Data hunter-gatherers create food science

Plant Protein Database
USA (San Francisco)

The future of food production is being altered – and not by a chef, but by ex-Google Maps mastermind Dan Zigmond. Working with food science start up Hampton Creek, the big data scientist is cataloguing the world’s largest plant database using software and algorithms. By studying plant proteins, mixing and matching ingredients to make new food products, the aim is to find sustainable alternatives to common foods.

He’s not just talking about egg mayo or dairy-free cookies, Zigmond’s quest is to use data mining to speed up research into 18 billion ingredients. Limitless combinations could fuel the world’s population with nutritious food by reconstructing nature, eliminating food scarcity and restoring a healthy ecosystem. The company may even open source the data, starting a food revolution.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (03 August 2015)

Project leader

Dan Zigmond, VP of Data, Hampton Creek

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