View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Leadership
  2. Strategy
August 8, 2013

Food for thought

Duncan MacRae wonders if tech leaders will save the planet.

By Cbr Rolling Blog

On Tuesday, some food critics sank their teeth into the world’s first lab-grown beef burger.

Scientists in the Netherlands had taken cells from a cow and turned them into strips of muscle that they combined to make a patty.

The burger received reasonable, if not overwhelmingly positive, reviews. Those who ate it seemed to agree that it was not unlike the real thing, but perhaps lacking in a little fat and flavour.

But what does this have to do with developments in IT? Well, this is where we get to the real meat of the story.

Google founder Sergey Brin has been revealed as the mystery backer of the lab-grown burger, which cost a staggering £215,000 to produce.

And he is not the only tech leader to have shown strong interest in the future of food production.

The co-founder of Paypal and early Facebook backer, Peter Thiel, has also invested in lab-grown meat. In 2012, his company, Breakout Labs, handed a grant to Modern Meadow, which creates leather and food via tissue engineering.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Then there’s Bill Gates, who has also dabbled in food production, although a different type – plant-based animal product replacements.

He has invested in a start-up called Hampton Creek Foods, which has been working on developing plant protein-based substitutes for eggs.

These are guys who could rightly be described as tech visionaries – people who have led the way in IT innovation.

Perhaps they will lead the way in food production innovation and help to end famine around the world.

They’re not IT innovators – they’re just innovators.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.