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Report on Novel food production

This report from the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology summarises some emerging novel approaches in the food sector including controlled-environment farming, alternative animal feeds, edible insects, and lab-cultured meat.

Summary points are as follows:

  • Agricultural innovation could contribute to a more sustainable food system.
  • Controlled-environment farming can increase the yield of some crops and decrease resource use, but is not suited to staple crops like maize and wheat.
  • Sustainable sources of animal feed such as insects and algae could reduce the dependence on feed derived from wild fish or soy from tropical rain forest areas.
  • For humans, edible insects are a nutritious and resource efficient food source, but cultural aversion to insects as food may be a significant barrier.
  • Lab-cultured meat could provide a resource efficient alternative protein source, but must overcome multiple technical challenges.
  • If novel food products are to be accepted by the public, their development should consider societal preferences and behaviours.

See the full report here.

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minute read

16 Jul 2015