What happens when you apply modern science and big data with food?
Hampton Creek is a food technology company based out of San Francisco that is exploring just this very question. They are currently trying to figure out how they can build a food system that is going to feed the soon 10 or 11 billion people that the world is going to be trying to support. Making food more efficient, more sustainable, and more humane are all on the agenda for Hampton Creek, but how are they going to make that happen?
They are using their data from extensive research to attempt to figure out what plants are edible and available to us today, that we are not currently eating. Currently, there are approximately 18 billion plant species, making it impossible to go through them one by one. This is where the help of data analytics comes in.
They came up with a combination of data science, high throughput biological screening, and a food model system to sample and run proteins to see if they multiply right. This then allows the scientists to go back and search these plants that we may be able to use as food in a very targeted, very intelligent way.
This project is using data science to drive sustainability within our food system, and it’s brilliant. The access of these analytics has opened their doors to so many more possibilities than without, and hopefully will continue to open even more!