On May 2, Eric Schmidt, executive director of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, spoke in front of thousands of investors and business executives at the 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. According to Fortune magazine, he revealed what he believes are the "six game changing technologies, or moonshots," that will change the world.
The six technologies are, in reverse order: tech in education, self-driving cars, mobile medical data, virtual reality, 3D printing in architecture, and—the number one most important trend—plant proteins in place of meat.
Schmidt predicted a revolution of replacing livestock with plant proteins, arguing that shifting from conventional meat to plant-based foods would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change—a fact that has been corroborated by the United Nations. He also asserted that the move to plant proteins would reduce the cost of food production in developing countries where access to food is less reliable.
Schmidt noted that producing food from plants uses significantly fewer resources. Conventional meat requires many environmentally impactful steps: raising farmed animals, including providing them with food and water; transporting the animals to slaughter; processing the meat; and packaging the meat for sale. A switch to plant protein will remove the animal from the equation and allow harvesting of plants for direct human consumption.
Fortune summarizes Schmidt's vision of bringing together food and technology:
[T]he world is now ready to better produce synthetic food from plants with the help of computers and data crunching. Technology can help researchers and scientists identify the best plants and plant combinations for creating certain tastes and meeting certain nutritional needs.
At The Good Food Institute, we are excited about the future of food. Find out how we help startups and businesses that are creating game changing plant proteins.
photo by Dave Getzschman