About Si Food Lab
Our food supply chain is both incredibly efficient and inefficient all at the same time. The system is efficient in that it produces huge quantities of food at low prices and is able to move these products around the world at low cost. But it is also inefficient in that the supply chain is industrialized and centralized to the point that it’s an enormous consumer of land, energy and creates many social, health and environmental externalities that the public are becoming less tolerant of. Finding alternatives to our current linear food system is a central challenge that is being tackled from many different points along the food value chain.
Solving the limitations of our current food system will require system-wide change, alternative solutions that build in a new set of design principles that are decentralized and nonlinear in nature, harnessing diversity and creating resilience. As with other industries the platform model will be key to this as it enables a much higher level of coordination and transparency through integration. True next generation food systems may not be a reality yet, but they will likely lie at the intersection of some of the current developments talked about above. They will need to be sustainable in production, through alternative agricultural methods like organic farming and resource efficient hydroponic grow systems. They will need to be more decentralized able to connect producers to consumers almost directly through online platforms. They will also need to be more efficient, using IT to track processes across their lifecycle, enable synergies and closed loops so as to be effective at recycling waste. And finally, they will need to place the end user at the center of the food value network, working to truly understand their customized health and nutritional needs and work with them towards delivering nutritional outcomes.