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US - Food made from natural gas will soon feed farm animals - and us

A biotechnology company called Calysta, based in Menlo Park, California, is set to announce the first ever large-scale factory that uses microbes to turn natural gas – methane – into a high-protein food for the animals we eat. The factory which will be built in the US in collaboration with food-giant Cargill, will produce 200,000 tonnes of feed a year.

November 17, 2016

A biotechnology company called Calysta, based in Menlo Park, California, is set to announce the first ever large-scale factory that uses microbes to turn natural gas – methane – into a high-protein food for the animals we eat. The factory which will be built in the US in collaboration with food-giant Cargill, will produce 200,000 tonnes of feed a year.

The methane-made food has already been approved in the European Union for feeding to farmed fish and livestock such as pigs. Calysta is seeing approval in the US, too – and not just for farm animals. “We want to take it all the way to cats and dogs, and potentially even humans,” says the head of Calysta, Alan Shaw.

Is turning fossil fuels into food for livestock a good idea? That depends on what you think is most important when it comes to protecting the environment.

If done on a large scale, the process would reduce the demand for land to grow food for livestock, as well as the demand for fishmeal to feed to farmed fish. “You need millions of tonnes to have an impact,” says Shaw. 

Source: New Scientist // Original Article

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