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There is a pretty good case to wean us off cereals. They aren’t the best diet health wise. We only consume so much because they are calorie dense and easy to grow.



You would also have to wean us off meat, including poultry. Not all meat, sure, but the bulk is cereal-fed in CAFO factory operations. Similarly you'd have to wean us off most of the dairy produce and dairy-derived food we like, because grass-fed is not going to produce the quantities we've grown accustomed to. Then you'd have to wean us off bread and beer, and a whole host of extracted starches and sugars that are used in manufacturing much of the so-called processed foods. Because that's where most of the cereals are going.

So... most of humanity on a more-or-less vegan diet.


Most meat will be lab grown within a decade. Livestock meat will become a luxury


Within a decade? I'd be surprised if even 0.1% of meat is lab grown in 2028.


Investor in a previous startup is heavily invested in this. Knowing what i know i expect the market to explode once it hits is economic potential.


Is it even really technically feasible yet? If we could grow meat in a lab, then we should be able to grow replacement human organs in a lab too, but we're definitely not there yet, though we're making progress.


Care to put a little Bitcoin on that? ;) I'm skeptical.


Like what? Potatoes? There are a few high calorie-per-area staples that we know how to grow, process, prepare and store at scale. Sure there might be a 'revolution' (like when electricity was discovered), but there are no obvious candidates to what you're saying, nor a real incremental progress path to follow.

And 'easy to grow' is rather dismissive of the vast amounts of progress we've had to make to come to the point we are now...


you have to replace those calories with something, and it makes no sense if the something has 100x the production costs for what returns exactly?


The issue with this view is it is looking at the future potential using today's technology and efficiency. We're about to blow productivity per watt out of the water and this will change everything. If you want to know more watch jeremy rifkin's talk on YouTube https://youtu.be/QX3M8Ka9vUA


You are never going to beat the efficency of the sun shining down on plants for free, no matter what. I mean the entire idea is absurd, what are you going to have solar panels on the building that somehow collect light and re-emit it, and have that be more efficent than just the plants collecting the light directly?

So you take more land area for solar, why wouldnt you just plant crops on that land area instead...


If you grow things indoors close to where they will be consumed you can control the environment reducing risk of drought, flooding, pest, pollution, wildfires, storm damage, blight etc etc. You also reduce the supply chain complexities around collection, transport and storage (inert gas storage etc). There are many other considerations apart from energy and when energy becomes cheap enough the game will turn in favour of growing in urban areas.


None of those issues are actually serious problems for agriculture in most areas most of the time. And energy will never be cheap enough in our lifetimes to change the calculation significantly.


you can also enclose fields as they exist if those are somehow significant problems. There is still absolutely zero need to build vertical


The sun produces a full spectrum of light, like a blackbody of a certain temperature. The atmosphere then selectively absorbs, scatters, or reflects a portion of it. That produces the Earth daylight spectrum, which varies by season, latitude, and time of day. It doesn't ever match up precisely with the absorption spectrum of plant pigments.

A grow light can produce the exact wavelength of blue light most readily absorbed by chlorophyll, and the exact wavelength of red light most readily absorbed by phytochrome, and the exact wavelengths of other hormone/signaling photoreceptor pigments.

The grow light produces exactly the light that the plant needs, whereas the sun throws out a lot of energy that the plant cannot use effectively. If we had a material that could absorb two green photons and emit one blue photon, that would improve the photosynthetic efficiency of sunlight, but for now, it's still easier for us to turn green light into electricity and power a blue LED.


Not only that but with careful management you can squeeze 4 seasons into a year


As a commenter on the same top-level comment noted:

"The investors funding these enterprises do not understand agricultural economics. I keep investigating these stories looking for some kind of 'breakthrough tech' that would dramatically reduce costs or increase yields. I've been tracking these vertical greenhouses for fifteen years, they open and a couple of years later they're gone."

Higher productivity per watt in the broader industrial sense does not equal higher productivity per watt in the smaller sector that is agriculture.


If the developing world switched over to a high meat diet as the developed world, it would be an environmental catastrophe


Even worse is all the people adopting the "ketogenic" diet these days.




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