Besides the fact that “modern food” will always be a pale imitation of “natural food”, I think the…
thomas wooding
1

I’d summarize your opposition into a few key arguments which should be addressed separately.

1. The quality of Food 2.0 will never surpass the quality of Food 1.0.

If history teaches us anything about technology, it’s that those who bet against its ability to disrupt “traditional” systems are wrong more often than not. It’s ambitious to bet against Food 2.0 primarily because the “traditional” way of producing food won’t improve over time; a cow will only ever be so good at producing milk and only ever be able to produce so much of it. But Food 2.0 is on a continuous upward trajectory both in terms of quality, food safety, and sustainability. Our abilities with the technology will be better tomorrow than they are today. That will continue, and I have no compelling reason to believe it won’t surpass the level of Food 1.0.

2. Modern food production is unsustainable because it uses nonrenewable resources.

Conversion to use of renewable energies and recycling nonrenewable resources is critical. But this argument isn’t an indictment of Food 2.0 because the doomsday scenario depicted by the continued use of nonrenewable energy and mineral stocks impacts pretty much every aspect of our lives, not simply food production.

3. Organic food production only uses renewable resources and is therefore the only sustainable method of food production.

The assertion that organic food “only uses renewable energies” is demonstrably false. Organic foods are still cultivated, processed, and transported by conventional methods, all of which require petroleum. More problematic for organic foods: they still use pesticides, and in many cases far more pesticides than conventional foods. Organic food production is on average less efficient because of higher losses, which means more land and energy are required to cultivate them. Organic foods are highly misunderstood by the general population.

Vanilla is an excellent precedent for Food 2.0. 99% of vanilla consumed globally is synthetic (made either from petroleum or chemical modification of wood extracts). The global demand for vanilla vastly exceeds production capacity because vanilla orchids are so difficult to grow. We have two choices for vanilla: (1) make it accessible to everyone in a safe, and highly-efficient way (synthetic) or (2) insist that only natural vanilla be made and drive its price up to the point where only a few elite consumers could afford it. Clearly the world chose the former, and it’s worked out pretty well.

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