Knowledge for better food systems

Why blockchain won’t fix food safety—yet

Image: BTC Keychain, Bitcoin Chain IMG_9185, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

The blockchain could be used to make it easier to trace the source of food items and tackle food safety scares quickly, but the system still depends on the honesty of those making the data entries.

Walmart has been working with IBM to develop a blockchain-based tracking system for its own supply chain. Without the system, it took over six days to track a pack of sliced mangoes back to their source; with the system, it took only 2.2 seconds. However, for the system to work properly, it needs everyone along the supply chain to use it, and to use it honestly.

The future could see customers able to scan a food package with their phone and see instantly where it came from.

Read the story here. See also the Foodsource resource Lifecycle assessment of food products is a complex undertaking.

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North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

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