Food production and distribution could change forever thanks to data science
Complex problems of scarcity and inefficiency abound in the global food production and distribution systems. While some see these problems as intractable and resulting from forces outside of any one person or government's control, others believe they may be the result of decision-making based upon a lack or misapplication of information.
With that in mind, it is possible that data science experts could change this reality for the better. The application of data science to the food industry has already netted some interesting, positive results, and should only continue to drive positive change in the years ahead. Here is a look at some of the ways data could transform the way we manufacture and consume food.
Students of Data Science Fundamentals Courses Could Make Agriculture More Efficient
Agriculture is an industry that can struggle with a number of efficiency issues. For instance, difficulties with water management often lead to overuse, pesticides can be sprayed too liberally, or fertiliser is used in a greater abundance than is needed. As a result, resource use and cost of food production is higher than it should be.
Through the application of data science fundamentals, this reality could soon change. The availability of ground-based and even aerial sensors are making it much easier to collect data on precisely what a given crop needs in order to grow healthily, and can allow producers to deliver only those resources that are needed.
Known as "precision farming," this approach offers tremendous potential to both reduce the environmental impacts of the agriculture industry and make the food we buy a lot cheaper. It's a great example of what can be achieved by those with expertise in sorting collected data and transforming it into useful instructions.
Ground and aerial sensors + data analysis could lead to a new era of food production efficiency
Data Projections Could Help Eliminate Food Waste
Research shows that the world already produces food in excess of what the global human population needs to eat comfortably, yet more than a billion people do not have enough to eat. A major contributing factor to this reality is the fact that a massive amount of the food that is produced ends up going to waste. This can be caused by environmental factors leading to premature spoilage, expired goods being thrown away, and other issues relating to mismanagement of produced goods.
The broad applicability of data analysis means it could help solve these problems through improved climate forecasting, better tracking of goods approaching expiration, and other modelling efforts directed at preventing spoilage. In a world set to continue to experience dramatic population growth, these efforts could prove critical to maintaining food security.
Students from Short Data Science Courses Could Even Revolutionise Menus
Put enough effort in to gathering material and almost anything can be data. For instance, there are ongoing efforts to compile data on the frequency with which ingredients are paired, how well different combinations of ingredients are received, how much meals of particular compositions might be priced, and other interesting trends in the world of food.
Data science could soon refine and revolutionise the food served in some restaurants
This could prove a useful tool for food manufacturers and culinary professionals hoping to expand their offerings into new and interesting territory, or just tailor their recipes toward proven concepts. Students of data science short courses could be instrumental in pushing forward this kind of data-driven progress in the sector. For both data science professionals and gastronomes alike, the food industry will be a space to watch with interest in the coming years.
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Contact the Southampton Data Science Academy to learn about our data science fundamentals courses!