Can humans find symbiosis with the Biosphere?
So we have depleted the Atlantic fish stock. The finnish forests are now less than 60 years old monoculture. The Baltic Sea gets overdose of nitrogen and phosphorus annually. Why can we not live in symbiosis with our planet? Instead we shit in our teepee, and then act all confused and pretend that eating textured chinese soy will save us.
We depend on natures nitrogen cycles
Well we fished all the fish that can easily be fished. Now there seems to be less than 5% of these fish species left in Northern Atlantic, if I read the graphs correctly. But we need food, preferably inexpesive - and tasty!
A recent proposition to solve the problem of human dependency on biosphere is synthetic meat. After about 90 years of artificial vegetable-based meat and the resulting vitamin B-12, D and choline deficiencies, a novel industry and its funders now want to turn in profit with lab-vat grown food.
Personally I think you cannot grow cells at a scale without selecting for invasive, competitive bacteria. We know this outcome from hospital-environments and the current US meat supply-chain. Once you use some antibiotics, you select for antibiotics-resistant substrains.
The result is a a feedback loop, and then you need more antibiotics. Read: metric tonnes of antibiotics or your synthetic meat will be overgrown by some E. Coli or Aspergillus subspecies.
Synthetic food is likely an industry money grab
Lets be optimistic! Maybe Solar Foods will succeed. At least their protein is in cellular form. We do have the biotechnology. Even people who are not professional microbiologists can cultivate cells. Even people like me can learn "this stuff".
And with a suitable routine and a cleanroom, modified mold-species in a reactor of a biotech plant produce daily household chemicals like citric acid. Literally in a vast pool, a genetically altered mold produces the citric acid in a nutrient solution. This Aspergillus mold is also resistant to other microbes, and can fight them off, if initial the inoculation process is perfected.
In similar fashion, the cells of chicken muscle or a cow liver would duplicate in a liquid solution of nutrients and growth-hormones. The implication is we no longer would be dependend on the biosphere, but steel vats and electricity. So, that implies a supply chain of mineral ores for steel and copper, concrete for building the nuclear plant and the biotech plant. Quite the change from farm nitrogen cycle, even if we supercharge that with mechanization and synthetic fertilizers! Meditate on that for a while!
Those evil cow pastures, we must be saved from?
The marketing narrative that vegetable-meat generated decades ago about cattle-farming has been resurrected, and regurgitated in social media for several years now. Agriculture that sustained humanity for millenia is suddenly immoral and the greatest threat to humanity. Or, at the least a threat to turnover and super-yachts of the vegan food -manufacturers and marketers. Yes: its a fake narrative, and it argues for nutrient-deficient vegan consumers dollars and euros.
The vegan mythology is a separate storyline from synthetic meat: novel technology, that may really disrupt. I must admit this is not an in-depth analysis of Solar Foods and their competitors technologies. I know some biology and read biochemistry, thats all. These vegan myths illuminate the ways that marketing and isms blind people, corrupt any good enterprise, and may even turn technological innovation into myopic cults that ignore fundamental knowledge about nature - and oneself.
But the proposition that synthetic meat would solve our ecological dependency on natural food-chain seems questionable to me. There is some potential there, though. Plants and sunlight are the path to symbiosis, and can provide the energy. But then there's the lacking nutrient elements? We need the fish!
Can we not learn from overfishing the Atlantic fish stock?
Why is this so difficult? A popular notion in biology is we depend on oceanic food-chain. Thats where the omega-fatty acids and vitamin B-12 originate, or at least originated, from. Why can we not learn from the mistakes of the 20th Century?
Instead, it seems we use the same Dominator Culture Machinery to brutalize our environment, for short-term profit. And even worse, the resulting economical machinery, the market and the corporations then brutalize us. We brutalize ourselves. Ruin the food-chain. Ruin our nutrition. Ruin our food, ruin our health.
Copyright Casimir Pohjanraito 2021