Israeli food technology company Mush Foods received $250,000 in the Grow-NY Food and Agriculture business competition. The prize money will support the company’s mission to cut global meat consumption in half by providing alternative mycelium-based meat ingredients.
“While it takes a year to grow a cow and four months to grow soybeans, it only takes eight to ten days to grow mycelium”
The Grow-NY competition, funded by Empire State Development and administered by the Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University, serves as a platform for innovation and technology in the food, beverage and agriculture. The event featured twenty global finalists presenting their business plans at the summit, and a total of $3 million in prize money was distributed among seven startups, including Mush Foods, based on judging criteria including the viability of the startup’s business model, customer value and diversity. and agri-food innovation.
Mycelium grown using upcycling
Mush Foods specializes in growing mycelium for the food and beverage industry by recycling food and agricultural waste to create a distinctive growing substrate, fostering the ideal environment for various mycelium species. Daniel Levanon, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Mush Foods, says: “Our mycelium ingredient is grown from food waste, making it highly sustainable and has a minimal carbon footprint. Its growth is also exceptionally rapid. While it takes a year to grow a cow and four months to grow soybeans, it only takes eight to ten days to grow mycelium, making it a highly scalable and affordable option.
The company’s flagship product is its 50CUT mycelium protein ingredient, designed for use in hybrid blended meat products with the aim of mitigating the impact of global meat consumption. However, the ingredients can also be used alone to replace meat. Mush Foods offers custom mycelium blends for beef, poultry, fish and pork.
Opportunities in agri-food systems
New York Governor Kathy Hochul recognized the competition winners as “innovative, forward-thinking entrepreneurs” ready to help grow New York State’s food and agriculture sector. The event, attended by nearly 1,000 participants and 43 ecosystem supporters, served as a platform for discussion on the challenges and opportunities of agri-food systems at regional and national levels.
Hochul concluded, “This year’s Grow-NY competition winners represent some of the most innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world who will take our state’s food and agriculture sector to the next level. »