With growing concerns about the decrease in fish populations around the world, it makes a lot of sense to start looking toward alternatives — and one company is doing just that. Aqua Cultured Foods creates incredibly realistic-looking sushi out of fermented mushrooms.
“We’re creating a better, more equitable and sustainable future through alternative seafood,” the Chicago-based company’s website says. And on its LinkedIn page, it refers to itself as “an alt seafood analog to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.”
Overfishing, as well as the changing ocean temperatures that have been a result of the overheating of our planet, have threatened the future of seafood consumption. While sushi and sashimi are still readily available right now, 40% of tropical fish stock could be in jeopardy by 2050, which is why sustainable alternatives are more crucial than ever.
Aqua Cultured Foods recently announced that it had raised $5.5 million in seed funding, which it will use to “equip its new facility, scale up production, bring products to market, add key talent, and expand its roster of restaurant and foodservice outlets for product introductions this year.”
Competition for the company, which describes itself as “the future of seafood,” includes Finless Foods, which has developed a plant-based vegan tuna alternative as well as a cell-cultured tuna, which is real tuna grown from cells in a lab environment.
Unlike Finless Foods, which only produces tuna products, Aqua Cultured Foods is developing a roster that includes “calamari, shrimp, scallops, and filets of tuna and whitefish with proprietary mycoprotein fermentation processes that do not use any animal inputs, genetic altering, or modification.”
Although Aqua Cultured Foods’ product certainly looks real enough, we don’t yet have any info on how it tastes, as the alt seafood has yet to hit stores and restaurants.
But judging by the comments on its Instagram, people are excited to try the products.
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