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Mycelium Producer Mush Foods Receives $250,000 in Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Business Competition

Israeli-based food tech company Mush Foods has been awarded $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 meat ingredients made from mycelium. 

“While it takes a year to grow a cow and four months to grow soy, it takes only eight to ten days to grow mycelium”

The Grow-NY competition, funded by Empire State Development and administered by Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, serves as a platform for innovation and technology in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors. 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 included the viability of the startup’s business model, customer value, diversity, and agri-food innovation.

Mycelium grown through upcycling

Mush Foods specializes in cultivating mycelium for the food and beverage industry by upcycling 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, states, “Our mycelium ingredient is grown from food waste, making it highly sustainable and exerting a minimum carbon footprint. It also grows exceptionally fast. While it takes a year to grow a cow and four months to grow soy, it takes only eight to ten days to grow mycelium, making it a highly scalable and affordable option.”

Mush Foods logo
© Mush Foods

The company’s flagship product is its 50CUT mycelium protein ingredient, crafted for applications in hybrid blended meat products with an aim to ease the impact of global meat consumption. However, the ingredients can also be used on their own as a replacement for meat. Mush Foods has tailored mycelium blends for beef, poultry, fish, and pork. 

Opportunities in agri-food systems

The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, acknowledged the competition winners as “innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs” poised to contribute to the growth of New York’s food and agriculture sector. The event, attended by nearly 1,000 registrants and 43 ecosystem supporters, served as a platform for discussions on challenges and opportunities in agri-food systems at regional and national levels.

Hochul concluded, “The winners of this year’s Grow-NY competition represent some of the most innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world that will take our state’s food and agriculture sector to the next level.”

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