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Plant-Based Wooly Mammoth, Mycelium Bacon Farm + More

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here…

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Image credit: My Forest Foods Co.

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.

Notable news this week came from the alternative protein sector when My Forest Foods Co. announced it is building the “world’s largest” vertical farm for mycelium, the fungi-based ingredient the company uses to make its plant-based bacon product. The 120,000-square-foot facility will help My Forest Foods increase its alt-bacon output with the goal of serving 1 million customers by 2024.

In other alt-protein news, a Belgian startup is using precision fermentation to make analogues of not just beef and chicken, but also wooly mammoth.

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1. MyForest Foods Co. to Open ‘World’s Largest’ AirMycelium Vertical FarmVegconomist

The 120,000-square-foot Swersey Silos will help MyForest Foods scale its mycelium-based bacon product. The company aims to serve 1 million customers by 2024.

 

2. How Paleo Is Using Biochemistry to Bring Plant-Based Mammoth Meat to ConsumersFood Dive

The Belgian startup uses precision fermentation to create heme commonly found in beef, chicken, and other meats. It is now developing a plant-based ingredient that will create the taste of wooly mammoth.

 

3. Arable Raises $40M to Advance Climate Resilience in AgricultureFINSMES

Arable’s agricultural intelligence platform provides farmers data on weather, soil, plant health, and other important elements. The startup will put its new capital towards product development.

 

4. Source Global Raises $130M for Drinking Water TechFoodBev Media

The company’s patented Source Hydrropanels technology draws pure water vapor out of the air and converts it into mineralized drinking water. Source Global will put its new funding towards further innovation in renewable water technologies.

 

5. Ginkgo Bioworks Buys Zymergen for $300MAFN

Ginkgo will integrate fellow biotech company Zymergen’s automation, software and data science tools. The deal comes after a lengthy downhill trend for Zymergen that’s sent its stock plunging.

 

6. Workers Rally at Capitol for Bill That Could Overhaul California’s Fast Food SectorABC

Assembly Bill 257, also known as the Fast Food Accountability and Standards (FAST) Recovery Act, would create sector-wide minimum standards on wages, working hours and other health and safety conditions for fast food workers.

 

7. Crop Health Startup Enko Raises $70M Series CFinSmes

The company’s ENKOMPASS tech platform finds new, targeted chemistries for pest and weed protection on crops. Enko will use the funds to expand its product pipeline.

 

8. Hawaii’s Holey Grail Donuts Raises $9MTechCrunch

Holey Grail uses taro root to produce gourmet donuts. New funding, which includes both seed and Series A rounds, will go towards an expansion to Los Angeles.

 

9. It’s Time to Put Actual Veggies Back Into Veggie BurgersEater

A good veggie burger is a complex, innovative, and mouthwatering thing, but our Western belief that it must be ‘meaty’ has led to today’s pick of ultra-processed offerings.

 

10. Instacart Aims to Go Public Before Year’s End, Defying a Frozen IPO Market WSJ

Instacart confidentially filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year. The grocery delivery company generated a net profit in the second quarter of 2022, according to sources.

 

11. First Grain Ship Leaves Ukraine Since Start of the Russian InvasionSeeking Alpha

Resumed grain shipments from Ukraine are being ‘put to the test’ following a recent deal that was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

 

12. Giant Foods and Loop Partner on a Reusable Packaging ProgramGrocery Dive

Giant will bring Loop’s service, which allows customers to buy products in reusable and refillable containers, to stores in the Washington, D.C. area starting this fall.

 

13. McDonald’s US Plant-Based Burger Test Is OverFood Dive

The test “concluded as planned,” according to McDonalds. However, the news comes as analysts speculate on low product sales and partner Beyond Meat’s stock dropping.

 

14. Unearthing the Secret Superpowers of FungusNY Times

Some underground fungi can be vital in the era of climate change, storing exceptional levels of carbon underground, helping plants survive drought and pests, and feeding nutrients to crops.

 

15. Walmart Is Opening Some Teeny-Tiny Stores for Campers – Winsight Grocery Business

The General Store by Walmart will offer outdoor-focused products like s’mores fixings, cast iron skillets, and local goods to vacationers. Walmart has developed these mini-stores in partnership with hospitality company Getaway.

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