Curtis Firestone
4 min readMay 6, 2022

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Future Foods DAO- Leveraging Web3 and Open Source Development To Drive Alternative Protein Sector

The effects of COVID-19, coupled with climate change the last couple of years have demonstrated the fragility of the global food supply system. The development of the alternative protein sector combined with effective community engagement through decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) could rapidly accelerate the transition to a more sustainable food system.

Future Foods DAO will be a flagship community on the blockchain to support and finance innovation and research of open access technologies in the alternative protein sector. The collective will directly hold legal IP rights to research projects that are financed by the community and will develop a growing portfolio of assets. Additionally, it will offer open-source infrastructure/ tools that will optimize costs through equipment and knowledge sharing while catalyzing new research and inspire further studies.

Why Alternative Protein?

Alter­na­tive pro­teins are often bet­ter for the plan­et because their man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­duces few­er green­house gasses while using less land and water than tra­di­tion­al pro­teins. United Nations scientists state that “livestock production is one of the major causes of the world’s most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”

In many countries there is growing consumer awareness of, and interest in, alternative proteins. Meat has been the primary source of protein for years in developed countries and there is an increased appetite for traditional protein in developing markets. However, changing consumer behavior and interest in alternative-protein sources — due in part to health and environmental concerns as well as animal welfare — have made way for growth in the sector.

Unfortunately, despite the record levels of private investment funding in the sector, experts are concerned of the significant funding gap for alternative proteins. As the Good Food Institute strongly advocates, current global climate change policy still largely ignores the role that alternative proteins play in reducing humanity’s environmental burden. There remains a “massive disconnect” between the level of public funding into alt-protein R&D, given the sector’s potential to meet the world’s climate goals.

Closing the Funding Gap

“An additional US$750 billion in investment, on top of the US$800 billion forecasted in 2019, is now required to satisfy growing demands for healthier, safer or more sustainable food options,” (PwC, Temasek, Rabobank, 2021 Report)

Addressing the lack of public investment in the alternative protein sector and supporting open-access R&D, Future Foods DAO can fill a critical gap by helping bring alternative meat to market at scale.

Why a DAO?

Scientists spend a great deal of time competing for increasingly limited funds, and a large part of the funding goes to already well-known scientists. Decentralized Science (DeSci) provides an alternative to the current way of scientific development.

DeSci promotes and supports scientific communities from around the world that embrace new technologies such as blockchain and ‘Web3’ to address critical research pain points, silos and bottlenecks. Molecule and VitaDao are pioneering the way biotech DAOs can democratize and transform how therapeutic drugs are funded and commercialized through an innovative IP-NFT framework. LabDao is building a decentralized open exchange of laboratory services as well as a platform for open source projects that anyone can contribute to.

Leveraging the best practices of these leaders and others, Future Foods DAO will contribute to the movement and grow this ecosystem by focusing on the open access development of foundational technologies and open-source lab services for the alternative protein sector.

How it Works

Future Foods DAO deployment framework will be based on years of research and experimentation in decentralized governance systems, open networks and decentralized financing solutions.

The below diagram describes the key working elements of the DAO.

1. Future Foods DAO is permissionless — any individual or organization can join FutureFoods DAO by either purchasing a token or contributing work.

2. The community will fund promising research and own the resulting IP.

3. An open-source ‘marketplace’ for alternative protein scientists and advocates to trade and share tools that can be used to further research and development (R&D) in the sector.

4. The DAO community will license IP to food manufacturers.

IP Ownership

The DAO and its members will collectively acquire research IP. The research projects will be selected from member proposals. Funded projects will be independently negotiated between the DAO and the research participants on mutual needs. Utilizing the DAO token, members will be able to vote and decide what to fund and how the IP is managed. Ownership will follow the IP-NFT framework, created by Molecule, which allows the IP rights to be issued and traded on the Ethereum blockchain. A critical objective of the DAO is to license out or sell the IP in order to reinvest money in other projects.

Getting involved

We are committed to this mission BUT we won’t be able to get there without your involvement and support. If you believe in a more climate friendly and sustainable food system and want to contribute to the development of Future Foods DAO you can get involved by:

  • Joining the Discord and introducing yourself.
  • Filling out a Google Form where you can sign up to become a core group member or make a research/startup funding request.

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