As early as 1931, Winston Churchill said, “[In the future] we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.” Fast forward to 2018: A growing human population now in the billions is demanding more meat. To keep up, we are straining our natural resources to the breaking point.
Isha Datar, executive director of New Harvest and pioneer in the emerging field of cellular agriculture, recognized the need for technology that bridges the gap between the global demand for meat and the capability of producers to provide it. How will a potential revolution in the way we produce meat – a shift from live animals on the farm to cells grown in the lab – impact all industries related to the production, transport and consumption of food? One cell at a time.
Datar’s background and subsequent research, detailed in her acclaimed TED Talk, focuses on fulfilling Churchill’s prophecy of disentangling meat production from raising and slaughtering live animals. As food producers struggle to maintain livestock to satisfy consumer demand, shifting even some part of the supply chain to laboratories will free up time, money and resources. Food retailers, meanwhile, will have new opportunities to source products more cheaply and experiment with new culinary experiences. Underpinning Datar’s groundbreaking research will be the philanthropists, venture capitalists and backers of innovative technology who are poised to create the future of food.
The potential for disruptive innovation in the agricultural, grocery and culinary sectors of the economy is vast, and those in the business of feeding the world need to pay close attention to this cutting-edge scientist. Datar, through presentations, consulting and advisory services, enthusiastically reveals the status and goals of her mission to change the world, explaining its importance to the economy – and all of our lives.