Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Future Farming - Precision Fermentation


Recommended Posts

Starting this following a remark by @kzbin the Food Inflation thread.

I does look like the ability to create synthetic food using specialist microbes is increasing. As someone who is anti-margarine and processed food, I'm not sure what to make of this yet.  It may use natural processes, but in a very artificial way.

https://singularityhub.com/2020/01/19/precision-fermentation-what-it-is-and-how-it-could-make-farming-obsolete/amp/

I guess the aim is for cheaper food, but won't it just be grey gunk? Who knows?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quorn is about as easy as fermentation gets - fungal cells with a nice strong cell wall that can tolerate being bashed around inside a huge stainless steel stirred tank bioreactor and all they need is corn starch and some fixed nitrogen as a feedstock. Price in the supermarket after decades of process development is £7/kg, about 50% more expensive than chicken breast. Animal cells are much more difficult to cultivate in stirred tank bioreactors due to the lack of a cell wall.

If people want cheap protein I'd suggest eating more beans, maybe learn how to make seitan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

Quorn is about as easy as fermentation gets - fungal cells with a nice strong cell wall that can tolerate being bashed around inside a huge stainless steel stirred tank bioreactor and all they need is corn starch and some fixed nitrogen as a feedstock. Price in the supermarket after decades of process development is £7/kg, about 50% more expensive than chicken breast. Animal cells are much more difficult to cultivate in stirred tank bioreactors due to the lack of a cell wall.

If people want cheap protein I'd suggest eating more beans, maybe learn how to make seitan.

 

Yes, beans are good. Soybeans are top of the chart, then lentils which are also legumes.

100g of lentils is 9g of protein.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Starting this following a remark by @kzbin the Food Inflation thread.

I does look like the ability to create synthetic food using specialist microbes is increasing. As someone who is anti-margarine and processed food, I'm not sure what to make of this yet.  It may use natural processes, but in a very artificial way.

https://singularityhub.com/2020/01/19/precision-fermentation-what-it-is-and-how-it-could-make-farming-obsolete/amp/

I guess the aim is for cheaper food, but won't it just be grey gunk? Who knows?

This "new food" industry is nightmarish and would unleash environmental catastrophe (while on another level solving some environmental problems)... I have a huge issue with the science and the "money guys" ramping this stuff up.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a good winter mix.
Currently I've got figs, apples, pears, persimmon, peaches, tomatoes, amaranth, tree spinach, aztec brocolli, many various pumpkins, summer squashes, Jerusalem artichoke, oca, potatoes, okra, fat baby achocha , giant bolvian achocha, rhubarb, raspberries, sweetcorn, leek, cucumber, chard, various kales, tree cabbage, walking stick kale (a great productive perpetual - mine are over 5 years old and more than 6 feet tall), tomatillo, giant yellow purslane, courgette and many various herbs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, crash-and-burn said:

Sounds like a good winter mix.
Currently I've got figs, apples, pears, persimmon, peaches, tomatoes, amaranth, tree spinach, aztec brocolli, many various pumpkins, summer squashes, Jerusalem artichoke, oca, potatoes, okra, fat baby achocha , giant bolvian achocha, rhubarb, raspberries, sweetcorn, leek, cucumber, chard, various kales, tree cabbage, walking stick kale (a great productive perpetual - mine are over 5 years old and more than 6 feet tall), tomatillo, giant yellow purslane, courgette and many various herbs.

Where may you be growing that great variety of foods?.....will you be preserving much of the abundance it over the sparse winter period to see you through....;) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, crash-and-burn said:

Sounds like a good winter mix.
Currently I've got figs, apples, pears, persimmon, peaches, tomatoes, amaranth, tree spinach, aztec brocolli, many various pumpkins, summer squashes, Jerusalem artichoke, oca, potatoes, okra, fat baby achocha , giant bolvian achocha, rhubarb, raspberries, sweetcorn, leek, cucumber, chard, various kales, tree cabbage, walking stick kale (a great productive perpetual - mine are over 5 years old and more than 6 feet tall), tomatillo, giant yellow purslane, courgette and many various herbs.

Impressive. How do you grow your peaches & figs, against a warm wall? How do you deal with Cabbage white butterflies, Slugs, Rabbits and the like? Do you save your seeds?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

Yes, beans are good. Soybeans are top of the chart, then lentils which are also legumes.

100g of lentils is 9g of protein.

Peas too, around 7g per 100g.  Not forgetting Stinging Nettle: "The highest determined values for the protein content in leaves expressed to the dry mass were 26.89% in leaves, 14.54% in stem and 10.89% in root."

On a recent walk I noticed a field being used for cows for the first time in 20 years, having not been used for anything. Another field too. They are coming home......until comrade professor Neil "pants down" Ferguson has them chucked on a fire again.

Edited by Arpeggio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Staffsknot said:

Would insects not be a more cost effective solution? Ground into flour or similar. Can feed on a variety of waste plant matter and stack them in small amounts of space.

