Air-Based Proteins to Solve Food Crisis
The challenges plaguing our current global food system are staggering. The double burden of both widespread hunger and obesity sees one in three people currently suffering from some form of malnutrition.
Climate change and land use changes are exacerbating the problem, with higher carbon dioxide levels reducing the nutritional make-up of grains and legumes, affecting key nutrients such as zinc and iron.
Meanwhile, food production uses 70 percent of all fresh water and contributes around a third of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is predicted that by 2050, we will need 120 percent more water and 42 percent more cropland if we’re to continue feeding the planet in the same way.
There is a great new technology now to help with this perpetual problem. It's called Air-Based Proteins.
How does the technology work? Well, the company takes elements found in the air — such as CO2, oxygen and nitrogen — as well as some renewable power, and uses a (proprietary) natural probiotic production process that converts the elements into nutrients.
The result is Air Protein — a neutral ingredient in both color and taste, but with the same amino acid profile as animal protein. This can then be used to make a host of different foods — from burgers and cereals to meat-free meat and even cookies. It can also be paired with spices and seasonings to make snacks and meals.
And crucially, it’s rich in all of the essential amino acids needed for a healthy diet — as well as vitamins such as B12, which is traditionally lacking from a vegan diet.
There are plenty of environmental benefits, too. First, the production of Air Protein is completely natural, free of any pesticides or herbicides. It requires 10,000 times less land and 2,000 times less water than soy protein production. It can be made in just a few hours, unlike traditional crops; and doesn’t rely on rain or sunshine.
* Article by Tim Idle
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