After I posted ‘Stubble’, a friend of mine sent me an article on the possible demise of industrial farming in the not-too-distant future. You can read the article if you want: http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/20/the-end-of-farming. In a nutshell, the author says advances in technology will let milk be produced in labs without the need for cows, potentially meaning millions of acres of land could be freed up from dairy farms, and allowed to revert back to natural pasture and forest land. The start-up company that aims to produce the perfect milk (including making it lactose free) is called . . . . .Muufri. I have to admit, that really cracked me up. Dairy farms aren’t the only potential business to go under – apparently, laboratories have also already produced meat, although to date, taste tests on those products aren’t all that favourable.
It’s a compelling argument, although I can’t actually envision this happening in a big way. There is simply too much opposition, and distrust of corporations fiddling with food. Already, more and more of the space on supermarket shelves are taken up with ‘organic’ produce and there is a large portion of the population that has gone almost apoplectic on the use and production of genetically modified food, or GMO’s (as an aside, I’ve never liked or really understood how the term organic has become so in-vogue; the ‘non-organic’ apple I ate today isn’t made out of granite, and is, in fact, organic, as is most food).
After reading the article, I think the chance of farms, going the way of the buggy-whip industry, at least any time soon, is slim to none. For one, any attempt to ‘hurt’ farming and farmers would be met with huge blowback, if only because of the might and power of big agri-business,
In addition, a product like Muufri just seems a little too creepy to me. While reading the article, I couldn’t help but think about the 1973 classic movie “Soylent Green”, recalling that scene with Charlton Heston wailing away that “Soylent Green is people!” I just can’t see people letting go of their passion for real food, real being food from traditional sources.
However, if the population of people continues to grow unabated and the future is a world with 100 billion or more of us, I suppose anything is possible.