Today, almost everything we eat is by design. Just as our modern food industry is, by poor design, pushing our planet to the brink. We’ve turned forests into endless fields, farmed almost every ocean floor, and can’t put an exact figure on the billions of animals we consume yearly. A colossal problem requires moonshot technology. And with the right minds, moving an idea from thin air to a genuine solution, it seems, is not so impossible.
This month, we pick the brain of Pasi Vainikka, CEO of Solar Foods behind pioneering product Solein; a superfood “made from thin air”. We discuss the critical impacts of our growing food system, the eventual death of industrialised meat production, and how Solein could offer the biggest disruption to the food industry we’ve ever seen.
Describing what Solein could enable would be like trying to explain the possible impact of the internet to consumers or investors back in the 80s, he explains. "We're here now developing one thing that can empower new technologies... There can be a similar kind of development based on all this that will take us to a future where we can produce eggs without chickens, milk without cows, and meat without killing. And it will be so obvious after 15 years from today.”
"New technologies open windows to the future... that's at the heart of possibilism."
Solar Foods took home the Index Award 2019 community category win for the moonshot impact Solein could provide. Solein, produced from CO2 and electricity using a similar process to brewing beer, is 100 times more climate-friendly than any animal or plant-based alternative, when it comes to water use, land-use efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.
"New technologies open windows to the future where new kinds of developments today are possible — that's at the heart of possibilism," says Vainikka.
The Podcast Series
'Can design save us?' is a series exploring design as a pioneering force for good. We dive into the most pressing problems of our time and meet inspiring people using design to solve them. We explore the good, bad, complex and controversial. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Podimo.
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