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The companies making flour from mushrooms and cauliflower

Hyfé Foods Co-Founders Michelle Ruiz And Andrea SchoenKevin Serna

When Michelle Ruiz’s mum was identified with pre-diabetes in 2020, the Chicago-based chemical engineer got down to enhance not simply her circle of relatives’s well being however everybody’s.

“Foods containing refined carbs [like white flour] are leading drivers of chronic illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease,” says Ms Ruiz.

But flour, she says, is culturally ingrained in our lives.

“I wanted to help people enjoy food culture – and still live long and healthy lives.”

In 2021, she co-founded Hyfé Foods. Hyfé makes use of the basis community of mushrooms, known as mycelium, to make an alternative choice to wheat flour.

“In addition to the neutral taste, mycelium is high-protein, high-fibre, gluten-free and low carb,” says Ms Ruiz.

Producing mycelium, nonetheless, is water-intensive and costly due to the sugars wanted to feed the fungi.

Mycelium Pearls

Hyfé Foods

To handle this, Hyfé makes use of waste sugar water from meals manufacturing.

“Our goal is to scale our technology so that we can achieve price parity, which is why we use upcycled sugar water,” says Ms Ruiz. “Up to half of the cost of fermentation can be attributed to sugar, so upcycling can make a meaningful difference to the cost of production.”

Affordable options to wheat are gaining consideration, significantly after a yr of disruption to the grain market.

The struggle in Ukraine has highlighted our dependence on the wheat harvests that circulation from the area.

Russia and Ukraine collectively account for nearly a 3rd of worldwide wheat provides. The struggle has disrupted that circulation of meals. In July this yr, wheat costs had been almost 25% larger than in July 2021.

Record excessive meals costs have triggered a worldwide starvation disaster of unprecedented proportions.

According to the World Food Programme, the variety of individuals going through acute meals insecurity has greater than doubled in simply two years, from 135 million in 53 nations to 345 million in 82 nations right now.

On high of that, we’re beginning to see the impression of local weather change. Crops are struggling below the results of maximum climate.

A 2021 report from Chatham House warns that except we drastically scale back world emissions, by 2050 staple crop yields may decline by nearly a 3rd.

Harvard University scientists say even when we do handle to restrict world warming to 2C, as set out by the Paris Agreement, 60% of the world’s wheat manufacturing will probably be below risk by the tip of the century.

Shailaja Fennell

Patricia Boulhosa

“Even before Ukraine, we had a broken system,” says Shailaja Fennell, growth economist at Cambridge University and founding member of the Forgotten Crops Society.

“While we produced more than enough food, the cost of that food to the environment is already a major concern.”

Prof Fennell warns that monoculture farming – rising one crop species in a subject at a time – just isn’t sustainable.

“[Monoculture crops] are much more susceptible to climate shocks, diseases and drought. Having a more diversified agriculture is the way forward.”

An Egyptian Girl Takes Part In Wheat Harvest In Bamha Village Near Al-Ayyat Town In Giza Province, Some 60Km South Of The Capital On May 17, 2022.

Getty Images

To fight meals insecurity some nations, together with China and Egypt, are ramping up home wheat manufacturing. Wheat is even being planted within the Egyptian desert.

Instead of making an attempt to develop extra wheat, Prof Fennell suggests we glance to different cereals, ones which have been forgotten by the worldwide provide chain.

“There is a whole group of cereals called millets – small-seeded grasses similar to oats and barley – that are more hardy, use less water and are gluten-free,” she says.

Such options, says Prof Fennell, can have dietary advantages over wheat and can be of big curiosity to the pasta business.

Presentational Grey Line

Presentational Grey Line

Pasta is a staple meals for tens of millions of individuals worldwide. It is simple to retailer when dried, easy to arrange and economical.

According to the International Pasta Organisation almost 17 million tonnes of pasta was produced in 2021 – greater than double the quantity produced 20 years in the past.

Durum wheat, from which pasta is often made, is excessive yielding and gives about 20% of all energy consumed by people. In truth, about two-thirds of our every day energy come from simply three crops – wheat, rice and maize.

By 2050, the worldwide inhabitants is predicted to rise to nearly 10 billion, placing excessive pressure on our planet’s assets.

So since there are about 50,000 edible plant species, maybe it’s time to discover our choices.

People In A Miscusi Restaurant


In London’s Covent Garden households, mates and lovers dine on pasta below dimmed lights, whereas Italian classical music performs within the background. But this isn’t a typical Italian restaurant, and it doesn’t simply promote commonplace pasta.

In 2017, Alberto Cartasegna opened his first restaurant, Miscusi, in Milan. He wished to supply genuine Italian pasta, whereas having a optimistic impression on the planet.

Five years later and Miscusi now has 15 eating places in Italy and two within the UK, and has launched its “M7 pasta” – a mix of 4 grains and three legumes – in a bid to advertise biodiversity.

“Biodiversity is killed when we approach agriculture with conventional methods like monocropping,” says Mr Cartasegna.

Alberto Cartasegna

Magnum Photos

“M7 is made of seven different types of grains and legumes, giving our pasta a unique flavour, texture and colour. It’s rich in plant-based proteins thanks to the three legumes. All the cereals are organic and wholegrain, keeping fibres and micronutrients to the max.

“I strongly imagine we should change the worldwide weight loss plan to avoid wasting ourselves.”

Los Angeles mother-of-two Gail Becker has also been promoting wheat alternatives.

She became frustrated when she could not find healthy alternatives for her sons, who both suffer from coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating foods containing gluten.

Gail Becker

Caulipower-Gail Becker

“I attempted desperately to search out nutritious, gluten-free choices that weren’t crammed with fats, sugar, salt and energy,” says Ms Becker. “I stumbled upon recipes for cauliflower crust pizza.

“My creation tasted fine, but it looked awful, my kitchen was a disaster and I had spent 90 minutes I didn’t have, as a mum with a full-time job, making a pizza crust! I realised I probably wasn’t alone. So I left my job to strike out on my own and create Caulipower.”

Caulipower, established in 2016, has since expanded past pizza crusts to supply frozen cauliflower pastas. Its merchandise can now be discovered in additional than 25,000 shops throughout the US.

“Consumers want nutritional food,” says Ms Becker. “They no longer expect to have to choose between taste and health, and frankly they shouldn’t have to.”

Back in Chicago, Hyfé is busy cultivating mycelium and turning it into carbon-neutral, wholesome, reasonably priced pasta.

“We’re creating a new staple crop,” says Ms Ruiz. “One that can be grown nearly anywhere in the world, giving countries increased food sovereignty, and employing circular technology for a more resilient food system.

“Our pasta is not only higher for you, it is higher for the planet.”


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