Scientists claim that future consumption of genetically modified foods will inevitably

Beijing January 7 news, according to foreign media reports, the Dutch University of Eindhoven, a white room, the next dinner put on the table. The beef on the table was cultivated using in vitro technology. These beef fibres delicately spliced ​​a "meat"; some "vegetable meat" made of pre-dinner snacks. Using genetic technology to nurture sushi made from raw materials, there are also red wines that can be programmed: Microwave pulses are included. You can freely set your own preferences, from Montepulciano to Sylvia, a variety of cuisines. foot.

However, these are still illusions at the current stage. This is the scene of a future food exhibition held at the Eindhoven University of Technology in recent days, but these foods are made of plasticine and other alternatives. However, one point is the key, that is, all the exhibits exhibited here are not entirely fantasies. As the school’s assistant professor Koert van Mensvoort stated, they are “almost possible”. Manswood himself also participated in the production of the website, which focuses on the development of future technologies. He brought together his undergraduate students who studied industrial design, and invited biotech engineers, market experts, and ethicists to ask them to list which future foods are now practically close to us.


The fact is that artificial steak may have a long way to go from us, but the hamburger seems to be closer. Professor Mark Post, the Dutch intestine meat research authority, promised to launch the first manually produced hamburger by the end of 2012, which will use 10 billion lab-grown muscle cells. Currently, Post and other Dutch researchers are trying to overcome a technical difficulty, that is how to transform these soft "tube meat" into a kind of beef product with its own structure and traditional authentic beef-like taste. To solve this problem, they may have to use electric shock methods.

The exploration of this issue is of great significance for addressing the human food problem in the future. The essence of this problem is not what we can do but what we can accept. Some scientists have warned that trying to replicate the meat products that humans eat will be futile—this is another kind of blind nostalgia for ignorance and short-sightedness of traditional food. Just as Louise Fresco, a Dutch scholar and former food innovation research project director and UN adviser, put it: “Say, 'Nature is the best' and reject globalisation to return to the past food” In an era of authenticity and reliability, this idea is too simplistic."

Mans Woodt said: "This is something that is definitely going to be done, try and copy what you know. This is not how you do innovation. We started from the trolley, but in the end we made a small The word "natural" is the biggest marketing scam and one of the most successful ones."

The biggest challenge in creating these future high-tech foods is actually not the technology issue itself, but the attitude of consumers around the world, just as food scientists in countries around the world say, consumers The kind of "repulsive emotions". This negative feedback from the consumer side of course will also affect the attitude of food companies, so that they become more cautious in this regard, and these companies are precisely the main fund sponsor to carry out related research work. In the United States, these food companies are silent about their R&D activities in developing these food technologies.

Inevitable choice

However, these studies will have to be carried out. The reason is very simple. There will be 9 billion people around the world. These people will not be able to rely entirely on the current traditional production methods, especially for meat. Ours Planet simply cannot withstand such production intensity. This problem is particularly prominent in the Netherlands because the Dutch have the highest consumption of pork in Europe, but even so, the Dutch food company has not publicly provided it to Manswood or any other similar artificial meat research project. Funding. Therefore, the current research funding is still from the Dutch government.

Mans Woodt expressed contempt for the timidity of food companies, especially at such critical times, he said: "If they see something like 'artificial sushi', they will say: 'Don't put us The name was placed next to it! 'They were afraid!' During a science conference on food and nanotechnology, a senior official from one of Europe's largest food companies had asked reporters not to disclose that he had attended the meeting. news.

All this is a disaster for Monsanto. Franks said: "They developed herbicides, and then the U.S. government allowed it to publicly promote their own products. This is a historic mistake." Franksk hopes to have a population of 9 billion people in the world, not only rich. People, the poor can also eat. Monsanto is a doctor of our time, Dr. Frankenstein, and the public is disgusted by the company’s mischief in the United States, India, and elsewhere. The more serious consequences that follow are the public’s loss of trust in biotech, which not only shuts the floodgates to new food, but also has a negative impact on the world’s efforts to fight hunger. In Africa, there are still hundreds of millions of people unable to obtain a stable supply of food. With the use of transgenic technology, rice production can rise by more than 40%.

Franksk said: "The African scientists asked us 'Are you afraid that we learn this technology?'" She admits that there is indeed a risk here, but she believes that taking more rigorous monitoring and not banning will yield better results. Although Dutch scientists are very careful to avoid using the word “GM,” everyone is tacitly tacit understanding that this era is quietly coming. Europe needs these technologies or it will be abandoned by the times.

