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This Chicago-based company, Nature’s Fynd, is using fungi from Yellowstone National Park to grow vegan protein products.

Source: CBS Chicago/Youtube

Nature’s Fynd makes their revolutionary protein product from the fungi called Fy. They use their Fy Protein to make Meatless Breakfast Patties and Dairy-Free Cream Cheese that are available in select grocery stores. To produce the Fy protein, they do not need pesticides, insecticides, or hormones, Thomas Jonas, CEO and co-founder of Nature’s Fynd, told CBS News.

Fy is unique because it is not animal-based or plant-based, it is made from microbes.

“If you ever had a beer in your life, if you ever had a piece of cheese in your life, then you probably have – you actually have – eaten something that is made with microbes,” said Jonas.

Microbes get loaded with nutrients and multiples in a fermentation room. When it grows, it becomes a solid protein, and after just four days, a robot helps harvest the Fy. After that, Nature’s Fynd processes the fungi and packages them into their two current products.

The edible fungi come from acidic springs in Yellowstone National Park. It was first discovered as a part of the NASA-funded research mission about life in extreme environments.

“It was very important for us to give back to the park. We think the park mission is something that was really meaningful and important for all of us,” said Jonas. “So, we approached the park and actually put in place a benefits-sharing program. And we’re very proud of that. It’s something that matters to us.”

After the devastating floods in Yellowstone, the company donated to flooding relief efforts.

The company is now working on a second factory and testing new products to expand its menu. In the meantime, in just a few weeks, the company is scheduled to go into space, where they will see if Fy can be grown on the International Space Station to provide food to astronauts.

Curious about other ways to get enough protein on a vegan diet? Check out the following resources:

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