chui4_Diane Labombarbe_getty images_soy food Diane Labombarbe/Getty Images

Long Live the Bio-Revolution

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased threats to food security around the world, underscoring the need for innovation to make agriculture and aquaculture more resilient and efficient. Fortunately, the biological innovations needed to do just that are quickly becoming competitive and scalable.

SAN FRANCISCO – In November, the United Nations World Food Program and the International Organization for Migration warned of the “unprecedented” threat to food security brought about by COVID-19. The pandemic’s collateral damage could turn out to be even worse than the disease itself.

Most leading international institutions with an interest in food security have now called for action to prevent future outbreaks of infectious disease, and to make food systems more resistant to shocks. Biological innovation must factor into our thinking as we strive to meet the dual challenge of feeding a growing population and managing natural resources sustainably.

Even before the pandemic, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) warned that more than 820 million people did not have enough to eat. With the global population expected to grow by roughly two billion people by 2050, improving access to affordable and healthy food will be critical in reducing malnutrition and the associated health-care costs.

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