What options are on the food-tech menu for achieving long-term protein security? Cell culture, plants, microorganisms, algae, and fungi may all have roles to play. But from a sustainability and resilience perspective, is there a clear winner?
Gene-recombinant biotechnologies aim to produce key animal proteins at a fraction of the cost of conventional animal husbandry. The implications for research, medicine, food systems, and the climate could be huge. But can these emergent technologies scale quickly enough to spur system-wide change?
Seaweed is the collective noun for a group of at least 10,000 species of macroalgae, and new species are being discovered each year. Although seaweeds have been consumed for millennia, they’re increasingly (and rightly) viewed as a hero ingredient. With only half a dozen species cultivated at scale right now, seaweed’s potential for the alt-protein industry is only just starting to unfold.
Every now and again a young person comes along whose intellect and wisdom seem to defy their age. Over the past year, we’ve had the privilege of working closely with one such individual. If you haven’t yet heard of her, you probably soon will. Meet cellular agriculture’s rising star, Avery Parkinson.
Much attention has been given to the innovators producing plant- and cell-based alternatives to traditionally animal-based foods, but less recognized are the ones developing serums and mixes in which those proteins can grow. Some of the most creative are using ancient and simple components—including algae and mycelia—to make the foundations for animal protein alternatives.