• Business Business

Bezos Earth Fund spends $30 million on facility to research proteins of the future: 'To feed a growing world population in an economically and environmentally sustainable way'

"We're thankful for the support from the Bezos Earth Fund."

"We’re thankful for the support from the Bezos Earth Fund."

Photo Credit: NC Food Innovation Lab

The Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein will be a biomanufacturing hub to create sustainable protein alternatives that are healthy and affordable. 

The Bezos Earth Fund is giving North Carolina State University $30 million to create the center. This funding is part of Earth Fund's larger commitment of $100 million to build centers to expand consumers' choice of sustainable alternative proteins, Vegconomist reported. 

The Earth Fund was started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. According to the foundation's website, "The Earth Fund was created by a commitment of $10 billion from Jeff Bezos in 2020 to be disbursed as grants to address climate and nature within the current decade."

North Carolina State will collaborate with academic partners such as North Carolina A&T State University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Duke University, and Forsyth Tech Community College. Over 20 industry partners will be involved in the center, facilitating technology transfer, student internships, and mentorship programs. 

Believer Meats is one of the partners. The company recently opened a commercial-scale facility and is expected to produce 26 million pounds of cultivated meat yearly. It also is expected to create 100 jobs. 

The center is also expected to foster job creation because of the biomanufacturing firms it will attract to North Carolina. 

Chancellor Randy Woodson of North Carolina State said, "We're thankful for the support from the Bezos Earth Fund that will help drive economic and workforce development in this critical area of sustainable protein production to feed a growing world population in an economically and environmentally sustainable way."

According to Our World Data, food production makes up one-quarter of the world's pollution. Livestock outnumber wild mammals 15-to-1. In addition, the agriculture industry requires large amounts of water, and 70% of freshwater withdrawals go to the industry. 

Switching to sustainable proteins could reduce the impact on the Earth. A study published in the Nature Communications journal showed that replacing meat products with sustainable alternatives could reduce 2020 pollution levels from this industry by a third by 2050. 

🗣️ Should billionaires be spending their fortunes to help out new companies?

🔘 YES 👍

🔘 NO 👎

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Other research is also happening around sustainable protein alternatives. For instance, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, the University of Bristol, University College London, and the University of Copenhagen have found that blue-green algae could give these alternatives a more meat-like texture. 

The blue-green algae is similar to meat because it also contains fatty acids and protein, and the protein resembles meat fibers. 

Reducing agriculture pollution can boost the health of communities that live by farms because improving the air quality can benefit heart and lung health. 

You can also help reduce pollution in the agriculture industry by buying from brands that offer eco-friendly products and initiatives. Supporting eco-friendly businesses will incentivize companies to treat the planet better. 

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider