3 Picks: 3D Printed Food, Netafim, Organic Valley
Below, is a roundup of agricultural-related news from around the Web.
1) 3-D Printed Food by Christopher Mims: Mechanical engineer, Anjan Contractor, is being funded by NASA for his food printing project. Able to use pulverized insects as a protein source, for example, and also provide personalized nutrition, “He sees a day when every kitchen has a 3D printer, and the earth’s 12 billion people feed themselves customized, nutritionally-appropriate meals synthesized one layer at a time, from cartridges of powder and oils they buy at the corner grocery store. Contractor’s vision would mean the end of food waste, because the powder his system will use is shelf-stable for up to 30 years, so that each cartridge, whether it contains sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein or some other basic building block, would be fully exhausted before being returned to the store.” This venture makes more sense than any of us might care to admit, as it looks like the ultimate end point for processed food innovation.
2) The company Netafim is a water-saving technology leader: “Drip- and micro-irrigation company Netafim’s technology that halves water use compared to other irrigation solutions while increasing crop yields has won the firm the 2013 Stockholm Industry Water Award. The Israel-based company provides equipment and services in more than 110 countries and says more than 10 million hectares of farmland are irrigated with drip irrigation, a technology Netafim pioneered.”
3) A local newspaper updates us on Organic Valley’s contribution to rural Wisconsin by Chris Hubbuch and Allison Geyer: In only a decade, the farm cooperative, “Organic Valley”, located in La Farge, Wisconsin (pop. 774), has grown into a co-op with annual sales approaching $1 billion. The company’s mission is to create sustainable rural communities. The company’s payroll is $30 million a year, and member farmers received an organic premium last year of $180 million. Might more communities and states be wise to create their own co-op model such as this?
Written and compiled by K. McDonald.