I’ve written about the potential for value of blockchain in the food industry. There is massive fraud in labelling, fraud in registering (say as calling it “Organic”), misleading labelling such as GRAS — meaning absolutely nothing and not needing any verification (Generally Regarded As Safe as decided by the producer alone), fraud in country of origin labels (food can be loaded into containers in Vietnam and sent to France and then sent on to North America as “product of France”), large criminal organizations calling wine “Chablis” that has no grapes from Chablis and Greek Olive Oil that has never seen Greece.
Food can be identified at its source, as far back as you want to go, even to the specific animal if desired and from then on, tracked regarding source and processing and shipping so that you can know exactly what you are getting.
Given the lack of integrity in our food chain, particularly in the USA, this ability may be important to public health. Certainly its important to discerning and educated individuals who are willing to pay more for quality — and have the right to be confident they are getting what they pay for.
This argument usually is defeated by the assumption that this would be extremely costly. But not really. First, the uncounted costs are far beyond what most people believe. Look at health, productivity, costs of treatment for disease that is partly or wholly due to food intake not containing what it should and, worse, ingesting poisons along with the so called healthy food we buy.
Using blockchain is not so difficult. It just extends what is already done to an earlier point in the food chain. The earliest point possible, at harvest, is not a big leap and can easily be done right at harvest time. The somewhat more difficult place is to begin at the processing plant door — but these can be mandated by a processor as a condition for acceptance of an ingredient to be used.