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Unstable food prices and growing population will make us think about what we eat, futurists say.

They also predict that not far off the time when an important, and subsequently the main source of food will be the so-called "micro-livestock".

This is a nice euphemism for worms, grasshoppers and other roaches, in the Western tradition - especially inedible animals.

But, first, other peoples do not disdain a tasty scorpion or a caterpillar, and secondly, hunger, as we know, is not an aunt, and subsequent generations may well overcome our aversion to insects. What other food technologies should our grandchildren hope for?

The "Fifth floor," Michael Smotryaeva talked with the head of the Laboratory of Food Chemistry Federal Food Research Centre, biotechnology and food safety, Vladimir Bessonov.

Michael Watching: Good evening, September 16, Friday. In the Fifth Floor Studio in London, we are with our edible living reviewer Alexander Kahn. Alik, hello! Alexander Kan: Good evening!

MS .: You really are a recognized expert in this field. Have you ever try and worms, and snails and grasshoppers and cockroaches, and snakes, and even some not identify your stuff, what you're always proud to tell on a visit of this kind all sorts of places and institutions. Here, you say, in London, not far from us, too, are fed cockroaches.

AK .: Yes, this is a place where all kinds of cockroaches fed - no cockroaches, locusts, grasshoppers, it's all there.

MS .: This is one of those cases where I rather welcome the fact that our with you face, rather your contented face can be seen on the screen, because, apparently, locusts and cockroaches you like. I must say that this view is not shared by all, in any case, the Europeans, the people of Western education. These people for the most part are predicting that in the coming years, we are threatened with hunger, we are threatened with malnutrition.

There are problems with water scarcity, this is a topic for a completely separate conversation, but today - about hunger. Our guest today - Vladimir Bessonov, Doctor of Biology, Head of the Laboratory of Food Chemistry Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. Vladimir Vladimirovich, hello!

Vladimir Bessonov: Hello, but you are wrong I was introduced to, because our organization has now called the Federal Research Center for Food and Biotechnology.

MS .: It is certainly important ...

VB .: This is fundamentally because actually now our organization is its fundamental idea of ​​what should be the food, through our new cooperating organizations implement technology in the final product, that is, we have become much broader and more powerful. It is - the other power.

MS .: In other words, you can now make yourself and grasshoppers and cockroaches and all other quasi-edible products.

VB: Why exaggerate so? These concepts of futurists are based on already existing knowledge. By and large, what we are now discussing is already there. It can not be said that these are unconventional food products, because for someone they are traditional. Suggest the british, maybe he will survive, but offer the American a piece of fat - I'm afraid that not every American will eat it, just like, for example, a traditional Russian cold that is completely unknown in the US or in South America. What is traditional for a number of countries and is unconventional for other countries - there is no need to take it a bit snobbish.

If we talk about the European community, we remember futurologists forecast about the situation in London, in the early twentieth century, when it was assumed that he would be littered with manure from the horses somewhere on the ground floor, because the futurologists of the nineteenth century did not anticipate that will be the engine of internal combustion, and so on. The forecast is based on the currently existing knowledge, often it turns out to be wrong.

MS .: Since this is difficult to argue, and in more recent times (we are on the "Fifth floor," often reminded) futurologists predicted us that we are all going to fly on private flying saucers and wearing tin foil hat, but at the same time, however , overlooked both the computer and mobile phone, and much more. In fact, worms and locusts I remembered simply because it is the most obvious example, and are able, perhaps, to divide the audience into two irreconcilable camps: one is like the other - no.

You quite rightly pointed out that these are really technologies that already exist, but for example, artificial meat, which was presented not so long ago with a pomp, or rather, a burger was fried from it, is, you will agree, a new thing. But before talking about it, I would like to first hear your expert analysis on the topic of whether we need to score to ourselves this head? There are forecasts that the population of the planet will almost double in the next 50 years, and there are much more conservative estimates, and in this case, we do not appear to be threatening an immediate famine.

VB .: In fact, hunger is already there. Happy consumers who throw food products - where a quarter of the production goes to the trash at the happiest countries of the European continent, the North American continent. If we compare, for example, with what is happening in Africa, where a lack of protein tested, essentially still on the planet from hunger are gone. So if we are going to discuss, let's discuss it after all the sources that can be used in the production of the same food protein deficiency which exists in the world.

First of all, of course, these are biotechnology products, but since we traditionally do not like science in principle and do not trust scientists in general, and in general view biotechnology as something wrong, then most likely biotechnology will be the source that will help if these problems will arise. They can solve this issue with the production of food products. In fact, if the protein - it should be high-grade, it can be vegetable proteins, an increase in the production of plant proteins.

There is a food pyramid. When, for example, transferred from the soil nutrients not edible substance, and the substance of which biosynthesis then made, loss of somewhere of one to ten. Similarly, the food for each chain, that is, when a cow eats the plant, it is ten times less than the weight of the biological, and so on and so forth.

Predators still ten times less than their victims. Thus, the lower we go down for this food chain and produce there, so it turns out cheaper and more profitable, and easier to recycle later. In principle, yes, a return to the biotechnological process - it's probably in the case of threat of famine the best option to address this issue.

MS .: You say "return", which means that this is not the first time?

VB .: This is already happening in the manufacture of, for example, the so-called protein-vitamin concentrate in the Soviet Union. There was a whole microbiological industry created, which is made from paraffin oil through microbial synthesis of a number of biologically active substances, that is, it is there.

