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Food Trends Health Plant-Based Products Science Technology

This New Protein Made from Thin Air Might Just Save the Planet

Photo: Solarfoods.fi for Solar Foods

In what is perhaps one of the most interesting and oddly inventive ideas ever introduced to the world of food, Finnish based Solar Foods has created a protein made from thin air. Founded in 2017, Solar Foods is a food-tech company that specializes in innovative food production on a global scale. Their new creation is called Solein® and is dubbed a revolutionary bio-tech solution that enables natural protein production using renewable air and electricity. Naturally, these simple ingredients are utilized by a rather unique yet complex method called bioprocess. Bioprocess uses complete living cells or their components (e.g. bacteria, enzymes, chloroplasts) to obtain desired products. What that means in layman’s terms is that Solein® has the potential to be a new alternative to plant-based and animal-based protein that doesn’t rely on terrestrial resources. 

This is significant because the food industry has a massive impact on worldwide carbon emissions. It’s reported that livestock contribute 14.5% of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions. Anthropogenic means man-made. That’s the equivalent of 7.1 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide. To get a sense of the scale, here’s an excerpt from The Washington Post, written by reporter Chris Mooney:

“In the International System of Units, the prefix “giga” means 109, or one billion (1,000,000,000). Hence terms like “gigawatt” or “gigahertz.” Thus, a gigaton is equivalent to a billion metric tons.

A male African elephant might weigh, at most, 6.8 metric tons, according to the San Diego Zoo. So a gigaton is well over a hundred million African elephants. As for sea life, the blue whale can weigh as much as 146 metric tons, according to NOAA. So a gigaton is more than 6 million blue whales.”

“We’ve set out to change humankind’s approach to food,” Pasi Vainikka, Solar Foods CEO says. Suffice to say, it requires thinking outside of the box to truly combat this cubicle of impending crisis. Using renewable air and electricity, Solar Foods’ believes Solein® will help create a new era of food diversity. Time will determine the effectiveness of this new protein. If the fate of the world interests you, further information about Solein® can be found here.

Photo: Solarfoods.fi for Solar Foods
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Cravings Health Packaged Food Plant-Based Products

8 Vegan Cheeses You’ll Want To Add To Your Plant-Based Bucket List

Groundhouse’s Vegan Burger

For the majority of my life, I’ve experienced the bitter taste of lactose intolerance in my gut and in my soul. As a result, I simply avoided milk and cheese at all costs. Unfortunately, the siren song of a juicy burger with a hearty slice of cheese or a piping hot pizza straight from the oven would often haunt me.

As many coworkers have pointed out when I mention how much I miss cheese, we now live in an age where plant-based cheese alternatives are bountiful. Some are developed enough to just hit the spot, while others are so close that you actually can’t tell the difference between them or the real thing.

Check out some of the top vegan cheese brands currently in the market, each accessible through the click of a mouse or a trip to a speciality store. Going to make a bucket list to get my hands on each and every one of these. Stay tuned for a follow up with my thoughts!


Follow Your Heart

One of the more popular brands of vegan cheese slices, you’ll find Follow Your Heart on the menu of viral vegan burger chains like Monty’s Good Burger. I’ve had their cheddar on many a vegan burger, and frankly, it tastes nearly identical.

Kite Hill

 

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While Kite Hill is probably best known for their yogurts, they also produce almond milk-based cheeses such as ricotta. According to fellow Foodbeast, Constantine Spyrou, their plant-based ricotta is probably one of the best vegan cheese substitutes he’s had.

Miyoko’s Creamery

 

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The passion project of award-winning vegan chef Miyoko Schinner, Mikoyo’s Creamery is believed to be one of the first brands to bring vegan cheeses into the mainstream. Mikoyo produces high-quality cheeses from nut milks that even include artisanal vegan cheese wheels.

Violife

The first time I got to try Violife cheese, it was at a Natural Food and Products Expo. Violife makes a variety of vegan cheese options like cream cheese, parmesan, feta, smoked provolone, and cheddar. However, their take on queso was truly a mouthwatering experience.

Good Planet Foods

 

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Good Planet Foods prides themselves in a variety of tastes that tailor themselves to the consumer. What draws me to their brand of cheese is that the slices come in a bevy of unique flavors such as garlic and herb, hot pepper, and tomato basil.

Parmela Creamery

 

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Parmela Creamery draws from the subtle flavors that come from cashews. The company utilizes a slow-aging process for their nut cheeses that unlocks rich authentic flavors. Products include cheese spreads, meltable slices, cheese sauces, and meltable shredded cheese.

Wayfare

 

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A good smoked salmon bagel is something I’ll never turn down — even if the lactose gets the best of me for the rest of the day. Fortunately, Wayfare Foods specializes in dairy-free cream cheeses (with flavors like onion chive, green olive, and jalapeño) that may be the perfect solution to my bagel predicament.

Bute Island

 

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Foodbeast’s Analiese Trimber, a fellow lactose-intolerant soul who’s tried nearly every iteration of vegan cheeses, told me that Bute Islands was one of the best vegan cheeses she’s experienced.

“My favorite was the Greek style,” she said. “It was fashioned after feta cheese and their rendition was super creamy and slightly tangy, just like a good feta.”