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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Mar 15, 2020

You already know about plant-based meat. You’re also familiar with meat grown from animal cells, often called cultivated meat or clean meat. But have you ever heard of making protein—and therefore the building blocks of meat—straight out of thin air?

Dr. Lisa Dyson was reading 1960s-era NASA research about how to feed astronauts on long-distance cosmic trips, when something truly out of this world caught her attention. Of course, on long-distance cosmic tourist trips, we’ll need ways for astronauts not only to conserve food they’ve brought from our home planet, but also to produce food on-board. 

As a result, NASA at the time was exploring growing protein not from animals or plants, but right out of thin air. Sound like science fiction? Well, half a century later, Lisa and her team at Air Protein are already doing it, and they’ve recently even made what she called “air-based chicken.” The photos of the air-based meat look truly delectable. 

Lisa asserts that her air protein takes a tiny fraction of the resources needed to produce even plant protein, which is a driving force motivating her to commercialize her air-based meat in the near-term. Her goal: help save the planet and the animals who call it home, including us Homo sapiens.

Discussed in this episode