WEF Calls for ‘Reinvention’ of Food Systems

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is urging governments to “reinvent” global food systems.

In a recent article titled, “Feeding the future: why Renovation and Reinvention are key to saving our Food System,” the group claims that “one-third of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions come from food production.” Because of this, the food system is in “urgent need of transition.”

“Reinventing” the food system aims to fully reorient food production “in a way that alters the underlying structures within the modern food industry,” the WEF says. This includes changing products, business models, and possibly the entire food system, the group notes.

The WEF’s article includes “plant-based egg replacers” as a “real-world example” of “reinvention.”

To “renovate” food, the organization asserts, fiber, micronutrients, and probiotics may be added to products, while items containing “excessive levels of salt, sugar, fat and additives” will be reduced or altered.

“Reinvention,” however, includes the “introduction of alternative proteins.” According to the article, “reinventing” the food industry requires a “radical overhaul across product categories and technologies, reimagining how food is produced, distributed and consumed to emphasize availability, nutrition and sustainability.”

The WEF adds that AI tools could “create diets unique to an individual’s genetic make-up, lifestyle factors and health goals.”

By personalizing diet and nutrition, food waste could be reduced, the entity suggests, explaining that “hyper-personalization supports long-term improvements in chronic conditions, in addition to enabling sustainable new dietary habits.”

The WEF claims that transforming the food system is a “pivotal moment in human history” and demands “bold action across sectors, industries and disciplines.”

“By prioritizing strategies that reinvent, alongside renovation, we can chart a course toward a more resilient, equitable and sustainable food system for generations to come,” the group states.

Last month, the WEF published a paper on creating a “vibrant food innovation ecosystem.”

The paper described “multiple transition pathways” for “achieving universally accessible protein,” such as “1) accelerating protein diversification; 2) advancing sustainable production systems; and 3) driving consumer behaviour change.”

According to the paper, the government is responsible for ” developing and promoting alternative proteins” such as plant-based meat, cultivated meat from animal cells, and precision fermentation.

“Precision fermentation uses yeast to produce real egg or dairy proteins (such as whey and casein), delivering familiar flavours and textures of foods like cheese and milk without using animals,” the paper explained.