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‘We’re at the cusp of a food revolution,’ Claims Prolific Tech Entrepreneur

Published: April 11, 2023
Peter Diamandis, Founder & Executive Chairman, XPRIZE attends the Global Learning XPRIZE Foundation Grand-prize Awards at Google Playa Vista Office on May 15, 2019 in Playa Vista, California. (Image: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Global Learning XPRIZE)

On April 10, Peter Diamandis, a Greek-American marketer, engineer, physician, tech entrepreneur and founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation, tweeted that the world is on the cusp of a food revolution.  

“We’re at the cusp of a food revolution. Sustainable, eco-friendly, and low-cost food sourcing for every being on Earth will become our reality,” Diamandis claimed, citing several recent developments in the agricultural and food industries. 

Diamandis says that with the advent of indoor vertical farming, greens will be grown using less space while yielding more crops and said that the industry grew significantly in recent years, from $4.21 billion in 2021 to $5.04 billion in 2022. 

As an example he cited ECO-1, a vertical farm that recently went into operation in Dubai that sprawls over roughly 330,000 square feet and is believed to be the largest such operation on the planet. 

He also cited the advent of lab-grown meat saying that a California start-up recently became the first company in the United States to be granted FDA approval  

Upside Foods takes living cells from chickens and then grows them in a controlled laboratory environment to produce meat that doesn’t involve factory farming. 

“The FDA said it was ready to approve the sale of other lab-grown meat, stating that it was ‘engaged in discussions with multiple firms’ to do the same, including companies that want to grow seafood from the cells of marine life,” The Guardian reported. 

Another tech start-up cited by Diamandis is Solar Foods, a company that claims it can produce a high-tech protein called Solein, from thin air using solar energy.

“The company plans to produce 100 tons of protein per year from CO2, enough food for 5M meals,” Diamandis tweeted.

He also referred to what he called Chinese “Super Cows” that are reportedly able to produce 50 percent more milk than a traditional dairy cow. 

In early February this year Chinese state media claimed Chinese scientists cloned three “super cows” that they say can produce an unusually high amount of milk.

State-run Ningxia Daily reported that the three calves were bred by scientists from the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology, and were born in the Ningxia region in the weeks just prior to the 2023 Lunar New Year. 

Diamandis also claims that a new genetically bred Perennial Rice, dubbed PR23, once planted can yield “eight consecutive harvests over 4 years. That’s 60% less labor and 50% less cost.”

His claims attracted the attention of Elon Musk who responded to his tweet saying, “your boundless optimism is uplifting!” to which Diamandis responded, “Thanks Elon. Looking forward to our Podcast on Abundance so the world can hear your views as well,” adding that, “There is a lot to be excited about…”


Claims not without controversy 

Diamandis’s claims did not go unopposed however. Many commented, pointing out problems with his optimism.

“Do you understand that these foods won’t provide the nutrients needed for human life? Food is not all the same. Lettuce grown on racks from water is virtually nutrient free,” claimed one Twitter user while another commented, “I’m gonna pass on lab grown meat and milk from Chinese super cows but thanks.”

Curiously absent from Diamandis’s outlook on the future of food is the recent push to include insects in people’s every day diet. 

A May 2021 article published by The Guardian claimed that “If we want to save the planet, the future of food is insects.”

“Fried crickets on the school menu, milk made from fly larvae and mealworm bolognese for dinner? These are the environmentally friendly meals we can look forward to. Bon appetit!” the outlet reported.