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Thanks to blockchain more than one trillion people can regain confidence in the food you eat

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Guess the country:

  • One of its products is the most infamous gutter oil, which is offered, as a mockery, like a tasty snack in darker subcultures network. Is about accepted reused capable of eliciting an arcade reflects, because they come from places as diverse as includes sewers, drains restaurants and slaughterhouse waste, among other select sources.
  • He suffered a tremendous scandal involving food security 2008, when several Dairy Products including artificial substitutes for breast milk were adulterated with melamine, which caused 300.000 babies sick with kidney problems and six of them died because two separate renal colic.
  • Foods not discarded rot. They are painted with colorings (sometimes toxic), They preserved with wax and mixed with various chemical components. So resubmitted an appetizing appearance, although they are harmful for human consumption. These same compounds are occasionally used to create something totally new, such as lamb based rat or artificial morcillas.
  • Their food industry was involved in the sale and distribution of rotten meat to Restoration big brands with a presence throughout the world as McDonalds, KFC, Fisshःut, Starbucks Y Burger King.

For the clueless, we are talking about China.

There are many challenges that China faces. The planet's population continues to rise and soon could be talking about eight trillion inhabitants. During the next two years, China will contribute to achieving this figure with a 30 million new citizens.

Nevertheless, its food production capacity is limited. A limit that can not cope with the recent change of habits that has occurred in the country, consequence of the current openness in a society once reclusive and today feels a profound predilection (And fascination!) by the Western diet.

Given the consumption of products high in fat and protein can not be satiated by the primary sector the third economic power in the world, Two initiatives have emerged to respond to the new needs of the Chinese society modernized:

  • The import of foodstuffs from strategic partners in trade as may be Korea, Japan or Australia.
  • The Adulteration demanded products by citizens regardless of their dangerousness or effect on the welfare and health of people.

A) Yes, among Chinese, who usually understand the crises and opportunities, They have proliferated deceptions, picaresque and fully criminal activities relating to production, distribution and sale of food. all directives on health are ignored, hygiene and food safety. Prima money above all. It is the reality of capitalist China of the twenty-first century.

The list of examples given above does not constitute even a fraction of the scandals that have come to light, and as is tradition in this type of illegal activities, most of the food iceberg remains hidden in darkness. Can he sink the Chinese titan?

The country's population begins to seek foreign products fearing food sources originating within the borders of their own country. A sort of antiopatriotismo that keeps them alive and in good health. You really can not blame them for it?

However it begins to outline a solution to these problems confidence, and how could it be otherwise, It is based on technology. Specific, the technology block chain It is the one that could again convince the population that the products purchased in supermarkets or establishments of Chinese restaurants are fit for human consumption thanks to its ownership of immutability.

JD, the second largest platform Ecommerce in China, promotes the use of technology block chain in food

Since summer 2017, the JD Chinese trading platform has been checking with his own eyes the benefits of the block chain.

He began entering into a relationship with Kerchin, a producer of beef Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia. The pilot project has allowed the inhabitants of three of the most populous cities in Southeast Asia, Beijing, Shangai y Guangzhou, they can check every detail on the origin of food.

Block chain is a Cryptographic technology that prevents the information contained therein is changed. If the slightest thing is changed, the block is invalidated and is known that the chain has been violated. And is that the simplest way to define he block chain It's like a consensual system events that occurred in the past between several participants.

A) Yes, in the case of calves, It can be guaranteed with full confidence the origin of food derived therefrom (fillets, burgers or even more processed products): Parent Information, farm where they have grown up, what they have fed, what medicines consumed, when and where they have sacrificed ...

In each of these stages, two or more people agree the information that goes into the block chain, and once it's there, This is immutable.

Para Kerchin, a company that moves a business 300 millions of dollars, of which at least one 10% comes from the digital trade, this technology promises to increase consumer satisfaction.

journalist Echo Huang He recounted his experience with the system for Kerchin magazine Quartz:

To understand the process, I ordered a round steak […] JD afternoon 14 of July [from 2017]en Guangzhou. Weighing 200 grams […], meat arrived the next day, divided by a postal worker JD. Contained within a black box, the front had an opening showing the cut of beef and the rear QR code with instructions to extract information on my food.

