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The Miracle of Small Things: Spilled Milk #144
Why I'm optimistic about Fy, a new type of protein.
One tiny seed can grow into a tree almost 400 feet tall. A single bee can pollinate 5,000 flowers a day. A drop of ocean water can sustain over 1,000,000 life forms. There is nothing more powerful than tiny, small steps. From these smallest of impactful beginnings, come the largest. I found another one I want to share with you.
Lots of food talk is awful these days. Hunger is up at home and abroad, and waste remains steady. Food chains of all types remain easily destabilized. Costs for food are skyrocketing, and eating well and healthily in America has never been more challenging. In Massachusetts, just to name one state, food rescue and family aid organizations are stressed to the point of breaking. One food rescue agency, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, has a waiting list of 200 statewide groups requesting food for the families they serve, and they are onboarding three to four new groups a week to their waiting list.
People ask how I do it all. The truth is, I don’t. For a few dollars a month, you can support Spilled Milk and the team that makes it.
BUT when it comes to solving a global crisis, there is some amazing work being done. And today I am so hopeful because of a cool new scientific “discovery” and a massive breakthrough in scaling into a group of food products that I believe will change the game in a big way. The company I’m so hopeful about is named Nature's Fynd.
Yes, I am doing work for the company, which I RARELY do, because if my name is associated with something I need it to matter to you and to our planet — and it needs to be fairly available to all. I tried their Dairy-Free Cream Cheese almost a year ago and was stunned that it was made without dairy. And it was so delicious. When I tried it on a bagel, I assumed it was just a great new type of cream cheese.
I believe this is a food that will change the outcomes for hunger relief, rising costs and access for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Nature’s Fynd has several CURRENT products in their portfolio, and as someone who has universally deplored plant based meats for years with one notable exception, I think Nature’s Fynd is RADICALLY different. Read on for the skinny, and this Wednesday, we will have some recipes coming out on my social and here on my Substack for two Nature’s Fynd products.
So while many plant- and cell-based foods taste awful, don’t span food types, are expensive to make, can’t scale, are too expensive, distract investment from places we really need it more (looking at you cell-based fish) and a dozen other good reasons to not get excited, Fynd is based on a cool new natural substance found in Yellowstone National Park. It’s called Fy.
Nature’s Fynd grows Fy, a nutritional fungi protein, like a mushroom, packed with all twenty amino acids, including the nine essential ones, Fy is a good source of fiber and is low in fat. Using a breakthrough fermentation, they grow Fy using 99 percent less land and 99 percent less water — and by emitting 94 percent fewer greenhouse gases than beef. If we want to feed our hungry planet for generations to come, this is how we will do it.
In 2009, doing research for NASA on extremophiles, a Nature’s Fynd co-founder was in the Yellowstone’s hot springs.
There, he found a microbe that belongs to the fungi kingdom — the same kingdom as edible mushrooms — that displayed incredible natural resourcefulness. One specimen isolated from a small sample collected in Yellowstone is all it takes to create a virtually unlimited supply of Fy. Inspired by nature, the company developed a breakthrough fermentation technology called liquid-air interface fermentation. It allows Nature’s Fynd to grow this new-to-the-world protein 24/7, 365 days a year without the need for rain, sun, or soil.
HOW AMAZING IS THAT!!
On a food-chain-wide scale, Fy is a source of what is called net new protein. New sources of protein are unusual. Many alternatives, like pea or soy proteins, convert an existing protein from one form into another—like from a pea into a protein isolate used in a veggie burger. Meanwhile, animals only concentrate protein. But, with Fy, they have introduced a new protein into our world, converting simple ingredients into the protein we need through fermentation with no middleman. This means less wasted space and energy … and it is grown without the use of antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides.
We only have one planet to call home — and an exponentially growing population of resource-hungry humans — so feeding everyone will take some ingenious solutions. And I believe we need the kind of optimism that stares down humanity's biggest challenges and says, “We can solve that.”
Those are just the kind of solutions the explorers, scientists and optimists at Nature’s Fynd are relentlessly working on. It’s simple, really: How we choose to feed ourselves affects our future.
Join me in being optimistic about the future, about the planet’s prospects, and about making a real impact.