Food for Thought, How to Biodesign, New Materials

Growing proteins: recap How To Biodesign #10

HTB 10

Ira van Eelen and Sander Peltenburg shared how insects and cell-based-meat can replace current animal-based meat during the last How to Biodesing meetup of 2020.

Ira explained how she advocates for better legislation on European level, so Europe’s food innovations can thrive. She proposed a way out for dairy farmers: making clean meat on the farm for local communities. With her platform Kind Earth.tech, she is constantly connecting and supporting food innovators all over the world. Sander explained how he works on making insects part of the weekly diet in all European countries by 2030: embracing taste, and creating meat looking products that are affordable and tasty.

Some of the links that were shared in our ZOOM:
About growing mealworms: https://www.plasticula.com/

William Myers shared three notes on this topic:

  1. A Not So Novel Source: Biofilms: extra-cellular platforms that can generate proteins, genetic material, sugars, and other compounds: They can be tinkered with and hacked for various purposes. See work of the WYSS Institute https://wyss.harvard.edu/technology/bind-engineered-biofilms/
  2. FOODS (for eating)
    Investment in agritech is booming:  Gingko Bioworks, Indigo Horticulture and Apeel Sciences, Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods. Tens of billions being poured into these and other firms around the world. Thomas Oudman in the Correspondent who made a critical assessment of some agricultural practices in the Netherlands.
    Speculation and future prototyping:

– Center for Genomic Gastronomy https://genomicgastronomy.com/
Next Nature Network: Bistro en Vitro https://www.nextnature.net/projects/meat-the-future/
Livin Studio founded by Katerina Unger  http://www.livinstudio.com/

  1. Making and Understanding. For modeling, understanding, and synthesizing proteins, this is BIG NEWS this week:‘It will change everything’: DeepMind’s AI makes gigantic leap in solving protein structures

Thanks to the work of Herman Weeda – visual consultant at Sketchy Business – our conversation is mapped in this drawing.

This month’s speakers

Ira van Eelen

Ira is a designer with a history of working in event design, healthcare ICT, marketing and think tanks.She is proud to be able to work on two passions. Cultured meat as a legacy from her father and preventive oral healthcare as a gift to her son. She is the chairman of the “Invitromeat Foundation” founded by her father, Willem van Eelen in 2002, member of JUST’s advisory board, Senior consultant of CAS, Co founder of Kind Earth Tech Food Europe, writer of the foreword to the Dutch, French and German translation of Paul Shapiro’s book “Clean Meat”.

Sander Peltenburg

With De Krekerij we have set the goal to have Crickets and Grasshoppers become part of Europe’s diet by 2030. This way we contribute to the sustainable protein transition. We develop products based on crickets and grasshoppers that fit our Dutch diet. These animals require significantly less water, food and land to keep compared to traditional livestock. In addition, they can be fed on residual flows that remain from primary production for humans. As a result, these animals do not compete with the food supply for the rest of the world. We are currently working on setting up this new insector as circularly as possible. However, we deliberately do not breed the animals ourselves, crickets and grasshoppers can be kept on a traditional farm.

Dairy farms that cannot keep up with these animals have an alternative. By growing crickets and grasshoppers on that current farm, they can maintain their business and become future-proof. This is not only a vision for the future, we are already implementing this plan with such a new livestock farm (JOYBugs). In the protein transition, there is often no place for current livestock farms. With De Krekerij, we can offer an alternative so that they do not disappear from the landscape. De Krekerij then ensures that with beautiful products that fit into our food culture, people are convinced to eat them and thus contribute to a sustainable society.

How to Biodesign Meetup

Climate crisis asks for regenerative design. With the meetup series How to Biodesign, BlueCity Lab provides a platform for and by bioneers (pioneers in biodesign). Together with William Myers (curator, author, and teacher in Biodesign), we explore the opportunities from a systemic approach to raw material flows, making smart use of the latest knowledge and expertise about circular design, but also from biotechnology and biochemistry.

The monthly meet-ups facilitate interaction between bioneers who are already working and those who want to get started with biodesign and biofabrication, provide a platform for sharing stories and experiences and actively share knowledge, know-how and insights from the meetups to a broader audience.

Let’s stay connected

– You are welcome to join this linkedin group for Bioneers to be able to connect with each other outside these meetups.
– Check out the Guardian article on BlueCity. And follow BlueCity Lab on instagram to stay tuned on what’s growing in our Lab
– In case you have no clue what we were talking about when mentioning the Doughnut Economy: check this video for the great work of Kate Raworth and her team.
– You’re invited to the upcoming How To Biodesign meetups, check the agenda of BlueCity for upcoming meetups.