Industry research for large-scale sustainability
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Inspired fasting with swiss-food

Dear reader,

Fasting has a cleansing effect. Or: "Fasting is a good way to break one's habits“, as the NZZ put it in a nutshell. Fasting eliminates calories. That is very welcome after two Corona years. The webcam doesn't lie. Changed contours appear on the screen when entering the video call. And the bathroom scale's message can no longer be dismissed as "fake news". Unfortunately.

Even the "Veganuary" with the meat campaigns of the wholesalers didn't help. Corona fat needs to be exercised away. Even this year's Basel carnival plaque, the "Blaggedde", reminds us of the whole misery. It shows an obese drum major as its subject. Do the festivalgoers have to poke at this wound now too?

Before we start the traditional Lenten fast, celebrities and authorities can be made fun of. And indeed all over the country at carnival celebrations, with wonderful, regionally different characteristics. "Even in difficult times, we need positive shared experiences. In addition, the carnival is always an outlet to get even with big politics," as Basel City Mayor Beat Jans puts it. Schnitzelbänke, musically accompanied satirical rhymes, play a major role. The Basel Carnival may come at the end, but with its famous "Schnitzelbängg" it is right at the front.

Some of the “Schnitzelbängg” songs are legendary. Like the slowly, desperately intoned “Drämmli Drämmli...“. The more than 40-year-old "Bangg" sums up the delays in tram traffic. Sometimes Schnitzelbänke are also visionary: The "singing bird" that is well-known in Basel describes a lengthy journey to Zurich with SBB. On the way, the train annoys with its endless announcements. Towards the end, the speaker also advertises the catering in the dining car. The daily recommendation of the then-SBB chief Meyer: vegan fried eggs. What caused a chuckle a decade ago is already a reality today: Vegan eggs are now available in all forms.

Other things can also become reality faster than we think. So we laughed about the film “Breast or thigh” (original title FR: “L'aile ou la cuisse”) with Louis de Funès, where the comedian as a restaurant critic uncovers the machinations of the food industry. It's about artificially produced salads and fish. Even if the manufacturing methods are presented somewhat differently than in the film: Today, with Vrimp and Vuna, shrimp and tuna actually come from the laboratory and not from the sea. Beef muscle meat can also be produced in the laboratory and the chicken comes out of the extruder.

Vegetable base materials stand for climate and environmental friendliness.
However, we have repeatedly emphasized in this newsletter that sustainability has a financial and social pillar in addition to the ecological one. The company "Soylent" from California's Silicon Valley produces preportioned meals in the form of drinks for at home or on the go. Soylent's vision: to make whole food nutrition accessible, appealing and affordable for everyone. As the producers themselves write, the inspiration for the nourishing drink for everyone is based on the filmed book “Make Room! Make Room!”, which in turn served as the basis for the film “Soylent Green”. According to the online portal “”, the film broke new ground. In 1973, he foresaw the ecological problems and resource scarcity of 2022 – albeit with a macabre approach. The film is set in the early 1970s. The beginning of March also marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the “Club of Rome” report on the “Limits to Growth”, as the NZZ magazine recently reported.

No science fiction: Planet Earth's resources are finite, albeit less finite than was believed in the 1970's. Today the question arises of colonizing other planets. It can now be flown into space commercially. However, the survival experiment in the artificial environment "Biosphere" failed miserably in the 1990s. Oxygen became scarce and pests destroyed the food. A scientific article documented the whole failure. At that time there was no improved breeding that could serve as the basis for “Food for All”.

The fact is: People always look for alternatives or emigrate when food becomes scarce. The most famous example in the 19th century is Ireland. However, famines caused by late blight or the Little Ice Age also led to waves of emigration in this country. This is shown, for example, by the current exhibition “Paths out of Switzerland” in the National Museum.

Great dangers are currently lurking for the global supply chains. Often referred to as the breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine now exports more than 40 percent of wheat and maize production to the Middle East and Africa “…where there are worries that further food shortages and price increases could stoke social unrest. Lebanon, for example, which is experiencing one of the most devastating economic crises in more than a century, gets more than half of its wheat from Ukraine...”, writes the New York Times.

Conclusion: We are well advised to deal with the megatrends and potential supply risks. We have to tackle the scarcity of resources on our planet with resource efficiency. And we should not exclude any technology in advance– especially if, regardless of their origin – laboratory, greenhouse or vertical farm – they could contribute to overcoming global challenges and to overall sustainability.

The swiss-food editorial team

The swiss-food platform provides information relating to agriculture and nutrition. It is committed to providing factual information and promoting large-scale sustainability.
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