Food 2.0

Krispy Kreme DoughnutsThe next big thing for many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors is food. Paul B. Farrell explains ‘Food 2.0’ at MarketWatch:

  • Silicon Valley: “The Next Start-up Craze” is “Food 2.0” predict MIT Technology Review’s editors. “They are taking on corporate giants such as ConAgra, General Mills, and Kraft that spend billions on research and technology development.” Still, you can bet a successful new food-tech start-up is likely to have one of the Big Ag firms along as a venture partner or later as buy-out sugar-daddy.

  • Big Ag’s Monsanto: The global food industry, especially Big Ag capitalists like Monsanto, which controls 27% of the global seed market, is already having trouble feeding a global population of seven billion today. You can bet your corn futures that Monsanto will need many new ag technology breakthroughs if it expects its stock to double again like it had the past four years. And Big Ag is already facing heavy backlash over genetically modified food as it is.

  • Feeding the world: The “Food 2.0” start-up craze will be fueled by more challenges from guys like Jeremy Grantham, head of the $115 billion GMO money machine, who’s warning investors that it’s “impossible to feed the 10 billion people” loading the planet by 2050. But that kind of challenge motivates Silicon Valley demi-gods who are always looking for ways to get superrich and save the world in the process. Yes, many optimists out there are already working to prove guys like Grantham are too pessimistic.

  • China’s billions: Then there’s Foreign Policy magazine warning: “Appetite for destruction: Why feeding China’s 1.3 billion people could leave the rest of the world hungry.” Yes, capitalist China is a huge threat to the rest of us: “China’s resource scarcity is worsening as its GDP grows, incomes rise, and standards of living improve, placing new, daunting pressures on the domestic food supply.” Not because its farms are “underperforming. The sector has long faced a daunting task: filling the stomachs of 20% of humanity with just 8% of the world’s arable land and only about 30% of the world’s per-capita availability of fresh water.”

[continues at MarketWatch]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.