The Van Trump Report

NEW ‘Mega Ranch’ Turning Mushroom Roots Into Meat

Meati is a new ag company that built a sprawling new factory that can turn tens of millions of pounds of mushroom roots into chicken and steak. The company was started by Tyler Higgins who grew up in rural Montana, and his parents now raise grass-fed bison in Nebraska, so most thought Tyler would have gone into a more traditional ranching business. But when Huggins decided to work in meat production, he did it very differently: He co-founded “Meati”, which makes chicken and steaks from mushroom roots, thread-like fibers that can be transformed into food that tastes uncannily like the versions made from animals.

The company has raised +$250 million and is scaling up for mass production. As it reaches full operation later this year, it will be able to make tens of millions of pounds of its products annually, a scale comparable to the largest cattle ranches in the U.S., while using perhaps 1% of the land traditional ranches of this scale would have to use.

Using mushroom roots, or mycelium, makes it possible to better mimic the texture of meat. The process starts in massive stainless steel vessels, similar to the fermentation tanks used in a brewery, with bubbling sugar water that helps the mushroom roots quickly grow. 

After harvesting the microscopic fibers, the next step is aligning them into patterns that replicate muscle structure. “There’s no waste,” Huggins says. “We’re not extracting anything from it. This is truly a whole food.” It’s combined with a short list of other ingredients: The company’s “classic steak” is made with mushroom root, salt, natural flavor, oat fiber, and fruit and vegetable juice for color, along with lycopene, the compound that makes tomatoes and other foods red. 

Since the startup launched in 2019, it has been selling its limited production runs directly to consumers online and in a small number of stores in Colorado and Arizona. With the new facility, which is partially built and running now, it plans to expand to more than 7,000 locations nationally, both in retail stores and restaurants, by the end of 2023. You can learn more at their website HERE (Source: FastCompany, Meati, TechCrunch)

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