IBM Think 5 In 5 Food Predictions

In 2024, the world’s population is expected to reach eight billion. Over the next five years, this global population growth will continue to impact and strain agriculture, food and water production, and other resources that are crucial for the planet’s sustainability.

That’s why IBM’s 2019 “5 in 5,” focuses on how research, innovation, and technology development today can help transform the food supply chain of tomorrow.

The tech company sees a future where technologies transform every stage of the food chain – from seed to table – in order to increase global food production, curb food waste, improve food safety and the spread of foodborne illnesses, and radically change how we recycle plastics.

IBM’s 5 in 5 predictions:

1. #twinning: Farming’s digital doubles will help feed a growing population using less resources.
Creating digital twins, or virtual models of the world’s agricultural resources, could mean that global farm data is democratized, allowing for a more connected food supply chain across the planet that shares insights, research, and materials for increasing crop yields and food security.

2. Spoiler Alert: Blockchain will leave more food on our plates and less in our trash.
By 2024, blockchain will help us curb the epidemic of waste that destroys 45 percent of our food supply.

3. Culture Club: Mapping the microbiome will protect us from bad bacteria.
Foodborne illnesses affect one in ten Americans every year. But within five years, food safety inspectors around the world will gain a new superpower: the ability to use millions of microbes to protect what we eat, in turn reducing the spread of illness, hospitalizations, deaths and billions of dollars in medical costs.

4. Dinner plate detectives: AI sensors will detect foodborne pathogens at home
Within five years, the world’s farmers, food processors, and grocers—along with its billions of home cooks—will be able to detect dangerous contaminants effortlessly in their food with the help of artificial intelligence.

5. Plastic Surgery: A radical new recycling process will breathe new life into old plastic.
More than 272 million metric tons of plastic is produced each year around the globe, with most ending up in our landfills or waterways. In a half decade, waste like milk cartons, cookie containers or grocery bags will be able to recycled and reused in new ways.