Eaten insects in Africa and not bad.

A small step to:

Live in the pod, eat the bugs, own nothing.

No thank you!

Bugs, pods.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm in France, so am lucky to have a warmer climate to grow many of these things outdoors. Currently have kiwi's growing (yet to produce), but on their fifth year my neighbours got over 500 of them from just a male and female vine, and they taste way nicer than anything you can get from a supermarket. Earlier in the year I have a good crop of jostaberries, gooseberries, black currants and grapes.

I do preserve and freeze, and I also grow heirlooms and save the seed every year. I grow organically - for the brassicas, I just grow at the right time of year. Too early and all those pests become a problem, but delay a little while and grow enough diversity (I do plenty of flowers too) and I have enough produce without having to do battle with them. If it's a particularly wet early spring then I may have to go to war with the slugs on occasion, otherwise its just a question of growing a few extra sacrificial plants. Having cats helps with other pests, and animals like frogs and toads help out too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, crash-and-burn said:

I'm in France, so am lucky to have a warmer climate to grow many of these things outdoors. Currently have kiwi's growing (yet to produce), but on their fifth year my neighbours got over 500 of them from just a male and female vine, and they taste way nicer than anything you can get from a supermarket. Earlier in the year I have a good crop of jostaberries, gooseberries, black currants and grapes.

I do preserve and freeze, and I also grow heirlooms and save the seed every year. I grow organically - for the brassicas, I just grow at the right time of year. Too early and all those pests become a problem, but delay a little while and grow enough diversity (I do plenty of flowers too) and I have enough produce without having to do battle with them. If it's a particularly wet early spring then I may have to go to war with the slugs on occasion, otherwise its just a question of growing a few extra sacrificial plants. Having cats helps with other pests, and animals like frogs and toads help out too.

Excellent. I have self fertile mini Kiwi. I could have got the male / female versions but wanted room for things like Grape vine and Chocolate vine. Some other things you listed look most intriguing I might try out. Generally I'm aiming for a mix between perennials (like your walking stick kale, I have shorter ~4 foot versions, Asparagus) with others seed saving.

Same berries as you but need to do more on those. I also have Goji, Bamboo, Medlar, American Paw Paw, Dogwood, Siberian Pea tree (Nitrogen Fixer) and Chestnut growing.

Considering Root cellaring for storage of things like carrots, maybe with something simple like metal bins dug underground. I had always liked there to be a certain amount you could grow to make pests negligible and seem to be getting to that point also. Definitely good to have cat and frogs living around. I bought some Ladybugs, hopefully making a little difference. Slugs will even go for my alliums, just not the Garlic.

I think this kind of knowledge and experience must not die with the WW2 generation. I am really getting into it. A small Garden can produce a lot and in a Suburb or Estate has the advantage of no wild Rabbits or as much surrounding wildlife looking in thinking that looks tasty, generally easier to protect, Deer won't eat your apples.

Edited by Arpeggio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

I guess the aim is for cheaper food, but won't it just be grey gunk? Who knows?

Not from what I heard.  The first target is milk protein.  Most milk is not actually drunk as milk, per se, it is used in the food industry to make other products.  It's highly likely no-one will be able to tell the difference.  A MacD milkshake or a MacD synthetic milk protein shake, will there be any difference?  It's bad enough already, but people still queue for ages in their cars at the MacD Drive-Thru.

If they can make milk proteins cheaper than the cow does, it's the beginning of the end for the dairy industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Arpeggio said:

Excellent. I have self fertile mini Kiwi. I could have got the male / female versions but wanted room for things like Grape vine and Chocolate vine. Some other things you listed look most intriguing I might try out. Generally I'm aiming for a mix between perennials (like your walking stick kale, I have shorter ~4 foot versions, Asparagus) with others seed saving.

Same berries as you but need to do more on those. I also have Goji, Bamboo, Medlar, American Paw Paw, Dogwood, Siberian Pea tree (Nitrogen Fixer) and Chestnut growing.

Considering Root cellaring for storage of things like carrots, maybe with something simple like metal bins dug underground. I had always liked there to be a certain amount you could grow to make pests negligible and seem to be getting to that point also. Definitely good to have cat and frogs living around. I bought some Ladybugs, hopefully making a little difference. Slugs will even go for my alliums, just not the Garlic.

I think this kind of knowledge and experience must not die with the WW2 generation. I am really getting into it. A small Garden can produce a lot and in a Suburb or Estate has the advantage of no wild Rabbits or as much surrounding wildlife looking in thinking that looks tasty, generally easier to protect, Deer won't eat your apples.

I remember growing up in the UK in the 80's in an ex-council house, and my elderly neighbours would grow all sorts of food in their small backgarden. They'd even tamed the birds to fly into their kitchen and eat from their hands. My friend had the traditional long terraced garden, with the old pig shed at the bottom, his Dad would grow some veggies and his grandad lived nextdoor, and grew lots of stuff. Even then it was really only the older generations still doing it.

