Fungus Found in Yellowstone Hot Spring Is Key Ingredient in New Meat Substitute
Chicago-based startup Nature's Fynd is using the fungus to develop products from chicken nuggets to yogurt.
In 2009, a team of researchers discovered a previously unknown microbe in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. Now, the fungus is the star ingredient in a new line of food products.
"It was very, very high in protein. And it's actually a very exciting protein because it's a complete protein," says Thomas Jonas, CEO of Nature's Fynd. "There are really not that many sources of complete protein out there."
Jonas's Chicago-based startup developed a process to ferment the fungus and create what's now called Fy protein. They're using it to make a variety of foods.
"So we've been able to make things that range from chicken nuggets, hamburgers, breakfast sausages to yogurts and cheese," Jonas says.
Earlier this year, the company offered a limited line of cream cheese and breakfast sausage on its website. Jonas says the products will soon be sold at stores.
He foresees growing demand for protein-filled foods produced more sustainably than meat and dairy.
"That whole supply chain is completely inefficient and using a tremendous amount of resources of land, of water, energy," he says.
So Jonas says Fy could provide a more climate-friendly alternative.
Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak / ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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