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Home » A Scientific Breakthrough That Could Transform How We Produce Food: David Friedberg (Transcript)

A Scientific Breakthrough That Could Transform How We Produce Food: David Friedberg (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of TED conversation titled “A Scientific Breakthrough That Could Transform How We Produce Food” with entrepreneur and investor David Friedberg.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Evolution of Agriculture and Its Impact on Humanity

CHRIS ANDERSON: Hello, everyone. We’re going to spend the next 45 minutes or so exploring one of the biggest issues impacting our collective future. I think you may end up pretty amazed at what you’re about to hear. Like almost all animals, much of our time on this planet has been spent trying to figure out how to eat enough food to survive and thrive, while avoiding becoming food ourselves. For most of the first 300,000 years of our existence as Homo sapiens, we lived as hunter-gatherers, hunting food, gathering food.

Then we discovered a different way, agriculture, just growing it ourselves. That discovery, of course, changed everything for better and also perhaps for worse, arguably. Agricultural land now is taking over huge swathes of our planet, endangering our forests and contributing massively to climate change. But today, there are a number of truly remarkable changes that just could possibly transform the way that we produce our food.

I have with me someone who’s been pioneering one of the most exciting of those changes. David Friedberg is a highly successful entrepreneur and an investor with a strong scientific background on the popular All In podcast, which he co-hosts. He’s known as the Sultan of Science. For several years, he’s been running a funding partnership for the production board that has pumped large sums of money into startups that can increase the resilience of our planet. One of those startups got him so excited at his potential to transform agriculture that he’s now focusing most of his time on that as we’re here. So, David, welcome.

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