real food, whole food, what’s food?


My dad was a dairy farmer. He raised cows that ate grass, provided cow patties to fertilize the garden and were milked by hand. My grandmother made cheese from the milk, butter from the cream and grew her veggies in the garden. So I grew up understanding the basics of where my food came from. Food seemed pretty simple.

With the rise of industrial farming and mechanization and a need for greater yields with less oversight, GMOs were born. In theory, genetically modified organisms could be a good thing. GMOs could potentially grow in climates that haven’t typically supported them or zones where they are not native. Unfortunately it is pesticide companies that have taken up the GMO challenge and created plants that are toxic to pests. And potentially toxic to the rest of us. This may be unproven….but just in case I’m feeding my family organic.

There is another food path on the horizon. As we’ve been told, it requires much more resource to raise an animal than it does to raise a plant. A LOT more resource. So if we choose not to go the GMO route, or at least not the pesticide sponsored GMO route, we may need more options. How do we feed the world without destroying our planet?

There are some really brilliant food eating scientists and engineers out there trying to figure this out.

  • Hampton Creek is making food products typically derived from animals and creating them with plants. Starting with mayonnaise. Their belief is that food should be easy, delicious, affordable and good for our bodies and our world.
  • Beyond Meat has created a burger that tastes like meat, bleeds like meat, has 20g of protein just like a burger, but is made from plants. Apparently this is NOT a veggie patty as we know veggie patties. The vision at Beyond Meat is to ‘perfectly’ replace animal protein with plant protein for the mass market.
  • Perfect Day is creating dairy without cows. Or goats or sheep or nuts or hemp. Milk and cheese with all the taste and nutrients, none of the lactose, and without animals (except the human form).
  • SuperMeat is an Israeli bio-tech start-up that is building a machine to grow meat. So you can get your non-gmo, antibiotic free chicken from a machine at the back of the market or restaurant or your own kitchen without even killing a chicken. Kind of like cloning a chicken breast without cloning the rest of the chicken.

So I wonder what the issues will be with this newer version of scientifically developed foodstuffs? Will technology be our answer to feeding the world and saving the planet?

{This post is dedicated to my daughter who is studying Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis. She wants to save the world….and I think she can.}


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