Nina White, a farmer in New Jersey, sent this reaction to my post on a new study charting the climate and land-sparing value of synthesizing dietary fats instead of relying on farmland:

On first glance, I will argue that farms can be run in harmony with biodiverse ecological systems. Like ours. There is no need to continue to clear land for agriculture. The whole palm oil industry can certainly disappear as far as I am concerned. Besides destroying important natural resources, the snack industry is responsible for the obesity issue worldwide.

In order to create this change, the world of eaters needs a good deal of re-education. The concept of "at scale" needs to change, as does the phrase "cost effective". When the costs to nutrition, communities, and culture are worked into the equation, the synthesized foods will only contribute to the degradation of the human race overall. Which is too high a price.

You love your Farmers Market veggies as much as I do, because they are deeply nourishing, having grown in living soil, with a diverse microbiome that could never be recreated in a vat of primordial soup! It's my hope that we can relocalize food around the globe, sensitive to the delicate ecosystems of each region, and the traditional ways of the people that live there. It's a reach, but we have to reach!

If you are aware of folks who agree with my line of thinking, please put me in touch.

Take care, and thanks for your dedication to our world,

Nina White

Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse, Bobolink LLC


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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Andy @Revkin

Forest impacts ongoing, forests disappearing on our watch. Seems like a no-brainer to me to produce fats used for baking in labs. There will always be complainers. Let them source the originals from sustainable farming at exorbitant prices.

Hope a serious philanthropist will put their hand up to fund the development of this invention. Though maybe the time for 'hoping' for people to step forward for things like this is past, and we need to invent ways to convince them it's the right and good thing to do.

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