New research claims that commercializing the creation of artificial dietary fats might help the agriculture industry worldwide, which is currently trying to decarbonize.
Researchers published their results on Monday in Nature Sustainability, suggesting that mass production of farm-free food might positively affect the environment and society.
The research found that if water consumption and pollution were reduced, local communities would have more say over the cultivation of food and face fewer risks of shortages due to ‘climate change.’ It might improve biodiversity by restoring farms to their natural form and reducing the need for low-wage, physically demanding labor.
The United Nations claims that greenhouse gas emissions are often most significant in connection with animal-based meals, particularly farmed shrimp, red meat, and dairy.
University of California, Irvine Professor of Earth System Science Steven Davis, the research’s principal author, said in a statement that massive-scale synthesis of molecules via chemical and biological processes without natural feedstocks is a real prospect. Fat synthesis without farms would utilize the same basic ingredients as plant photosynthesis: hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
According to the scientists, fats are the easiest nutrition to generate thermochemically, so they were the primary focus rather than proteins or carbohydrates. They argued that doing so would be analogous to the procedures behind industrial soap production or polymer chemistry.
The scientists calculated that the amount of carbon dioxide released per thousand calories from fats obtained from agriculture is between 1 and 3 grams.
The study concluded that if producing nations switched to synthetic fats like soybean and canola oil, they could cut their emissions by 29% and use biodiverse tropical land by 15%.
The scientists concede, however, that some consumers could be reluctant to try meals made in this way. They claimed that using mostly artificial fats in prepared meals might help with this problem.