This session is part of Techfestival: a 3-day festival in Copenhagen with 200+ events on humans and technology.
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From Genetic Modification to Blockchain and the Future of Open Food Information
This session is divided into two parts.
GMO and Crispr are technologies that enable scientists to skip hundreds of years of breeding and work directly on the desired end product. As the food system is now, it will be a problem to handle the population growth of the world and climate change. New breeds and re-introducing old ones can be part of a solution.
Few realize that our most common food products are far from natural – they are the result of human work breeding and manipulation over many years. Why have the words GMO, DNA, Crispr created such strong feelings amongst consumers?
We will cover the history, some facts about the genetic tools and show examples where we already see the results of modified DNA in our day to day life. We will also cover the business models (and misunderstandings) that could be part of the explanation for the reputation DNA modification has.
Food is important when looking at nutrition and health but also when we look at SDG’s. To suit marketing strategies, manufacturers have introduced ethical and “free-from” labelling. Unfortunately, having only one source of food information, consumers can be left in the dark. The average consumer does not know enough about what food choices that make sense, according to their individual values.
Today’s labelling schemes are confusing, too many systems, too imprecise. And there is not enough space on the packaging to improve a lot. Fortunately, most consumers have a smartphone, and therefore a common database of food products can provide extra or otherwise lacking information, enabling consumers to make better choices.
The proposed format for such a common database, XIDS, will be described. How blockchain assists in building trustworthy information, and how the open-source principle can provide alternate sources where needed. As a consumer, you will be able to specify your values, and a system can then provide you with information about the product according to your values. Values can be nutritional, impact on SDG, price, allergy and other health information, CSR information and personal recommendations and recipes.
Coop Garage has defined this system taking into account, that existing information systems are designed to abide laws, give logistic advantages, secure food security and not least, to promote their own business. This is logical since they are designed by actors in the food chain. Coop is the only entity that looks at the consumer’s overall needs, and therefore XIDS contains not only the advantages traditional tracking and labelling systems offer, but also the open-sourced information that will empower consumers to select products based on their own values.
Prof. at University of Copenhagen,
Mélanie BUFFEL (FR)
Lead of GrowStack Lab (Foodstack, Copenhagen)
Torsten Arendrup (DK) – Founder, Coop Garage
Coop Garage is an innovation hub for spreading the ideas and values of Coop amba. Supports startups in the food industry. Strong focus on SDG’s, democratic ownership and flat organisations.