Food system technologies (FSTs) are being developed to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable food systems. A group of researchers conducted a systematic scoping review that accounts for multiple dimensions of sustainability to describe the extent, range, and nature of peer-reviewed literature that assesses the sustainability performance of four FSTs: plant-based alternatives, vertical farming, food deliveries, and blockchain technology.

Included literature had a dominant focus on environmental sustainability and less on public health and socio-economic sustainability. Gaps in the literature include empirical assessments on the sustainability of blockchain technology, plant-based seafood alternatives, public health consequences of food deliveries, and socio-economic consequences of vertical farming.

The development of a holistic sustainability assessment framework that demonstrates the impact of deploying FSTs is needed to guide investments in and the development of sustainable food innovation.

Read the complete research at www.nature.com.

Bunge, A.C., Wood, A., Halloran, A. et al. A systematic scoping review of the sustainability of vertical farming, plant-based alternatives, food delivery services and blockchain in food systems. Nat Food (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-022-00622-8