News Digest Item
21 Jun 2018

Space food for cows

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Cultivating feed in industrial facilities rather than on croplands, using a method originally developed during the Cold War for space travel, could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative implications for the environment, according to a study published by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Microbes can be cultivated with energy, nitrogen, and carbon in industrial facilities to produce protein powders, which are then fed instead of soybeans to animals. “Without drastic changes to the agro-food system, the rising food and animal feed demand that comes with our meat-based diets will lead to continuous deforestation, biodiversity loss, nutrient pollution, and climate-impacting emissions,” writes the PIK in a press release. The researchers find that by replacing only two percent of livestock feed by protein-rich microbes, more than five percent of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, global cropland area and global nitrogen losses could each be decreased.

Find the press release in English here, the article in English here, and a video in English here.

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