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Why This Michelin-Starred Chef Created His Own Brand of Vegan Mushroom Meat

November 23, 2022

With booming developments in the plant-based meat industry, recent years have shown that meat does not need to come from an animal. Some companies contend that it doesn’t need to come from a plant, either. 

Alongside meat made from plants and animals lies a third contender for meat replacers: fungi, which is in a class of its own. And sustainability-minded innovators are discovering the meaty possibilities of these unique organisms. 

While many companies looking to make fungi-based meat alternatives focus solely on mycelium (its fast-growing root system), new California-based company Mamu is exploring the meaty possibilities of the entire organism. 

The new vegan meat brand was crafted by two Michelin-starred chef Srijith Gopinathan and mushroom experts at Sempera Organics. It is made from both the fruiting bodies and root systems of three types of mushrooms (shiitake, white button, and oyster), along with chickpeas, canola oil, and water. These ingredients come together to create a succulent vegan meat that has the potential to transform the way culinarians use meat. 

“We need to think about the larger urgent issue: how to feed 10 billion people without negatively impacting the planet,” Nirmal Nair, Sempera Organics CEO and Founder, tells VegNews. “Eating less meat is clearly the right way to go, but the current solutions in the market have drawbacks to widespread adoption and growth. We need a different solution that does not just provide incremental change, that was an important driver in developing Mamu.” 

Mamu’s mushroom meat at the center of the plate

Mycelium meats are growing in popularity from companies such as MyForest Foods (which just expanded distribution of its mycelium-based vegan MyBacon to additional retailers in New York City) and Meati Foods (a Colorado company that makes mycelium-based whole cut meats that were just recognized by TIME as one of the best food inventions of 2022). Read more:

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