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Five technologies that will help to make the food system more carbon neutral

Five technologies that will help to make the food system more carbon neutral

A tractor drives down rows of crops spraying fertilizer.

Globally, there are approximately One-third all greenhouse gas emissions are from the United Statesderived from agriculture and food systems. The carbon footprint of food systems encompasses all emissions from its production, processing, and transportation.

Agriculture is also Climate change: vulnerable to its effectsAnd, as the conflict in UkraineGeopolitics can expose food systems to geopolitics, as this demonstration demonstrates.

There are many technologies that can decarbonize complex systems linking producers and consumers. These technologies can make our food systems more resilient against global threats. These five technologies are thought to have great potential.

1. Carbon farms and regenerative farming

Today, most greenhouse gas emissions related to food are caused by the production of food. These greenhouse gases are released when the soil is plowed. This is vital because Unturbed soils store carbon.

With some minor changes in management, soils could once again be carbon sinks. For example, legumes can be planted. Forage cropsEvery few years, instead of just growing commodities like corn or wheat, or seeding cover crops in the fall, which would otherwise leave fields bare, let organic matter build up and help the Soil to absorb carbon. This not only slows climate change but also protects soils against erosion.

Although it may not seem technologically advanced, the idea that farmers can use more types of crops does work. A new generation of farmers is emerging. Smart farming toolsThe new technology, which includes farm equipment that uses big-data and artificial intelligence, will help farmers adopt these practices to produce food and trap carbon.




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These smart farming tools form part of a wider digital agricultural revolution, also known as precision agriculture. Allow farmers to reduce their environmental footprintYou can track the amount of greenhouse gas that their fields capture and create a carbon ledger that documents them.

2. Smart fertilizers

It has been a long time since it took a lot of effort. Use fossil fuels to convert nitrogen from the air into fertilizer. It is also It can be difficult for farmers put the right amount of fertilizer where they need it.It is essential that crops use it efficiently when they are given the right time.

Fertilizers often overappliedThe polluting substances are not used by crops and end up as pollution. TreibhausgasesOr water contaminants. These problems can be fixed by a new generation fertilizers.

Smart bio-fertilizers, use Micro-organisms that can be bred to live in harmony and with cropsCapture nutrients from the environment and give them to the crops without any waste

A tractor drives down rows of crops spraying fertilizer.
Smart bio-fertilizers can capture nutrients from the environment using micro-organisms. This allows them to avoid the pollution and waste problems that conventional fertilizers create.
(Shutterstock)

3. Precision fermentation

Since the beginning of history, humans have used micro-organisms in order to ferment sugars and starches. Precision fermentation will soon be used to produce many more products.

For decades this technology has been used to create most of the world’s insulin and the enzyme rennet used in cheese making. Recently, the United States allowed this technology. Animal-free fermented dairy proteins — made by inserting milk-producing genes into microbes — to be used in Ice creamThe, which is now on sale. It is only a matter if products from Precision fermentation is now commonplace in supermarkets all over the world.

In the future, if fermentation micro-organisms are fed waste products (such as leftover “spent grains” from brewing or waste starch from plant-based proteins), farmers could create low-impact, high-value products out of organic material that would otherwise be wasted and decompose into greenhouse gasses.

4. Vertical farming

Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best, but they can be hard to beat. Unfortunately, most of the fresh produce consumed in Canada, the United States, and Northern Europe comes from the industrial farms in the southern hemisphere or the southwest United States. The following are some of the issues. This long-distance cold chains has a carbon footprintIt is expensive and the produce is not always of the highest quality.

This is why a new generation of vertical farms is being developed. They use energy-efficient LED lighting to produce year-round crops near their homes. These are controlled-environment agricultural facilitiesThey use less water and labour than traditional farms and produce large quantities on small areas of land.

Vertical tubes with green lettuce leaves sprouting from them.
Vertical farms allow rows of romaine lettuce to grow.
(Brandon Wade/AP Images for Eden Green)

What’s more, these facilities are springing up all over North AmericaEurope, but particularly in Singapore Japan. There is still much debate over whether the current generation’s vertical farms are suitable for farming. Better energy useThey are now more likely to use renewable energy to ensure a supply of fresh produce that is carbon-neutral all year, even in winter. Canada’s North.

5. Biogas

It can be difficult to manage the manure from livestock facilities as it can cause water pollution and greenhouse gas emission. If livestock manure is not properly managed, it can cause water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. anaerobic digester, it’s possible to capture the naturally occurring methane as a green natural gas.

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Biogas digesters can be used to convert municipal organic waste into renewable power if they are properly planned. This will allow agriculture to contribute to a sustainable energy portfolio. This is already happening on Ontario farms, where a new generation biogas digesters are being used. Boost farm incomes and replace fossil fuels.




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Changes in driving systems

These technologies become far more exciting when they’re linked. Biogas collectors attached on livestock farms could be used for energy to run fermentation plants that produce animal-free dairy products.

Similar to the above, leftover starches from plant-based protein, such as those from leguminous plants like peas, can be used for precision fermentation if they are produced on farms that use regenerative agriculture techniques and then processed locally. This process has huge potential for sustainability, even though it is not currently being done on a large scale.

These benefits can be unlocked by developing agrifood businesses that are Circular food systemsSo that waste products from one step can be used as inputs in another. Carbon tracking from field to plate is an important component of circular food systems. The benefits are recognized and rewarded.

Technologies for achieving a carbon-neutral world Circular food economyThey are rapidly approaching maturity. It will be only a few years until the five technologies described above become mainstream.

Today, the world faces one of the biggest challenges of the century: how to nutritiously feed the world’s growing population, address climate change and not destroy the ecosystems on which we all depend for life. We are close to having the tools to feed the future, and protect the planet.

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