Since the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there is renewed focus on how to create a food supply that can sustain this amount of people. Given the scrutiny that industrialized agriculture is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse emissions, several food innovation startups are working on solutions that will enable the industry to meet future demand without destroying our planet.
In fact, growing food in labs is now a thing. This process is often referred to as cellular agriculture, where researchers take stem cells from an animal and place it in a growing medium in a bioreactor to produce "cultured meat." While the science can't yet create the texture of a fine steak, processed meat such as burgers, chicken nuggets and meatballs are expected to be available on supermarket shelves in five years.
But are consumers ready for this change? And how will the existing industry react? Given that the United States is the world's largest producer of beef and has the largest fed-cattle industry in the world.
Regardless of where the industry goes, there is no question that what we eat and where our foods come from has changed a lot over the last two decades and as a result, people are demanding more transparency from food and livestock producers. And while some startups are working on creating meat without using an animal, others are working to enable livestock producers to become more efficient when breeding animals.
In this episode, we spoke to Sean Akadiri about how his startup is helping cattle producers make better breeding decisions through genetics and health data analytics. Join us as we learn more about how he came up with the concept, what motivated him and what barriers he had to overcome as a multicultural founder going into a very traditional industry.