Prof. Hugh Campbell On Alternative Proteins + The Corporatisation Of Food Supply

Prof. Hugh Campbell On Alternative Proteins + The Corporatisation Of Food Supply

Professor Hugh Campbell from Otago University joins Dom George to discuss some recent, transformative changes in the food industry. 

He covers a range of topics, including the rise of alternative proteins, the impact of precision fermentation on New Zealand's dairy sector, and the broader implications of food corporatization. 

One of the key talking points is the resilience of alternative protein startups amidst fluctuating venture capital investment, particularly during the pandemic. 

"We're at the reflective stage of what... what do we find out?" Professor Campbell remarks.

Another significant focus is the potential of precision fermentation technology to disrupt the dairy industry. This method involves extracting cow DNA to produce dairy proteins without cows, using yeast in stainless steel vats. 

While there are high initial costs, the long-term efficiency and environmental benefits are compelling. 

"So the barrier to precision fermentation becoming a big deal is how many stainless steel vats can you find?" 

He further outlines three possible scenarios for New Zealand's agricultural future, suggesting economic growth opportunities despite challenges to traditional livestock sectors. The conversation also delves into the corporatization of the food supply, weighing its pros and cons. Campbell and Dom debate the environmental benefits against the risk of a few large corporations dominating the industry. 

The conversation provides an insightful exploration of the food industry's evolution, the innovative technologies reshaping it, and the cultural implications of these changes, making it a thought-provoking listen for anyone interested in the future of food production.

Listen to the full chat between Hugh Campbell and Dominic George above.

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