Food Out of Air? Disruption Brewing in Protein Sources

August 13, 2021

Disruption brewing. Watch this space.

6 Responses to “Food Out of Air? Disruption Brewing in Protein Sources”

  1. Peter Scheffler Says:

    Interesting. Catchy title, for sure. He makes the elemental (sorry, not sorry, after all, you did it with “brewing”) mistake of not considering nitrogen, but as that is part of the air, too, it’s not a serious flaw of the idea. And think of nutritional yeast and mushrooms, which do this sort of thing already. If we can also recycle urine and excrement for nitrogen, phosphorous, and other elements, we might be onto something. Although maybe we need to recycle our own bodies after we die, too. I like his little riff on what really is natural.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Yeah, I was listening for nitrogen, too. (Nitrogen* two?)

      As for recycling bodies, one mistake I laugh at in space dramas is the recurrent threat of throwing somebody out of an airlock, when what you’d really do is throw them into the recycler.

      *Nitrogen is a hallmark of protein, and the original way to test for protein content in food, like cow’s milk and baby formula, was to measure the nitrogen content. That’s why baby formula counterfeiters in China were mixing in the nitrogen-rich compound melamine, to fool the protein tests, leading to a major health crisis for infants who were given the fake formula.

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    The video claims there is an “efficiency problem” with livestock. There is no such problem, because the sun shines every day supplying abundant amounts of energy to create new plants and to evaporate water to create rainfall. And that is really all you need to make livestock and crops.

    The video also portrays livestock eating plants as a zero sum interaction. This is also not the case, because much of what a chicken or cow eats in their feed are waste products from human crops. And food is actually the minority of what the biomass of livestock are used for.

    This idea that livestock is not “sustainable” is a concept that is NOT held by actual food/agricultural scientists who are working hard to ensure that our future population food needs will be met using existing resources. That is the interesting topic, that is the real world, and that is how our future food needs will be met. Not by creating synthetic proteins out of thin air.

    Livestock is incredibly important to all of our futures and should be celebrated not reviled. How livestock and agriculture and soils can be improved to meet our future needs all around the world is a topic worthy of much more coverage here at Climatecrocks.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I’m all for sustainable livestock that is cruelty-free, not raised on marginal land and doesn’t make use of antibiotics used in human treatments. (I’m a big fan of sheep, goats and chickens raised under solar arrays.)

      It’s like nuclear power: Get rid of the high costs normally associated with it and I’ll have no problem with it.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Ducks in rice paddies, too!

  3. Brent Jensen-Schmidt Says:

    In simple terms, the ecology includes plants.
    Plants need to be recycled and renewed. Basically eaten.
    Creatures that eat plants are necessary. Their other use is to be eaten in turn, either when dead, by humans. Or, while still alive, by other creatures. Mother Nature approves both situations, even if hoomans don’t. This interesting tech above may reduce the number of ruminants. if it is worth the bother.

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