University of Helsinki
Dr. Hanna Tuomisto is a senior researcher at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is interested in researching the interaction between environmental changes and food systems, and especially how novel food technologies could contribute to the sustainability of food systems in the future. Hanna holds a master's degree in agroecology from the University of Helsinki and a PhD degree from the University of Oxford. Before her current post, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Food systems, especially livestock production, are major contributors to environmental stressors, such as climate change, land use change, loss of biodiversity, nutrient enrichment of waterways and water depletion. Due to global population growth and increased consumption of animal source foods, the environmental impacts have been predicted to dramatically exceed the safe planetary boundaries unless serious mitigation actions will be implemented. The possibilities to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional livestock production are limited, and therefore, more radical changes in the food production technologies are required. Due to the closed and controlled production conditions, cellular agriculture could have potential to produce food with drastically lower environmental burden than conventional agriculture.
Hanna's poster presents the current knowledge of the environmental impacts of some products from cellular agriculture. The current estimates show that cellular agriculture can have lower greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use, but often has a higher energy use requirement when compared to conventionally produced animal source foods. However, as most of the products of cellular agriculture are still at the development stage, more accurate environmental impact assessments can be carried out only once large-scale production facilities have been implemented.