Algae, insects and jellyfish could be key to ensuring food security

In a report entitled "Thinking about the future of food security", the FAO points out that the changes that have been made so far to increase food production and supply society "have seriously damaged the environment" due to pesticide contamination of the soil, deforestation and the depletion of water resourcesamong others.

Faced with this situation, it is urged that countries propose alternatives that allow the supply of healthy food, but respecting the environment, a situation that they want to respond to new technologies and alternative foodswhich after their increasing use must be studied and regulated with protocols.

The cultivation and consumption of algae, jellyfish and edible insects is a rising trend that is gaining interest for its "nutritional value and sustainability"in addition to reduced production costs, since, for example, algae do not need fertilizers or the cultivation of insects does not produce Greenhouse gases.

However, several scientific studies have shown that if they are not grown and preserved in regulated environments, these foods, which are already commonly consumed in regions such as Asia and Africa, They can be harmful to health because they contain bacteria or heavy metals.

Likewise, another upward trend is the vegan dietsincreasingly popular due to the greater awareness of the population of climate change and the conditions of animalspromoting vegetable alternatives such as oat or soy milk or meat substitutes made with legumes.

Despite its benefits, the report notes that "some plant-based beverages are not suitable substitutes for animal-derived dairy products due to their limited nutrient diversity"so its use in infants could be harmful to their health, among other observations.

Finally, the FAO explains that, given the alterations caused by climate change, technological and scientific innovations make it possible to adapt to the new panoramareduce costs and improve crop efficiency and make trade more efficient.

As examples, the organization presents 3D printing, which will allow "diversifying and personalizing food through the mixture of ingredients, probiotics and vitamins"sensors to monitor temperature and humidity during the production chain to ensure food safety or artificial intelligence.

"We are at a time when innovations are revolutionizing the food sector, so it is important that countries keep up with these advances and that FAO provides proactive advice on the application of science and innovation"assured the chief scientist of the organization, Ismahane Elouafi.

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