Unveiling the Dark Matter of Food, Diets and Biodiversity

An estimated 95% of the biomolecules in food are unknown to science — this is the “dark matter” of food, diets, and biodiversity. We don’t know what these biomolecules are, or how they function in ecosystems and in our bodies.

Mapping this dark matter is too large a task for any one laboratory, organization or country to achieve on its own. We need a united scientific movement, larger than the human genome project, with governments and researchers around the globe filling the gaps in our knowledge of the food we eat.

A suite of standardized tools, data and training is now available for this effort, which can build a centralized database based on standardized tools for researchers, practitioners and communities to share their wisdom and expertise on food and its diverse attributes to inform solutions to our pressing societal challenges.


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Tarini Naravane, fellow at Bluestein Ventures
Food Ingredients UCD sustainability