Welcome to Good Signal.
We live in the information age. The sources of information available to us are multiplying, and the pace of delivery to us is accelerating. We have more content available at our fingertips than ever, but its availability has never created more anxiety or misinformation. At some point, we must step back and ask ourselves, what is the purpose of consuming all this information? After all, why do we let myriad newsletters and social media updates into our email inbox, and consume books, podcasts, and publications in our free time? Most of us are unable to consume even a fraction of the content pushed in front of us. Beyond the entertainment that some of it delivers, we are searching for ways that it can enhance our lives, careers, or knowledge. Data, analysed, becomes information. Information, synthesised, becomes insight. The world is awash in data, full of information, but limited in insight. At that end of the day, we don’t want data or information. We want insight.
The need for insight has never been greater. The generation that’s inheriting our planet has grown up in a world facing existential threats largely of our own making. We are confronted with challenges as diverse as climate change, food security, biodiversity loss, and sustainability. Our oceans will be depleted of fish by mid-century. As our planet reaches a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050, we will face a protein shortage. At that point, we will be unable to feed the people on this planet if we don’t do something different. Today, animal agriculture remains a major part of our food system, with consumption set to nearly double over the next 30 years. The sector is a major contributor to climate change, massive animal suffering, a decline in ocean life, human health challenges, deforestation, biodiversity loss, pandemics, and unsustainable resource usage. Every major ecosystem on planet earth is in decline, while the human population continues to grow. This is a wakeup call if ever there was one. Paradoxically, what feeds us can also harm us. We must fix our food system, starting with animal agriculture, as its impact spans human health, animal welfare, biodiversity, land and water usage, and climate change.
To tackle these challenges, promising new technologies and solutions are emerging. Alternative proteins offer a compelling path forward to address the challenges in our food system by offering, appropriately, an alternative to animal proteins. The sector focuses on creating substitutes to animal products that look and taste the same but employ varied underlying technologies such as plant-based (utilising plant ingredients), fermentation (microorganisms as hosts or protein factories) and cultivated (growing animal cells outside the animal). In doing so, it offers the promise of utilising up to 90% less energy as well as 99% less land and water while eliminating animals from the food system and reducing our carbon footprint.
But we have limited time – on our current path, the threat of climate change, food shortages and resource limitations will meet us mid-century, or sooner. The alternative protein sector needs insight to make maximum impact on our food system. Insights, strung together, create wisdom. Wisdom, when applied, enables better decisions, which over time, drive greater impact. We must provide the leaders of tomorrow with the tools and frameworks to make better decisions to enable them to create impact at scale. We have a responsibility to leave the planet better than we found it for those who will call it their home long after we’re gone. Good Signal was created as a platform to deliver insights about the alternative protein industry. We are excited about peering into the sector to explore areas that we feel require further attention, analysis, and insight. Along the way, we would be delighted to hear from you both about topics we can cover, as well as your thoughts on those we have discussed already. We believe this all begins with reflection, understanding and insight.