Technology and food: fruits from the laboratory and the Farm of the Future

At the Future Farm of Wageningen University & Research, scientists want to produce more food and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. They experiment, among others, with a crop diversity method that uses water more efficiently, reduces the risk of plant diseases, is healthier for the soil and produces higher yields. The farm’s drainage system collects excess water and pumps it underground, strips of perennial flowers provide food and shelter for insects, and a unique program recognizes weeds and selects appropriate doses of bactericides.

Experts from Plant & Food Research from Christchurch, New Zealand, are growing fruit tissues from plant cells in laboratories due to concerns about food security related to climate change. They want their fruit to taste and smell like natural fruit one day. To reduce food waste, laboratory-grown fruit will be stripped of parts that are usually thrown away, such as apple core or orange peel. The research program includes blueberry, apple, cherry, peach, nectarine and grape cells.

The Spanish Mazarrón research centre in Murcia has managed to breed Atlantic bluefin tuna in artificial tanks placed on land for the first time. At least two commercial companies are interested in the method of breeding tuna from fertilised eggs or young tuna on land instead of fattening previously caught young, wild fish in cages in the open sea. However, according to non-governmental organisations, it means more fish caught for feed, antibiotics use, and water pollution.

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