As we raise more livestock for food, sustainability is steadily becoming more of an issue as we use up more natural resources and pollute the Earth. Given the more than seven billion people living on Earth, food production is an important task to fulfill, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t damage done and it certainly doesn’t mean that the damage should be ignored.
While raising plants requires raw materials and has its set of negative environmental impacts, it uses far fewer resources and gives back many vital nutrients to the planet. According to PETA, in America, it takes 2500 gallons of water to make a pound of meat and 400 gallons to make a pound of cheese, while it only takes 25 gallons of water to make a pound of wheat. In addition, producing one calorie of meat protein demands ten times the fossil fuel needed to produce one calorie of plant protein.
Luckily, people realize this difference and have created start-up companies to battle these concerns. While all these companies have different approaches and techniques, they all share a common goal of finding sustainable ways to feed the ever-growing population. Here is a list of ten start-ups that are working to sustainably change the way we eat in hopes of decreasing the damage done to the planet.
1. Memphis Meats
Memphis Meats is getting its hands dirty in science labs and conducting what’s basically stem cell research for meats. They produce meat by culturing cattle cells in bioreactor tanks. Their goal is to produce meat from petri dishes rather than an animal. Freaky? Sure, but it’s pretty cool and they’ve already done it with their meatball.
2. Kite Hill
Unlike Memphis Meats, Kite Hill directs their attention to dairy products like various cheeses and yogurts. Instead of getting milk from cattle or other livestock, this start-up uses milk extracted from nuts. Nut trees not only use less resources, but they give back to the planet by “sequestering carbon.”
3. Beyond Meat
From the start, Beyond Meat attracted big name investors like Bill Gates and has been growing ever since. All its products – from chicken tenders to single meal packages – are sold at Whole Foods and are all made from meat produced from pea and soybean protein.
Drinking all your meals is essentially the vision of Soylent. Drinking one of their powder and oil-based products will get you all the nutrients you should be getting in a meal. No need to separately get your veggies out and cook the protein, it’s all there in one glass.
6. Impossible Foods
Impossible Foods is also tackling the task of creating animal-free meat products, but currently, they are focusing on making the perfect meatless burger with their Impossible Burger. They use the heme protein from plants to recreate the meaty flavor. With their burger, you get something that tastes and looks like burger without the need to worry about harmful hormones, pesticides, and other additives. How great is that?
Gelatin is an ingredient present in many products from gummy bears to medicinal ointments. Unfortunately, it’s usually derived from animals which prevents some vegetarians from being able to use these products. Lucky for them, Gelzen is working to producing animal-free gelatin so that all people can enjoy gelatin-containing products without any hesitation.
8. Nutek Salt
No matter what you cook, you almost always need salt, but consuming too much of it isn’t so great for your health either. Who’s the culprit? Sodium. That’s why Nutek Salt created salt using potassium, a vital nutrient that most people lack in their diets.
9. Hampton Creek
Instead of replacing meat with plant protein, Hampton Creek is a company that has successfully replaced eggs with plant protein in products like cookie dough and mayonnaise. Their products can be found in many stores such as Target, Walmart and Whole Foods.
10. Modern Meadow
Modern Meadow is a company initially established with a focus on making animal-free leather, but is expanding to edible products. Details aren’t available to the public yet, but 3D-printed meat is in the works. This means a more sterile environment for meat production.