CAN (BC): Vancouver company wants to bring fungi protein to Mars

Fungi protein is a front-runner in a race to Mars. The product promises to help feed astronauts on a three-year mission – while also helping solve food insecurity on Earth.

A mycoprotein collaboration between North Vancouver-based companies Ecoation and Maia Farms is one of four finalists in the Canadian Space Agency and NASA’s Deep Space Food Challenge, a competition where researchers and entrepreneurs propose solutions for one of space travel’s greatest challenges: keeping astronauts fed with healthy and tasty food for three years, with little to no water or sunlight.

And with the global population set to hit 9.5 billion by 2050 and climate change wreaking havoc on traditional agricultural production, the space agencies’ challenge is fostering innovative solutions for one of Earth’s most acute problems: food insecurity.

Ecoation’s fungi-based product is part of a mycoprotein global market projected to reach US$ 1.1 billion by 2030. The ingredient is promoted as one of the solutions to the global shortage of protein, the macronutrient most in-demand yet also the most land-intensive, inefficient, and unsustainable.

The only question is whether production capacity will be able to keep up with demand.


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