Meet the Women Scientists Who Can Make Meat out of Thin Air

Vegan eggs, complete with shells that crack open. Bloodless brisket. Protein created out of thin air. It’s not science fiction—it’s scientific innovation! And it’s being driven by women food-tech pioneers, whose vision and creativity are revolutionizing the way we eat.

Since PETA announced a $1 million prize in 2008 to the first laboratory to use chicken cells to create commercially viable clean meat, innovation has exploded worldwide. Clean meat—also known as lab-grown or cultured meat—is real meat that’s grown from cells instead of obtained by killing animals. It has the potential to spare millions of animals suffering and death.

Here are five women in food tech who are bringing meat without murder to the table. As their companies are still in development, we’re also sharing delicious options already on the market to help you go vegan today.

Air Protein’s Dr. Lisa Dyson

There are tons of vegan foods that pack a protein punch. But did you know that protein can also come from air? At Air Protein, Dr. Lisa Dyson is doing the seemingly impossible: making a product appear out of thin air.

Plant-based meat in a taco from Air Protein
Tacos made with Air Protein meat are on the menu.

Taking inspiration from NASA scientists who tried to grow food on the moon, the team uses common elements like carbon dioxide as a starting point. They then ferment these elements in a probiotic process similar to that used in making yogurt. The final product is a complete protein rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

This “Air Protein flour” requires over a million times less land than the beef industry does—and less water, too. But the best part? No cows have to endure a terrifying one-way trip to the slaughterhouse for it. The company is 100% animal-free and 100% remarkable.

Float Foods’ Vinita Choolani

At Float Foods, Vinita Choolani is sparing chickens with her revolutionary vegan egg made from legumes. The OnlyEg has two distinct components: the yolk and the white, inside a shell that actually cracks. You can now have your “sunny-side up” and feel fantastic knowing that it didn’t harm a feather on a chicken’s head.

Plant-based egg on a plate

The OnlyEg is free of cholesterol, hormones, and the cruelty of the egg industry, which cuts off the tips of hens’ sensitive beaks, confines them to wire cages, and destroys their families. A mother hen can teach her chicks to recognize her voice before they even hatch, by clucking softly to them while they’re still inside the eggs. But in the egg industry, day-old male chicks are ground up in a high-speed industrial grinder while still alive.

Because Animals’ Dr. Shannon Falconer

Dr. Shannon Falconer spent over a decade volunteering in the animal rescue community, and her love for cats and dogs inspired her to start a company that helps them and other animals. At Because Animals, she creates cultured meat for companion animals that’s full of nutrients, free of suffering, and better for the environment. Commercial dog and cat foods produce 64 million tons of greenhouse gases every year. Cultured meat produces only a fraction of this.

Cultured meat revolution

While this product is still in development, your dogs can thrive on a nutritious, carefully planned vegan diet.

BioBQ’s Dr. Katie Kam and Dr. Janet Zoldan

In the heart of one of the world’s BBQ capitals, two women are tackling the challenge of making cultured brisket and beef jerky. At BioBQ in Austin, Texas, Dr. Katie Kam and Dr. Janet Zoldan use unique technology in cell structures to make layers of fat and marbling, creating juicy steaks without the slaughter.

Brown calf lays in grass

A longtime vegan, Dr. Kam says that speciesism is the main reason she stopped eating animals. Most humans wouldn’t dream of keeping their dog in a cramped warehouse—yet they buy the flesh of cows who are crammed together by the thousands in feces- and mud-filled holding pens. Cows can experience pain, joy, and fear, just as dogs can. They even shed tears when separated from their loved ones.

Food Tech Is the Way Forward

Clean meat isn’t a dream for the future—it’s already here. And although food tech is cutting-edge, these innovative women prove what vegans have known for centuries: You don’t need to kill animals for food. It’s time to go vegan already! Help spare cows, chickens, and pigs by purchasing exclusively slaughter-free meat.

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