CCC: Saving the World with (Vegan) Science

At the 33rd edition of the Chaos Communication Congress which takes place from December 27 to 30 in Hamburg, biohacking is also an issue that will be discussed by the hacker community.  PhD chemist Benjamin Rupert who has worked on energy storage, solar energy, and technologies related to nuclear disarmament is going to describe the science behind new high tech vegan foods which will replace animal agriculture. „Climate change is the most pressing issues ever faced by humans. While many people are aware of the need for renewable energy, electric vehicles and more efficient homes and manufacturing, fewer people are aware that animal agriculture is a major issue which must be addressed“, states Benjamin Rupert. „In fact animal agriculture is one of the highest impact human activities, producing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental damage on par with worldwide transportation and industrial manufacturing.“


Rather than convincing people to give up animal products, some groups (academic, industrial and biohackers) are using science to produce near-identical, or in some cases identical replacements for these products, as the chemist point out. „Replacing animal products will greatly reduce the environmental impact of our diets, without making people give up the food they desire.“ The animal rights activist and biohacker is working on producing milk proteins in yeast in order to make vegan cheese which is identical to the animal derived version.


„I will discuss various approaches including plant protein databases used for engineering realistic animal product replacement, production of proteins in genetically modified microorganisms, and culturing of animal cells without the growing of a whole animal. The science behind these approaches, potential impact, and progress by various players in these fields will be presented. Finally I give a progress update on the Real Vegan Cheese project, which is run out of biohacker spaces in the SF bay area and aims to produce real cheese from engineered yeast.“


The Science presentation will take place at the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) in room G on December 29 at 9.15 pm. The event will also be streamed online.


Photo: CC-By 2.0, t-h-s

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