Scientists Just Made Food from Electricity
An edible protein powder made of thin air might be the solution to famine.
Famine is still a very real issue facing Earth today. According to Action Against Hunger, a whopping one in eight people don't get enough food to eat, and the number of hungry people in the world is bigger than the population of the European Union, the U.S., and Canada combined. That's why it's so important that researchers in Finland just discovered how to make food out of electricity. Lappeenranta University of Technology and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland collaborated on a project aptly entitled "Food From Electricity" to create an edible protein powder out of water, carbon dioxide, microbes, and electricity.
"Protein produced in this way can be further developed for use as food and animal feed," states a press release from LUT. "The method released food production from restrictions related to the environment. The protein can be produced anywhere renewable energy, such as solar energy, is available."
The protein powder probably doesn't taste the best, granted—it's over 50% protein and 25% carbohydrates, with the rest consisting of "fats and nucleic acids"—but VTT lead scientists Juha Pekka Pitkänen said in the release that the powder is “very nutritious” and could be revolutionary:
"In practice, all the raw materials are available from the air. In the future, the technology can be transported to, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine. One possible alternative is a home reactor, a type of domestic appliance that the consumer can use to produce the needed protein.”
LUT professor Jero Ahola also added that creating the substances is considerably easier than "traditional agriculture" as it doesn't require good soil or adequate rainfall:
"Compared to traditional agriculture, the production method currently under development does not require a location with the conditions for agriculture, such as the right temperature, humidity or a certain soil type.”