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Soy was once the go-to choice for vegan meat products. But now, with the alternative protein industry booming, food scientists can take all sorts of ingredients (like mushrooms, peas, sunflowers, and even cells from live animals) and create meat products with realistic taste, plant-based or without slaughter.
But what about meat made from scratch? It sounds way too futuristic to be true, but it is real.
Inspired by past NASA research, which focused on innovative ways to feed astronauts on long space missions, California-based food tech startup Air Protein uses carbon capture to literally turn air into protein.
In (relatively) simple terms, the brand uses microbes to recycle CO2 emissions from old factories and combine them with water and energy to create proteins. After that, in a process similar to the fermentation of beer, the protein is transformed into a flour-like substance.
Oils, nutrients and flavorings are added to transform this powder into the final product: Air Meat. The completely vegan product resembles steak, chicken, fish or pork.
Why we need Air Meat
According to Founder Lisa Dyson, Air Protein is driven by an impact-driven mission to transform the food system.
Conventional meat products are the product of animal agriculture. The outdated and destructive industry not only slaughters billions of animals, but also contributes an estimated 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and destroys rainforests. (According to a study by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 80% of the Amazon has been felled by ranchers.)
Some may be confused by the idea of using air to make products that taste like meat. But Dyson says it’s an essential concept to explore. It doesn’t require as many natural resources, but offers those who love meat products a believable and realistic tasting alternative, she says.
dyson said Dezeen“At Air Protein, we are on a mission to accelerate the global transition to climate and rainforest friendly meat. This mission compels us to make products that meat eaters love.
“We focus on taste, texture and nutritional results that will make the green choice the easy choice.”
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