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How vertical farms are shaping the future of cultivated meat

They are a feast for the eyes: the vertical farms of the Berlin-based Lite & Fog. However, they are more than just good-looking. The farms are an upgraded version of traditional vertical farms. By using a zero-gravity irrigation system, ultrasound, and AI, the company is making sure plants are grown the best way possible, perfect for the development of cultivated meat. And there are many more applications. “Our machines will transform the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and agricultural industries,” CEO and co-founder Martin Peter says.

A brief glance at the start-up’s website, with a crisp picture of the high-tech system on the front page, was all it took to affirm that a visit would be rewarding. So I grabbed my recorder and went there to talk to Martin Peter, enjoying a cup of coffee in a large warehouse where the machines are set up.

Peter’s journey began with a unique blend of studies in physics, philosophy, and art. “The idea came during my time in Israel, where water scarcity and technological challenges prompted me to explore the use of fog for more efficient plant growth.” He didn’t do it alone, though. “I was daunted by the prospect of spreadsheets and other paperwork involved in starting a business, so I asked my father to join me. Together, we embarked on this adventure.”

Lite&Fog, founded in 2019, focuses on vertical farms that are, amongst others, needed for molecular farming. This type of farming is focused on growing genetically modified plants to produce proteins, medicines, or other valuable substances. The vertical farms of the start-up enable plants to thrive in sterile environments devoid of traditional soil by cultivating them on thin, fabric-supported structures and nourishing them through nutrient-enriched fog. Pesticides aren’t needed anymore. The company sells machinery rather than the plants themselves. “So we see ourselves as machine builders,” Peter explains.


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