What’s for dinner mum?
What one family has for dinner will not change the world – but what a few billion families have for dinner will.
We all have to eat and the way we are currently growing our food is slowly but inevitably destroying our planet’s ability to grow the food we need. We are destroying our soils and aquifers on which our lives depend and making ourselves sick in the process.
Many of our modern diseases, like diabetes, heart attacks, obesity etc., are directly linked to a poor diet and while no one is saying that a poor diet caused Covid, the fact is that the majority of the people who died from Covid were eating a poor diet. Diet is certainly an enabling factor in many modern health issues.
Profits before the community
It is simply a classic case of putting short term profits for a few ahead of the long-term benefits of the community as a whole.
The food industry is the world’s largest industry and fits this pattern – but how do we create the needed change to a sustainable and healthy food system so our grand kids and their grand kids will be eating healthy, nourishing and tasty food?
Not just technology
For many years I thought this was just a question of developing the right technology, where our food was produced in a fully sustainable way. Developing this technology has been my obsession for many years and that turns out to be the easy bit.
All food is based on carbon, fortunately there is plenty of carbon dioxide in the air and sunlight to convert it into food, but it does need water and some critical minerals for photosynthesis to work.
We need a range of minerals for our health, these were generally available in virgin soils but are becoming depleted with modern agriculture. Fortunately there is a virtually inexhaustible supply in volcanic rocks, we just need the micro biology in the soil to release the minerals and we also need water which is recyclable.
We have the technology we need to create a fully recyclable health food system – that is not the problem – the real problem is: ‘how do we design the needed change to a recyclable system and make them happen?’
There are many people already committed to this change seen through a growing trend to regenerative farming, organics and permaculture but we are still lacking key ingredients.
Aspirations and result
It is fine to have aspirations for a better world but what matters in the end is the final results. To achieve this better world we have to overcome two critical problems.
Manipulation of the truth
The first is manipulation of the truth. Reading Noami Oreskes seminal book Merchant of Doubt you will appreciate just how insidious the manipulation of data has become from tobacco, acid rain, the ozone layer and global warming where the true facts have been massaged to either prevent or delay action on critical issues.
Nowhere is this more true than in food and supplements. Getting this message out to the wider public is critical in creating a sustainable and healthy food supply.
The power of the wallet
The second problem to overcome is creating an economically viable system. It is no good having the healthiest food in all the world if only the rich can afford to buy it. Healthy food needs to be affordable.
Also growers have utes that need fixing, kids who want money for school outings and husbands and wives that need a beer or a glass of wine. The system must be economic for the growers and not just rely on a passion for the land.
To resolve these critical problem, whether we like it or not, we must look on future food generation food as a business.
Here are the basics of the business plan.
What we do
Gbiota™ (trade mark of Cohort International Pty) develops innovative technology for growing plants to improve health particularly gut biota. (Hence the name Gbiota)
We do not manufacture or sell any physical products. Our business is purely intellectual property.
Our technology centres on improving gut health by breeding beneficial biology in organic waste, which then enter the roots of the plants, to act as pre and pro biotics which then enhance the gut brain.
Benefits of our technology
The benefits of our technology are:
– controls the appetite so people don’t over eat and become obese
– produces the chemicals to replace body parts as they wear
– enhances the immune system
– organics and food waste are converting a waste product into food and as a bye product reduce green house gases.
We provide the technology free of charge to home growers, in the belief that this creates a user base who will help to spread the information about the technology and provide credibility.
We live in an age lacking confidence in the sources of power – big business and even some of our Governments. People now rely much more on real people they know and trust. They may be not the ideal source of complex technical information but at least they are trustworthy, not manipulating the truth for profit.
Running an operation like this costs money, which has come from me and my past success as an early pioneer in computer aided engineering (see My Story) but this project needs to continue and grow long after I am not here so it needs a source of revenue.
So our plan is to license the technology – for a reasonable and equitable fee – making it available to commercial growers as the direct source of our revenue.
Our immediate customer base are commercial growers who are often small farmers who do not undertake significant generic market development themselves.
This means an important part of out strategy is to create a market for these growers – which is otherwise known as ‘umbrella marketing’.
The target customers are of this marketing are the section of the community that are sensitive to the ‘eating healthy food’ concept. There are three key groups:
1) Mothers with young children. The baby’s gut biology comes initially from their mother before and particularly during birth. Then from breast feeding and later from the food supplied by their mother. Currently there is no vaccine available for kids who are susceptible to the delta virus.
2) Older people who generally have a weakened immune system.
3) People concerned about the effect of human activity on our planet particularly the destruction of our soils and global warming which has a direct effect on our food production.
While none of these groups are our direct customers we need to promote to them to create a market for our direct customers – the local farmers and suppliers. Our promotional efforts have will be focused on these three groups plus the local farmers.
The Gbiota box
This is a special project initiated by the delta virus. It enables people in lock down to grow their own food, recycling their kitchen waste to grow fresh food with all the associated health benefits, at a minimal cost.
While this project may have been initiated by the spread of the delta virus it is thought that there are many people who would like to grow their own food but are not sure how to go about this. The Gbiota box would be prepared by local suppliers, (may be just people working from home in the lock down) already seeded with plants, ready to harvest.
This is believed to be a significant market in its own right but would help to develop the Gbiota concept amongst the commercial grower market.
Problems in marketing
Our promotional activity is dominated by our web sites and the social media activity of our supporters. Honest influencers really do influence.
The technology of growing plants to enhance gut biota is complex and not particularly appealing (it is all about good and bad bugs and a bit yukky to some).
This means our web sites look complex, which may be an initial deterrence. However, once people understand what we are trying to do they become quite dedicate followers and are happy to read long and detailed technical articles.
The web is now saturated with promotions for health products often with little technical backing but very sophisticated marketing and presentation.
This has led to a great deal of cynicism within the public who are now quite resistant to what they perceive as high pressure and unethical advertising.
Our big opportunity
We live in an age of cynicism. People are fed up with being lied to by mega global corporations with neo-monopoly power, by Governments who pay more attention to these economic collossus than the needs of their people.
They want to live in a society with equity and compassion, not to be dominated by greed.
However, for the Gbiota movement to provide value, it must survive as an economic entity.
Above all Gbiota is a social movement to make the world a better (or at least habitable) place for our grand kids and their grand kids, to enjoy a life that their ancestors (that’s us) have struggled to create.
That is a powerful motivator.
This is a great opportunity to built a multi national organisation which is has that magic combination of benefiting humanity while being profitable.
If I were half my age I would be grabbing at this chance but now I have to look for other people to take this to fruition. If that is you please contact me here.
Colin Austin 13 Sep 2021