Scientists from the Alliance of Bioversity International believe that technology could have unpredictable effects on the planet as we strive to make our food systems more sustainable before the effects of climate change become irreversible.
Proteins derived from organic waste for animal feed could reduce the demand for soy flour, which could lead to less deforestation caused by soybean cultivation. However, scientists say reduced soybean production, which is also used to make oil for food, could increase demand for palm oil. This could create bigger problem in forests with palm oil plantations.
In a new analysis published in The Lancet Planetary Health, a team of scientists conducted research into how new technology is used to improve human health and well-being. planet.
According to the authors of the study, the urgency of the "meeting" with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations should be mitigated as there seem to be no quick fixes to end poverty, eradicate hunger and keep of biological diversity.
"The food system is in chaos because we are introducing technologies and approaches to manage it without fully understanding all the indirect impact said Andy Jarvis, deputy director of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Another example found by the new technology team with adverse side effects was the use of cereals to replenish nitrogen in soils. "Nitrogen stabilization" could reduce the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and their unsustainable effects on the environment, such as water pollution. On the other hand, this could reduce them Prices of foods already over-consumed, possibly leading to further increases in non-communicable diseases (NDCs) such as diabetes.
The study was conducted by Mario Herrera, chief research scientist at CSIRO, its national research organization Australia. The authors of the study calculated the potential direct effects of different technologies on the food system (including digital agriculture, technology and efficiency resources) and their indirect effects on SDGs.
The analysis showed that most technologies will have neutral or varying degrees of positive impact on most United Nations SDGs. But in the case of decent work and economic growth for all (SDG 8), reduced inequality (SDG 10) and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16), the results will be mixed.
"Change and innovation come with compensations, but now we have the methods, the science, the objectives and the socio-economic mechanisms to ensure that the compensations of actions "They will not be insurmountable," the researchers added. "Now is the time to use socio-technical innovation and enormous human intelligence to ensure This makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes and for those who want to lose weight or follow a balanced diet. future of our planet ".