Scan the code by app JD loaded a page in the browser from app titled "The wonderful journey of veal '. Beneath these words the image of a cow lying in a pasture. The next page showing the serial number of the cow and an alphanumeric code 64 digits referring to the sales transaction.

There was plenty to explore. I knew that my cow was three years, He weighed 605 kg […], and she was treated by a local veterinarian called Qin Na before being slaughtered on July 2. Simmental breed, the cow lived on a farm Kerchin identified as "1556" and was fed a diet of corn, wheat and straw. […]

His flesh was the subject of numerous tests to detect bacteria, water content and growth hormones. […] My filet was declared free of ractopamine (a stimulant drug growth) weeks before being slaughtered.

Technology to ensure traceability of food and boost trade

It is always possible that fraud occurs in comandita among various entities that benefit from each other, and introducing false chain information block. However, this is a step in the right direction, and the Chinese authorities are characterized by their intransigence in dealing with harmful conduct for society. As minimum It is expected that the integration of block chain Solvent some of the challenges of food traceability.

It is expected that widespread implementation of this system (based on Hyperledger, A solution of block chain open source For businesses) significantly reduce cases of food poisoning in China.

And if indeed this is the case, therefore we would see a boosting trade within Chinese food to recover the consumption of products grown and raised on the land itself. This, as well as being good for society and the economy, would reduce exports which in turn increase the environmental sustainability of this sector requiring less transport and, thus, energy consumption.

Traceability of food by block chain is booming, not only in the Chinese market, but around the world. They begin to fall behind initiatives like the Global Platform for Monitoring Food Security, which he offered a wealth of information on more than 70 million food items through bar codes.

en EE.UU. also begins to explore the chain block as antifraud method. In a joint effort to enhance transparency in food production, the Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative based in Arkansas (U.S), the British emerging company Provenance Y Heifer International They have started using block chain.

Among the information available are not only data on their cattle, also it intended revalue the sacrificial role played by farmers All food ecosystem.

The founder and CEO of Grass Roots echoed the move of the times: "Americans have a growing interest in understanding better what you are eating. According to the study 2016 Label Insight, he 83% of consumers want more information about what is in your food, and I fully agree that this is ".

The results of this research are affirmed by a picture that is becoming increasingly common in supermarkets and food of Spain and Latin America. When making the purchase, It has emerged spontaneously a new step between the container shelf and this is taken into the basket or enters cart. Our youth allowed a few moments to check the presence of allergens, the origin of the products, the company that owns the brand or the caloric and nutritional values ​​shown in the back of the package.

A change in food security is presumed overall

Because, There is no time to lose. Butchery Golden Gate Meat Company de San Francisco It was the first to join the platform Provenance.

Back in China, JD continues to enhance the reception of block chain announcing new partnerships. His last trading partner is InterAgri, a Australian company specializing in the export of meat products from cattle calves exploded purebred Black Angus.

Their products premium They have their origin in the bucolic farms Victoria, Southeast Tasmania and South Australia, and they come to the dishes of Chinese diners along with all the information they may require. All thanks to the chain of blocks and the Alliance for Food Security Chain Blocks launched jointly by JD, Walmart, National Engineering Laboratory for e-Commerce Technology of Tsinghua University and IBM.

CEO technologies JD, Chen Zhang, I was particularly excited about the last agreement signed: "We are implementing incrementally the based traceability solutions block chain. China's consumers not only want quality imported products, They want to know that they can who to trust and how it has delivered food, and block chain enables us to provide this assurance '.

Not the last time we hear of such initiatives, block chain It offers an elegant solution to this and other trust issues.

Thanks to blockchain more than one trillion people can regain confidence in the food you eat
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About the Author

Alejandro A. Lazarus

Industrial Engineer, writer and translator. When your hands do not dance on the keyboard, wielding a butterfly net in some hidden valley. Owner Geometra Conservancy, Green initiative for nature conservation and biodiversity protection. Written contributions deal with technological innovations, digital marketing, gastronomy, sustainability and biodiversity.

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