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RethinkX report predicts radical change

Report predicts animal agriculture will be replaced by Food-as-Software model

RethinkX, an independent think tank that analyzes and forecasts the scope, speed, and scale of technology-driven disruption and its implications across society, is out with another controversial report.

This latest report offers a dire look at the livestock industry, with an eye toward how technology and changing consumer habits may end the cattle industry. RethinkX is known for its forward-looking reports that are not always well received by the industries targeted by the research.

In 2017, RethinkX came out with a report that said, “we are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history.”

An article, Rethinkx Report: TaaS, An Illusion Wrapped In A Mirage Inside A Fantasy, finds the math behind the report contains flaws.

A blog post in in March 2019 found several faults in the report.

The latest report makes a number of significant claims about the future.

A sampling of the report’s findings:

  • By 2030, demand for cow products will have fallen by 70%. Other livestock markets will follow a similar trajectory.
  • By 2030, the market for ground beef will shrink by 70%, the steak market by 30% and the dairy market by almost 90%.
  • The animal agriculture system will be replaced with a Food-as-Software model, where foods are engineered by scientists at a molecular level and uploaded to databases that can be accessed by food designers anywhere.
  • Trade relations will shift as decentralized food production becomes less constrained by geographic and climatic conditions than traditional livestock farming and agriculture.

“This is primarily a protein disruption, driven by economics,“ said Tony Seba, RethinkX co-founder and report co-author. “This is not one disruption but many in parallel, with each overlapping, reinforcing, and accelerating the others.“

Seba is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and author, and an instructor in entrepreneurship, disruption and clean energy at Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program.

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