The public will eventually accept genetically modified foods

So for ethical considerations, will people eventually accept this new form of food? Cor van der Weele, a professor of philosophy at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, believes that in the end the public will see the ethical benefits of genetically modified foods, so they will eventually accept these new foods. She said: "People will see the benefits of this. It will be very attractive to consumers if they can obtain large quantities of pork from the pig's body and not necessarily kill millions of pigs. "People." She also cites an experimental result in the desert area to demonstrate his point of view that using new methods to produce food will greatly save energy consumption. The experiment was carried out in a so-called "bioreactor" in the desert region, using solar energy to provide energy to produce meat. Finally, people found that the energy-saving benefits obtained by doing so would be staggering. Wheeler said: "Compared with traditional practices, this new approach requires only 1% of the land and 2% of water to achieve the same results. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by more than 90% compared with traditional practices."

Eating "real" meat in 2035 will be like eating shark fins today. It is a violation of general social ethics, and the price will be very expensive. As Dr. Mark Post pointed out: "A person who eats meat but travels by bicycle is more environmentally friendly than those who are only vegetarians, but driving out of the carriages."

For now, we can be sure that the future of meat will be more expensive, and that they will not appear in the form of tablets in the bottle. The reason is very simple, that is, this kind of thing is almost impossible to achieve. Even the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Development Agency, which has always been known for its innovation in science fiction level, has given up trying to cram 2,000 calories of food into a small size. Try small pills. In addition there is an important reason not to do so, that is, we like the feeling of eating. Although the food industry is best at selling what we don’t need at all, the customer is still God.

Therefore, our present hunger for things becomes a paradox. We want to maintain our noble character and do not want to kill other creatures to obtain food, but at the same time we are very much in love with the feeling of traditional food. We hope to spend less money for better quality services. We hope that the food we eat will be more natural and healthy, even though the two do not generally draw equal numbers. We hope to eat better than our previous generation, but we often envy the foods of the previous generation. Nostalgia, curiosity, suspicion, and the desire to be an elegant gentleman are intertwined with complex emotions. People's hearts are filled with suspicion and distrust of science and the darkness of the supermarket and food industries.

In the next 25 years, almost none of these mentioned above will appear to change. But the food supply issue we are facing is indeed getting worse: global climate change and the end of the supply of cheap fossil energy and waste, all of which will profoundly change the food supply industry. The world's three major food crops: rice, wheat, and corn are mainly produced by countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, and the numbers are cold. For example, corn, when temperatures exceed 30 degrees, corn will be difficult Normal growth.

Genetically modified foods for the benefit of humans?

All future food research experts agree that the existing food supply method will not be sustainable. Although organicists are convinced that returning to their original state will solve the current food problems faced by the world, no serious scientist believes that traditional agricultural production methods can cope with the future of human food shortages. Therefore, if we want everyone to be able to feed in the future, then we will have to accept a new kind of "non-natural" food. In fact, consumers have naturally accepted many "unnatural" products, such as yoghurt fermented by bacteria, such as deodorized mayonnaise, including various chemicals that make food more delicious, and so on.

The writer Josh Schonwald noted that the United States has gone ahead of other countries in this regard. In his new book, "Tomorrow's Food," he disclosed that various genetic fusion techniques are being tested in the laboratory of the University of California, Davis, to produce grapes such as sea bream or potatoes with squid flavor. Or lettuce that can be put on shelves for weeks without being bad. The United States may already have genetically modified pigs that grow five times faster than normal pigs. The United States also uses the genetically modified potatoes of the Northern Lights to achieve its goal of extending its shelf life; in Israel, there are similar projects for lemons and positive responses from consumers. However, these have been strongly protested by Greenpeace.

In Schwartz's view, what the whole industry needs now is only the government's appropriate relaxation of its control over related fields so that related research can obtain the necessary funding. But later he became more radical. He said that those who completely rejected GM foods were "unscrupulous, dangerous and inhumane." He believes that it is necessary to ensure that children in the poorest areas can get the necessary nutrition.

However, from historical experience, the development of high technology often does not benefit the poor. Chemical fertilizers and herbicides have caused farmers to become dependent and cause serious pollution. The latest advances in the field of medicine are also basically for the rich: In fact, the world's pharmaceutical giants spend more money on research to enhance male sexual function than they spend on malaria. And only the food we eat is the one that can really benefit everyone.

We must add something to our existing food culture. It seems that the price of food can no longer fall back to levels around 2000. In Western Europe, ordinary households spend about 10% to 15% of their total household income on food, compared with about 60% 60 years ago. Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London, said that cheap food is impossible because at the moment we are not actually paying for it according to its actual value. He said: “We have always benefited from the nature The value, the distant origin, and the cheap labor."

Considering only one aspect of population growth is enough to explain the increase in prices; the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that at least 40% of the world's food needs to be increased by 2050, and now, global climate change has begun to affect some of the world's major food production areas. . Tim told the British government that the era of food production based on high energy consumption is over, and it would be disastrous to continue production activities at the expense of biodiversity. When the future comes, there is virtually no choice for everyone to eat. (morning)

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