We’re in a time and place where nut milks and natural sweeteners are the norm. Born out of the desire for alternatives, the food system is constantly being pushed forward by innovations. Synthetic is on the opposite side of the spectrum from organically grown, but there’s enough drive behind some of these products to shift perceptions about these man-made foods.
Meat alternatives have been on the rise, showcasing largely unheard of ingredients that rival the texture of meat, shoving aside the soy laden options that dominated pre-prepared vegan fare for so long. Yet, there hasn’t been a bonafide replacement for the taste and texture that natural meat offers… Until now. Enter “clean meat”. Memphis Meats Inc. is by stepping the need to raise and slaughter livestock by creating a meat with cell cultures. Producing this at a mass scale would mitigate the issues that the current meat industry struggles with today, such as energy and water usage, as well as food safety. This new meat is slated to be similar in cost to traditional meat.
Wine is an ancient and beloved drink. Today, its scale of production taps into a lot of precious resources to grow the grapes from which it is made. Ava Winery is producing synthetic wine that comes with all the fragrance and alcoholic buzz as your favorite wine, but that uses a fraction of the resources that natural wine does. The company advocates for transparency, sustainability and cost efficiency.
While synthetic food businesses are seeing a bright future, companies are experimenting in other innovative ways to shift what food can do. Miso paste is traditionally known to be made from soybeans, but a slew of miso pastes made from different beans and grains are popping up. Nonfood focuses on creating an array of products made from algae. The first up for grabs is the Nonbar – a bar made from algae protein, but company founder Sean Raspet has an algae based chocolate bar in the works that “has the look, consistency, and flavor of chocolate”.
As more companies get on board with sustainable solutions, the idea of eating synthetically produced staples will grow much more familiar with time.