ocean.
Apeel Sciences – United States
Apeel Sciences has developed an edible and odourless spray that can be used to coat the surface of fresh produce to slow down water loss and oxidation.
This, in turn, reduces food waste by making fruits and vegetables last up to five times longer. The edible spray is made from discarded materials from organic produce such as leftover grape skins from winemaking.
Sanergy – Kenya
A social enterprise using insect larvae to turn human waste, collected from Nairobi’s slum dwellers, into fertilizer and animal feed for commercial and smallholder farms.
Sanergy collects and treats the waste to remove any pathogens, which are then used to grow black soldier fly larvae to break down the human waste in less than a week.
The flies are then harvested, boiled and sold to animal feed producers and farmers as nutritious fodder for poultry and fish.
Right Treat – China
Right Treat, together with the founder of the Green Monday movement, David Yeung, have created a plant-based pork option ‘vegan pork’ using a blend of proteins from pea, soy, shiitake mushrooms, and rice to tackle climate change and disease outbreaks.
Omnipork has a combination of proteins and all the essential amino acids necessary in the human diet, according to the company.
The product was launched in 2018 during the outbreak of the African Swine Fever, to tackle issues linked with diseases, climate change, animal husbandry, waste management, and land usage.
Ragn-Sells – Sweden
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are three essential nutrients for agricultural crop production.
This Swedish waste and recycling company mines these nutrients from power plants that burn waste and produce fly ash, which is then recycled for use as agricultural fertilizers.
The ‘urban mining‘ of these minerals prevents pollution in lakes and marine habitats, improves energy and resource efficiency, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce costs.
Solar Foods – Finland
This high-tech solution mimics nature by using a special kind of bacteria to remove carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the air and turn it into a single-cell protein called Solein, which is similar to those found in soybeans and beef.
The farming of this edible natural protein uses less land space and water than livestock production.
Solar Foods was inspired by technology from NASA and the Soviet Union space program and further developed by VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and LUT University.
Images Copyright – Unsplash
Updated – 26 May 2020