This Company Just Created 'Meat' From Air

The domain of science fiction is shrinking into science fact — the same week we learned you can make vodka from carbon dioxide, the company Air Protein has announced it can conjure a form of meat from thin air. According to CNET, the end result looks "much like a protein powder, but consists only of elements found in the air, specifically carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen, which are then blended with water and mineral nutrients to create a base."

That base can then be used to make anything from chicken, burgers, turkey to protein-enriched pastas, cereals and beverages. How are they doing this? Apparently, Air Protein combines renewable energy and a probiotic fermentation process to convert the base elements from air into an edible product –the powder base — that boasts a similar amino acid profile to what you'd find in real meat. Best of all, it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

On top of that, Air Protein is also "fortified with vitamins, including vitamin B12, which is primarily found in animal products and is difficult for many vegans and vegetarians to get enough of in their diets."

Meat from air? No whey!

Similar to the plant-based vegan burger which has garnered so much attention in the last year, even making it into Burger King, Air Protein has huge potential implications for anyone at risk of protein deficiency, which could mean anyone from vegans to those without access to proper nutrition. It is a peek into a more sustainable future. 

Lisa Dyson, the CEO of Air Protein, started the company after "realizing that single-cell organisms could convert carbon dioxide into nutrients." Her line of thought was basically — if single-celled organisms can do it, why can't we? Score one for humanity's hubris. 

According to Popular Mechanics, Air Protein's sister company is Kivedi, which uses carbon dioxide to make environmentally friendly products like plastics and soil. While the company has seen early success in production of its "air meat powder", it's a long way from hitting shelves anytime soon. You know, we have to test it for years and years first to ensure it's actually good for us and won't turn humanity into some hulking, horrifying gaseous protein monster like the kind hanging out at your local Planet Fitness.

Still, in a world where the sad reality of factory farming is becoming more and more visible, it's good to know there are other alternatives to old Colonel Sanders' factory favorite.