A new way of feeding the world: changing the way we eat

December 29, 2015 10:46 am
I-10 Corn Field

If there’s an elephant in the room for the food supply chain right now, its sustainability. From how food is grown, through to manufacture and into processing and how we eat, the current chain is hugely wasteful. The United Nations Environment Programme has estimated that roughly one-third of all food is wasted globally. The crisis the world faces is more than a humanitarian one. While one in nine people on the planet doesn’t have enough food, the damage is made worse by what happens to that wasted food. It invariably rots and creates more methane, on top of the carbon impact of original production and the subsequent transportation.

People all over the world are trying to do something about this. They face ingrained attitudes, big corporate interests in keeping the status quo, and lackadaisical government departments with other issues on their plate.

One such person looking to tackle this problem, and pioneering new food production processes at the same time is Josh Tetrick, CEO and founder of food manufacturer, Hampton Creek.

Making changes

Tetrick has looked at the current state of the food supply chain and concluded that the only way to make it better is to “start over”. This means looking at the raw ingredients for starters. Josh and his team have identified over 400,000 plant species, whose properties can be used to improve many elements of the food supply chain. The startling fact that Josh reveals in his WIRED 2015 conference keynote is that 92% of these plants have never even been investigated for how they can enhance our food.

By beginning to look at this 92%, Hampton Creek has, for example, made an egg-free mayonnaise. How? They found that one variety of the Canadian yellow split pea acts as an incredible emulsifier. Using this property, and others they have found, they can create mayonnaise, cookies and a host of other foodstuffs that can lead to a much-improved food supply chain. They do all of this with no artificial chemicals and no messing about with genetics. The potential results yield less water usage, less land space, less expensive food which tastes better and is better for you. Josh believes that this concert of improvements simply cannot be delivered using the existing system.

How this will help

Hampton Creek are also developing products that will enrich and save lives. An example is a protein bar that is micronutrient-rich and “hyper-affordable” that can be used to alleviate health conditions such as the goitres seen in areas of Africa where the diet is poor due to a lack of food.

This food revolution is, at its heart, about remembering that food is about more than just corn syrup-enhanced snacks and animals bred for the cheapest bidder. It’s about intelligent use of our available natural resources to create healthy, natural food for everyone on the planet.

While we can’t claim to be solving all of the world’s food problems, but we do take food seriously by selecting authentic, natural ingredients. The care and attention we show in our cooking matches our passion for Asian street food cuisine. Find our product range in 500 Iceland stores across the UK.


Featured image credit:

By Davis Staedtler on Flickr under a Creative Commons 2.0 licence