How do we feed over one billion more people in the next 11 years? Well, why not learn to grow the most nutritious foods possible, exactly where they are best suited! Now we can take the guess-work out of growing the crops for our future populations by using “food computers” from the Open Agriculture Initiative.
What if we could calculate the specific conditions plants need to be their most nutritious selves? And what if you and I could grow them in those environments from anywhere in the world? Now there is a remarkable innovation making this happen—and making the future of food so much brighter
Our population is expected to reach 8.6 billion by 2030. 1 That’s over a billion (1,000,000,000) more individuals that need to be fed in just a little under 11 years!
This is where the food computer could become a powerful tool to feed the future. It can help us all have a part in figuring out how to get the biggest bang for our bucks when it comes to food production, nutrition, and distribution all over the globe!
The Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg) has created food computers that measure the best factors to grow the most nutritious crops that’ll feed the world.
Historically, our approach to feeding the world has been to increase the amount of food grown. Which seems totally logical, right? More food equals more people fed. Unfortunately, as a result of this focus on numbers, the nutritional values and diversity of plant species have been put aside. And it’s these factors that are needed to have healthy populations and make our food mean something. (Surely there’s nothing worse than eating an apple that has no real nutritional value, is there?)
With this in mind, these food computers are changing the game. Led by researcher Caleb Harper out of MIT’s Media Lab, OpenAg is inviting the world to discover for themselves the best environmental factors for certain plants to grow.
As environments change and the demand for food grows, we’re going to need a diversity of minds working on these problems. And this open-sourced technology makes this possible
Imagine the possibilities!
This innovation allows us to peer into the past and present environments to see what has and will produce the best food! Because of this, we can be more prepared and secure than ever before; predicting how plants will react to impending changes.
These computers skip over a typically expensive trial and error process. Due to their design, they allow us to test how plants would react in any environment imaginable. And all of the food we love, that have been traditionally grown in only a few places, can find comfortable homes elsewhere! How awesome is that?
To make it even better, future generations will grow up seeing the possibilities of these experiments and see the impact that their curiosity can have on the world. They have made models specifically with children 8-14 in mind.


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