MS .: Here's a question can not be avoided, Vladimir Vladimirovich. Look at what is happening with genetically modified products. Their aversion to Russia at the state level - in fact, it is perhaps not even so important. Much more important is that these products are not uniquely assess end-users - the people who have to have it all.

When we talk about biotechnology is much deeper, then there is, in general, as long as there will already quite serious famine, the people spoiled, the people of Western civilization in the countries of the "golden billion" to persuade to consume it all, probably will not be easy, not to mention the fact that the burger, which we remembered from grown stem cells, has managed in some 325 thousand dollars, that is, at first, seem to be very expensive technology. You is not seen as a problem?

VB .: I still biochemist and Biotechnology Department - a department of my own, which I finished. The whole point is that the problem - in their heads. Mankind never perceives innovation in food products with the same enthusiasm as technological innovation. No one will lay a week in output expectations for the new gadget on the market somewhere in the tent waiting for him, waiting for the release of the new innovative food product, that is, we will grow into legends of this product, and so on.

With the same genetically modified organisms - you know, in Russia there is a unique, probably in the world, system for controlling genetic modification, and no matter how much it was discussed that in principle both genetic modifications and the production of products from genetically modified plants may not carry in principle genetic information . For example, if you get vegetable oils from genetically modified plants, there is no genetic information, there is no DNA in principle, or polysaccharides, or in highly purified protein, there is also no genetic information.

The incompleteness of knowledge and legends fouling leads to certain shifts of consciousness. It can be even connected with active measures, which are accepted in the media, but it is necessary for something to say? In this situation, GMOs are a very interesting subject for permanent debate, especially since few people in this that he understands. Once again I say: the scientists have not decided to believe.

MS .: In fact, in this and I see the problem in the future. Scientists assume easily agree among themselves that one way or another high-tech way manufactured product, in general, is not inferior to meat and even, perhaps, the taste is not very different from him, I do not know, meat, butter, milk, what do you want. Explain this to the person who has to buy it and have instead of the usual kind of beef, which for one reason or another no longer, or it is prohibitively expensive - it's a different challenge.

VB .: If we are talking about at absolute desert situation, it so happened, then, in my opinion, before the man will not be the choice that he could eat. He would, in principle, that would eat it in the first place. Secondly, do not try to bring under one another. If we are talking about products from algae, for example, should probably still try to algae produce meat. Still, it's other products, the other type. In this situation, we are likely to be more honest will explain what it is, to train people to new technologies, it will always be correct.

A lot of mistakes in innovations in innovative technologies in the output on the Russian market for new products has been committed. Most often, they are connected with the fact that people are simply not prepared for the fact that this can be, it can happen. The same pattern we have seen, for example, with such common things as the spread - a mixture of butter and vegetable oil, which is present on the market and, in theory, from the standpoint of Nutrition is more interesting than, for example, pure animal fat, but we have It is seen as a substitute.

Likewise, what you say, to grow a steak that there were fibers - is terribly expensive. It may just be a complete protein. This can be using so-called Maillard reaction, which is constantly frying when the product is enriched with taste, we get a different product from other taste qualities. After all, by and large, and the chips were not known to the Russian buyer 20 years ago, well, 25 years ago.

MS .: Yes. Perhaps, then let's look a little further into the future. Can you talk about that at some point the cows become irrelevant, because they will have nowhere to go, they will throw away too much carbon dioxide, or corny is not enough for all?

Can we say that, again, in the long term we will have some changes in food culture, in principle, that is, the products that we consume will not be categorized, for example, like this: fish, poultry, meat, vegetables, anything else, and will be categorized or in terms of nutritional value, or from the point of view of their origin, - any other circuit, and restaurants then there will be a completely different look, or in the next few years 100-200 it does not threaten ?

VB .: I can build any forecast for next 200 years, because I was not responsible for it. What we are now discussing, is actually more of a psychological problem. Secondly, there is still one thing that we always forget - what we ourselves are changing in the long run. Man changes in relation to what it was even two thousand years ago, we are still the same. Yes, we have changed and the average height and average weight change. The total number of biologically active substances, which is necessary, it is necessary, but, by and large, still we are changing.

Some pictures of the distant future are based on the fact that we are discussing, we are now, so wonderful, that Friday night will go somewhere else to sit in a restaurant, we do through 3 millennium, 5-6-10 thousand years, not two hundred years, when there is no cows. After some distant number of years, I do not think people like us, in a suit, who will sit in the restaurant, they will have a few other issues, other problems. So now it futurological representation is remarkable in that it was not necessary to answer the same.

MS .: Then finally distract from futurology and very short-term forecast. Yes, quite a significant part of the population is undernourished planet. Whether it is because they are physically nothing to feed (the planet does not give us enough), or because of what we have, which is enough, we do not use is reasonable and, as a consequence, the problem of hunger - not biological properties?

VB .: hunger problem in this situation is not the biological properties because if we now see what they do and charities, and the World Health Organization, the World Food Organization - is, sorry, the introduction of new progressive technologies of cultivation in those areas, where this is not enough production. Same Ethiopia, the same Somalia, which grows wheat, and crops grown three times per year, enough for it to live comfortably for three years, in terms of social conflicts that can not be done.

We are just reaping the benefits of, say, the same "golden billion". Now we get at the problems that we ourselves have sown, and the Europeans, so to speak, export its culture to African countries. We say most likely of African countries at the moment. Combining culture led to the disastrous results that are now there. If the culture is such that both the current food production in Africa has been, I think, that this fruitful region to feed himself.

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