Hydroponics, insects and artificial meat. What prospects? The lawyer Dario Dongo responds

Dear Dario,

I found your discussion of the issues of agricultural production and its pitfalls at the electoral meeting on May 17th in Ravenna very interesting. I was shocked by the matter of 20 mutations as the threshold for genetic anarchy... these are important battles to be fought in Brussels and Strasbourg and I really hope that this thing doesn't come into force.

Some issues have been left out and I would like to know your "lay" opinion regarding:

– hydroponic crops in industrial mode

– insect-based flours

– artificial meat.

What do you think about it?

Thanks for the attention,


Dear Elisa,

I'll answer you in points:

1) Hydroponic crops in industrial mode

NGTs plants they grow naturally on the soil, nourishing themselves not only on its mineral elements but also on the microorganisms that constitute its essential heritage, also precious for the intestinal microbiome when the biological system is applied, such as we have seen.

I find it senseless grow plants in water with the addition of nutrients, generally synthetic ones, even more so where this is not necessary as in our country where abandoned land abounds.

2) Insect-based flours

The insects they have been consumed since time immemorial, still by at least 1,5 billion people (see e.g. Mexico). However, they do not belong to our food culture, apart from snails and snails casu marsu or similar cheeses, and it is highly unlikely that insect flours will be successful in Italy. If only for the fact that their production costs are high, triple the meat of an organic chicken.

3) Artificial meat

Finance has invested heavily in cellular agriculture but the production of meat or fish cells on an industrial scale is still impossible as it is extremely expensive (around €10.000/kg) and not 'scalable' compared to laboratory production. The near future in the production of alternative proteins to those of animal origin lies instead in mycoproteins and in microalgae.

Insects and cellular agriculture I'm only for nowfalse enemies'. Useful to obfuscate the real problems of our agriculture.

Dario Dongo

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