Finless Foods wants to create a future for seafood where the ocean thrives, rather than suffers, as a result of increasing seafood demand. The alternative seafood company makes plant-based and cell-cultured seafood, with a focus on tuna alternatives, that it hopes will empower consumers to make healthier and more sustainable choices.
Finless CEO and co-founder, Michael Selden, admits that many reasons contributed to the conception of the company. “I’ve always been an environmental activist in one way or another,” Selden tells In The Know. “[I] ended up getting a degree in biochemistry at a school that is mostly [known] for agriculture, and I’ve always really thought that animal agriculture is one of the biggest ways in which humans impact the environment.” After identifying agriculture as a major contributor to negative environmental impacts, it occured to Selden that that also means it’s one of the biggest areas that can be leveraged to push for positive change.
One of the main focuses of Finless is making an alternative to bluefin tuna. The popular seafood contains some of the highest levels of omegas out of just about any fish, but that can come with high levels of mercury, as well as high levels of plastic from ocean pollution. Not to mention, bluefin tuna is a species that has been on and off the threatened species list over time.
The Finless plant-based tuna is a vegan-friendly and health-conscious alternative that provides The Finless plant-based tuna solves the issues of mercury and plastic tuna while also providing nutritious elements, explains Chief Strategy Officer Shannon Cosentino-Roush. It’s vegan-friendly, inherently low-fat, low-calorie and low-sodium. Plus, people with seafood allergies can eat the plant-based alternatives because it doesn’t contain seafood allergens.
In addition to plant-based tuna, Finless also makes cell-cultured tuna. Cell-cultured, or lab grown meat is a relatively new food engineering technology that can help with the supply and demand gap in the seafood industry. To make their cell-cultured tuna, Finless first takes a sample from a fish and then isolates cells from that sample that are responsible for meat production. Once those cells are isolated, they are then grown in a food-safe environment. The result is tuna with a low environmental impact.
Ultimately, Selden sees Finless as a way to give consumers a better option. “It means basically creating a food ecosystem where people can decide on how much environmental impact they’d like to have on any given day and just reduce things slowly that way.”
In other words, Finless wants to empower people with immediate low-environmental impact choices that have a lasting effect on the future. “It’s not that we inherit the earth from our parents, we’re borrowing it from our children,” explains Finless CIO and co-founder Brian Wyrwas. “Taking that from future generations, it’s gonna stoke that fire. It’s gonna really push you forward. It’s going to allow you to get out of bed in the morning and be like, ‘What I do really is pushing this forward in a very significant way.’”
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