Touch the Soil News #694 (photo courtesy of Calysta – FeedKind factory in the UK)
While much of the details are proprietary (secret to the company) commercial scale operations of an unusual approach to food are coming on line this year.
The company is called Calysta. The challenge is to create a fish food that will sustain human need for fish protein, but no disassemble the global ecology. Most of the feed that fish eat in factory farms are other less-desirable fish. The fisheries of the world’s oceans can no longer sustain human withdrawals. Fish farming has grown dramatically to support human appetites and need for fish proteins.
Estimates are that fish farming produces almost half of the fish consumed today – some 85 million metric tonnes. This is equivalent to about 25 lbs. of farmed fish for every person in the world each year.
So what is the plan that Calysta (in collaboration with Cargill) has? The plan is to feed natural gas to a special micro-organism. The process creates fermentation which ultimately produces a protein that is pelletized for fish food. The product is called FeedKind.
Calysta recently announced that it just manufactured four metric tonnes (a metric tonne is 2,205 lbs.) of FeedKind that will go as samples to fish farms in the European Union, United States, Japan, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.
Calysta, in collaboration with Cargill, is building a large commercial facility for FeedKind in Memphis, Tennessee. Expectations are that it will be operational in early 2019 with a potential to ultimately produce 200,000 metric tonnes of FeedKind when operating at full capacity.
Cargill is one of the world’s largest food companies with over 140,000 employees and operations in over 65 countries.
What do you think of using fossil fuels – via microbes – to feed the fish we eat?