A recent article in The Atlantic highlighted Finless Foods, a new Silicon Valley technology company that’s working on creating seafood without harming any fish.
The company’s founders, Brian Wyrwas and Mike Selden, aim to bring their clean seafood to market by 2019. The two met in college and, after learning about the environmental impact of meat, decided to go vegetarian and work on creating sustainable food options.
Wyrwas explains that they strive to reproduce “the sound, sizzle, smell, and consistency of a fish fillet. The duo says their biggest goal is to produce a clean meat version of bluefin tuna, one of the world’s most desired fish, now severely threatened due to overfishing.
Finless Foods isn’t alone in creating meat without slaughter. Clean meat companies Clara Foods, New Wave Foods, and Memphis Meats are all working toward a cruelty-free future. These companies should have market-ready products within five years. And Finless Foods may be first. Wyrwas and Selden believe they can bring their products to market faster than their competitors in the clean meat space because, unlike land-animal cells that need to be kept warm, fish cells can be stored and worked with at room temperature.
While these clean meat companies create products from animal cells, others use only plant-based ingredients. And startups in both categories have grabbed the attention of quite a few big names, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt.
But philanthropists and tech giants aren’t the only ones investing in the future of protein; major meat companies are also taking notice. Tyson Foods started a venture capital fund to invest in plant-based and sustainable protein options, and Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Hungry Man meals, bought Gardein. And just last month, Cargill invested in Memphis Meats.
Commercial fisheries are one of the largest threats to fish populations and vital aquatic ecosystems. But not only is fishing unsustainable; it’s also unspeakably cruel, as a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation at a fish slaughter facility revealed.