Food Plus is a not-for-profit volunteer group seeking to promote research and development of technologies and techniques for the production of protein and other foodstuffs from inedible plant matter such as wood and cellulose. In particular, we are interested in the potential of unconventional techniques (eg the use of bacteria or fungi) rather than the familiar use of grazing animals to create meat or milk from grass and other vegetation. Some relevant publications are detailed in Reports and articles.
The potential lies in the relatively huge quantities of inedible plant matter in the world (wood -- including wood waste from sawmills -- forestry trimmings, straw and other agricultural waste, and more) compared with the relatively small quantities of edible plant matter (grains, nuts, etc). If even a small proportion of that inedible plant matter were to be converted into edible form (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins etc), this could transform world food supplies. There may be a case for using some of the new resource as animal feed.
The potential benefits of being able to create food from inedible plant matter include:
Given the problems of food supply identified in the UK government's The Future of Food and Farming, and other publications, and the potential of food from biomass to ameliorate them, there appears to be a need to raise the profile of this area of research and to provide more funding.
We believe there is a case for establishing a new research centre or institute, dedicated to the conversion of inedible plant matter into edible form. As far as we have been able to discover, there is no research centre of this kind in the world today.
A possible title for the new centre is "The Institute for Food". Topics for research would include conversion techniques, nutritional balance, the use of new foodstuffs as animal feed, safety, allergies, public acceptance, palatability, and more.
Some possible objections to the proposal, with suggested answers, are outlined on our page about Possible objections.