Steak from CO2? How space-inspired technology could change the way we produce meat

Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed Beef
Credit: PNP Supplements

Currently, it takes a couple of years to “make” a steak. That’s the length of time it takes to rear cattle, slaughter it, and get it to your plate. During those two years, plenty of land and water is used as part of the animal rearing and grazing process, kicking out no shortage of greenhouse gases in the future. To make things more efficient, we need new technology.

That’s the idea driving Dr. Lisa Dyson, a PhD in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and chief executive of an intriguingly ambitious new startup called Air Protein. Dyson is working on a new approach to making meat that’s more conscious of the space (and other resources) that goes into making meat. Its inspiration? Well, space.

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“The scientists at NASA considered many ideas about how to grow food in the 60s and 70’s during the Apollo space program. We leveraged some of their ideas and developed a novel technology that is able to make meat out of elements of the air, such as CO2,” [Dyson said].

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According to Air Protein, those ideas included creating food through a closed-loop system, whereby microbes could be used to convert air exhaled by astronauts into food.

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