How much waste material is produced by modern foods, and are there any associated environmental risks?

 |  6 May 2024

A major benefit of Precision Fermentation (PF) and Cellular Agriculture (CA) is waste reduction when compared to animal agriculture. One early study estimates that a product made using PF generates 92% fewer pollutants than a comparable animal product.

The exact composition of waste products varies greatly among fermentation processes, but typically it includes spent microbial biomass and wastewater. If the microbes-usually funghi, bacteria or algae-are not part of the end product, they are disposed of or used in other ways, such as fertilizer, animal feed or materials. Most of the waste from the facility will be wastewater that can initially be treated onsite before being released into municipal waterways. Studies have shown that certain kinds of fermentation waste can even be used to remediate waterways. There is no risk of gene transfer from inert genetically modified microbes to natural ones.

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We are on the cusp of the deepest, fastest, most consequential disruption in food and agricultural production since the first domestication of plants and animals 10,000 years ago.

Learn more about the social, economic and geo-political implications, and more on the transformation of the food and agriculture disruption

Published on: 12/07/23

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