Lately, Madrid has become the global meeting point in the fight for international climate change. Last week, states met in the capital of Spain to discuss the development of the Paris Agreement for COP25, and to commit to further reducing their emissions across the board. It was an important week for global change and therefore, we decided to dedicate a post to sustainability, offering you 6 food startups that are driving solutions for the biggest problems caused by industrialization and population growth. These companies rightfully assume that nature and the environment are not an inexhaustible source of resources for the human race, with its protection and rational use being necessary if we want to make real change.
Image: Air Protein
Several studies state that plant-based protein has a much smaller environmental impact than that of animal origin. However, are there any other sources of protein out there asides from plant-based?
Air Protein is a pioneer startup making waves in a new category of consumption: air-based foods. The company, developed at the University of Berkeley, has just manufactured the world´s first air-based meat.
The transformation of the air particles we breathe into proteins will revolutionize the way we approach food production in the future. The production process requires elements that are found in the air and combined with water and mineral nutrients. Air Protein is transforming the food industry by using renewable energy and taking advantage of a probiotic production process to convert the elements into proteins rich in nutrients and with the exact amino acid profile as animal protein.
Image: Satisfied Snacks
The British startup Satisfied Snacks knows how to turn a fresh salad into a crispy and highly nutritious chip. This innovative offering doesn´t carry wheat, corn, potatoes or other starchy ingredients and is something completely new on the snacks market.
Satisfied Snacks uses 100% renewable energy that is generated onsite to produce these salad chips. A biomass boiler provides heat to dry and recover cooking oil for electricity. In addition, its packaging is 100% recyclable, sold in a 100% plastic-free metal can, that enables consumers to keep their snacks fresh and flavorful. And the best part? The packaging can be recycled again and again…
Image: James Dyson Foundation
MarinaTex has developed a new packaging prototype made of fish and seaweed surplus. The best thing about this innovative packaging solution is that if it ends up in the ocean, it won´t cause any danger to sea life.
The inventor of MarinaTex is Lucy Hughes, who after having visited a fish processing plant, realized the huge amount of waste generated by the industry. Unlike some “compostable” plastics, the new material can decompose in a composting container within four to six weeks. “All the ingredients are suitable for food,” says Hughes. “Therefore, its degradation time is very similar to a piece of food.”
Image: Freight Farms
Freight Farms, a Boston-based startup, develops shipping containers converted into autonomous farms. Freight Farms allows customers to grow fresh products with LED and hydroponics in any type of environment. The high-tech ConnectTM application allows remote monitoring by controlling certain aspects of the farm, such as humidity and temperature.
The Spanish Souji, who participated in our round table “Contribution of startups to large cmpanies” at Gastroemprendedores Think Global back in July, has manufactured a chemical component that when mixed with vegetable fat, creates a multipurpose soap that can be used for household cleaning, laundry detergent, as well as for the dishwasher and floor. In this way, they are contributing to the creation of new products from the disposal of another.
We are finishing our list strong with Notpla! Notpla, based in the United Kingdom and co-founded by Spaniard Rodrigo García Gonzalez and Frenchman Pierre Paslier, is a sustainable packaging startup which is gaining traction in the food industry thanks to its cutting-edge solution called Ooho. Ooho is a flexible container for drinks and sauces. It is made of Notpla, a material that is a combination of both seaweed and plants.
Brown algae do not compete with food crops, do not require fresh water or fertilizers and actively contribute to the deacidification of our oceans. Ooho biodegrades in 4-6 weeks, or you can simply eat it, making it a tasty on-the-go snack, too!