It largely seems to be forgotten or neglected in the UK these days, but here in France, nearly all my neighbours either grow a little or a lot. Everywhere I go, most gardens have vegetable beds and at least a few fruit trees. It's still very much a normal way of life, even for those with busy lives or who are working all hours of the day. Chickens are very popular too. I only have two left, unfortunately a pine martin cut the heads off most of them a few years ago.

The hardy kiwis should do well in the UK. I don't know how well giant bolvian acocha grows outdoors in the British climate, but that's a prolific vine that grows these strange shaped fruits about 6inches long, and they really taste like a cross between a cucumber and a green pepper. Very nice raw, or you can stuff them too. I bought the walking stick kale seeds from Portugal, and they are so easy to grow. My tallest is 6ft 6in now, which is a good height to keep away from most slugs and snails, and provides tonnes of greens in the winter, but it does give all year long. One I forgot to mention is skirret (perennial) - it was an old medieval favourite. I've grown that from seed, and will try for the first time later this autumn. Last year I grew yacon - they are not so easy to obtain here, but absolutely delicious (especially if you store them for a fortnight first and let the natural sugars develop). Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the crowns to take this year.

Sounds like you have a good berry mix going on. The slugs have always eaten my young goji's. I grew a pointilla fortunella and amoroso tree a couple of years ago (for cross pollination) and one gives a very nice tasting berry (the other is good but more sour).

The bin idea for storage sounds practical. I usually just keep carrots in a box with sand, although normally I just keep them in the ground for as long as I can. The same with potatoes - I sometimes harvest the last ones around Christmas or early January.

If you only have a small amount of land, square foot gardening is the way to go, and growing vertically. If you don't have neighbours too close to your fence, making your own fertiliser with either nettles in a sealed bucket of rainwater, or comfrey is a good and economical trick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, kzb said:

Not from what I heard.  The first target is milk protein.  Most milk is not actually drunk as milk, per se, it is used in the food industry to make other products.  It's highly likely no-one will be able to tell the difference.  A MacD milkshake or a MacD synthetic milk protein shake, will there be any difference?  It's bad enough already, but people still queue for ages in their cars at the MacD Drive-Thru.

If they can make milk proteins cheaper than the cow does, it's the beginning of the end for the dairy industry.

Artisan cheese may insist on the natural way!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Staffsknot said:

Would insects not be a more cost effective solution? Ground into flour or similar. Can feed on a variety of waste plant matter and stack them in small amounts of space.

Eaten insects in Africa and not bad.

I'm not convinced of the economics of insect protein, whenever one of the UK supermarkets dabbles in insect burgers or similar they always cost something ridiculous like £15/kg. Pigs will eat anything too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, crash-and-burn said:

It largely seems to be forgotten or neglected in the UK these days, but here in France, nearly all my neighbours either grow a little or a lot.

Agreed. Obviously it depends where you live but when we stay with my wife's parents we eat home grown vegetables every day. I've done a little home growing here in the UK but the rat race and the hit and miss weather make it a bit of a chore, whereas things seem to grow like weeds there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, kzb said:

If they can make milk proteins cheaper than the cow does, it's the beginning of the end for the dairy industry.

Dairy cows are like magic self-replicating machines that turn easily cultivated grass into huge quantities of milk, they will even walk back to an automated milking stall to self-milk. What factory process is ever going to beat a cow on cost? The material inputs will almost certainly be more expensive than a field of grass, the bioreactor capital will cost more to build and maintain than a few milking sheds. Where's the saving?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, dugsbody said:

Agreed. Obviously it depends where you live but when we stay with my wife's parents we eat home grown vegetables every day. I've done a little home growing here in the UK but the rat race and the hit and miss weather make it a bit of a chore, whereas things seem to grow like weeds there.

It can take up quite a bit of time, it really depends on what you grow, but if you throw in some perennials or even edibles into your normal flower borders, it doesn't have to add much to any regular gardening times. There are moments when I'm not in the gardening spirit, but once I'm out there it's fresh air and exercise and I really feel the benefits, and obviously the taste of homegrown is amazing.
An alternative is to know your edible 'weeds', I'm not adverse to using nettles, goosefoot is always prolific and tastes great, purslane is really high in omega-3 and I like it a lot, blackberries, wild garlic, chestnuts, hazelnuts, dandelions, mushrooms...Last year I had a lot of black nightshade popping up all over the place which worried me, until I discovered that's edible too (obviously not to be mistaken for its cousin Belladonna (deadly nightshade)!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

Dairy cows are like magic self-replicating machines that turn easily cultivated grass into huge quantities of milk, they will even walk back to an automated milking stall to self-milk. What factory process is ever going to beat a cow on cost? The material inputs will almost certainly be more expensive than a field of grass, the bioreactor capital will cost more to build and maintain than a few milking sheds. Where's the saving?

And cows look Sexy in a country setting 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.