Today’s Solutions: May 23, 2022

Yesterday we wrote about a brand called Air Co. that has come up with a brilliant way to make vodka using nothing but air and water. Today, we have something even crazier: plant-based meat made from air. Welcome to the future.

Most plant-based meat, such as the Impossible Burger or the Beyond Burger, uses protein made from soy or peas. The newest meat alternative uses protein made from the air instead, in a process that transforms CO2 into an ingredient with the same nutritional profile as the protein you find in animals.

The company, Air Protein, calls its technology a probiotic production process, similar to making yogurt. Inside a fermentor, naturally occurring microbes consume CO2 and a secret blend of “mineral nutrients” to produce an ingredient that is 80% protein. Unlike soy or other plant protein, it’s a “complete protein”, with the same amino acid profile as protein in beef or chicken.

It also has vitamins, such as B12, that aren’t typically found in vegan food. And unlike some animal protein, it doesn’t have any antibiotics and hormones.  Plus, the process runs on renewable energy.

Eventually, the company hopes the CO2 used in the process may come from direct-air-capture plants that have been designed to fight climate change by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If Air Protein manages to pull this off, it could really shake up the food industry and show how sustainable producing food can really be.

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