Knowledge for better food systems

Synthetic wine, whiskey and sake

This article in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses three synthetic (or “molecular”) alcoholic drinks produced by US startup Endless West: wine, whiskey and sake. The drinks are produced by mixing plain alcohol (from corn) with natural flavourings (e.g. from plants or yeasts) rather than traditional distillation methods (e.g. fermenting grapes to make wine). 

The article notes that the products could gain prominence as climate change affects the taste of wine from vineyards, since the synthetic versions might be quicker to make and more consistent in taste. It is not clear how the environmental impacts of Endless West’s products compare to those of conventional alcoholic drinks.

Read the full article here. See also the Foodsource chapter Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems.

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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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