In the middle of the debate about eating meat, a company has developed a type of plant meat, Fy, that does not need water or light. The invention, supported by NASA, is based on the cultivation of mushrooms.
Mushrooms could be the key to sustainable food
Nature’s Fynd is no stranger to these kinds of culinary breakthroughs. It is a company that has already made great inventions in the past in this field, developing high-quality artificial meat suitable for mass consumption. On this occasion, as Gizmodo reports, it has been made based on a very special type of microorganisms. We are talking about the Extremophilic fungi found in the geysers of the Yellowstone Natural Park, accustomed to a hostile climate and unfit for life in general, which could be the key to sustainably feeding millions of humans in the future. This type of meat grows without rain, earth, sun, or air, and both NASA and the aforementioned Bill Gates, have decided to support its development with a view to its large-scale commercialization.
It is not just another invention that seeks to grab headlines. The founder and director of Nature’s Fynd is a reputed biologist named Mark Kozubal who began his career studying the Extremophilic organisms that grow in Yellowstone’s natural springs. One day, he found a fungus called Fusarium strain flavolapis that is capable of growing in conditions that would kill almost any other life. When he tested its resistance, Kozubal decided to do trial and error work to build a sustainable and cheap form of food around its qualities.
After setting up the company, which has been operating since 2012, it has received more than 158 million dollars in investments, with the support of the Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg. After grabbing the attention of all philanthropists, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to support the idea, and, due to its high nutritional qualities, it has obtained the green light from the FDA to sell its products throughout the country.
Kozubal and his team have found a way to mass cultivate the mushroom with a very simple type of fermentation, allowing the body to grow into crossed filaments very similar to the texture of muscle fibers in meat. Receiving the trade name of Fy, this fluffy, soft white dough looks almost like a flour-based dough of the kind used to make bread, but it doesn’t have the classic look of other vegan products that try to simulate the flavor or the texture of the meat. As the company has explained, it is perhaps its greatest factor of commercial success. The raw protein of this mushroom can be prepared as conventional meat, as a powder, or even in a liquid solution, allowing a large number of options to the consumer and to the distributors themselves.
Natural protein requires fewer resources to manufacture and is up to 3.6 times more efficient than the meat or livestock industry, consuming less energy and resources from our planet. What nutritional foundations does this mushroom have? Well, several. Thanks to its composition, it has up to 9 essential amino acids that serve to develop muscle tissue, providing calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and iron to the consumer, who can also find fiber. Taking into account food trends and outrages that some fast-food chains commit in their recipes, it seems that Fy’s idea is not as bad as we may think at first.