Future Food Systems
Farming is perhaps humanity’s most important and ancient technology to be realized at scale. For most of us, the system is opaque; ordering a cheeseburger requires no knowledge of the vast supply chain that made it possible to sell the product for a few dollars. Even “farm to table” food systems—ostensibly simple—rely on technologies and infrastructures unimaginable a century ago, let alone at the dawn of agriculture. While this system has remained robust for decades, recent events have shown its vulnerability.
Farming is undergoing a radical technological transformation; perhaps its most signiﬁcant since the Agricultural Revolution 10,000 years ago. How this revolution will transform our relationship with food or the landscapes and peoples that provide it is poorly understood. We find ourselves faced with existential questions about taste, carrying capacity, logistics, and sustenance.
How should the current agricultural revolution unfold?
There can be no single answer. The diversity of needs and expectations held by individuals, communities, nations, and cultures demand a similarly diverse understanding of nutrition and food security. To describe the future of food is to describe the future of humanity.
We have an opportunity to move forward deliberately and design a just, secure, and sustainable future of food.