© NCSU & Bezos Earth Fund

Protein

Bezos Earth Fund Establishes Sustainable Protein Research Center at NC State University

The Bezos Earth Fund has awarded North Carolina State University $30 million over the next five years to establish the first Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein. This project will create a biomanufacturing hub for sustainable dietary proteins that are environmentally friendly, healthy, and affordable. This funding is part of the Earth Fund’s larger $100 million commitment to create a network of open-access research and development centers focused on sustainable protein alternatives to expand consumer choices while addressing environmental concerns. An additional $40 million investment was announced alongside this grant, complementing the previously committed $60 million. The overarching goal is to contribute to the Earth Fund’s $1 billion pledge towards food system transformation. Chancellor Randy Woodson of NC State noted, “As a land-grant university in a …

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Doug Grant, CEO of Atlantic Fish Co

CEO Doug Grant © Atlantic Fish Co

Cultivated Seafood

Atlantic Fish Co: “We Want to Have Our Products in Restaurants All Over the United States and Beyond”

Based in North Carolina, Atlantic Fish Co has developed a proprietary technology to cultivate fish cells that can thrive in liquid suspension, focusing on high-performing cell lines of wild-caught species, such as halibut and sea bass, and using genetic engineering technology to grow the cells in bioreactors and providing them with nutrients for growth. Founded in 2020, the Atlantic Fish Co. recently unveiled what it claims is the world’s first cultivated black sea bass product, during a tasting at the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab. Speaking at the time, Doug Grant, CEO of Atlantic Fish Co. stated: “Developing the world’s first cultivated black sea bass is a win for our company and consumers who want sustainable, ethical seafood. We will provide seafood that is also …

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Atlantic Food Co

Courtesy of Atlantic Food Co

Cultivated Seafood

Atlantic Fish Co. Unveils the “World’s First” Cultivated Black Sea Bass Prototype

Cultivated seafood startup Atlantic Fish Co. has developed what it claims to be the world’s first cultivated black sea bass product. To share their milestone with the world, the team at Atlantic Fish Co. recently held a tasting at the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab (featured image) of its hybrid “bass bite.” The cultivated black seabass prototype marks a significant step forward in the company’s mission of producing sustainable seafood products using cell culture techniques.  Doug Grant, CEO of Atlantic Fish Co. shared: “Developing the world’s first cultivated black sea bass is a win for our company and consumers who want sustainable, ethical seafood. We will provide seafood that is also free of mercury, antibiotics, or microplastics.” Sustainable protein products Starting its journey in 2020, the Atlantic …

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Biotech startup Atlantic Fish Co., headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, leverages cellular agriculture to create seafood free of plastics, mercury, antibiotics, and animal suffering.

© Atlantic Fish Co.

Cultivated Seafood

Atlantic Fish Co. Pioneers Cell Lines for Cultivated Halibut and Other Overfished Wild Species

Biotech startup Atlantic Fish Co., headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, leverages cellular agriculture to create seafood free of plastics, mercury, antibiotics, and animal suffering. Doug Grant and Trevor Ham founded the company in 2020 with a vision for a better future for people, animals, and the planet. The startup believes that cellular agriculture will ensure protein security by 2050. The biotech is focused on the development of cell lines of wild-caught species, such as halibut, which are greenhouse gas-intensive due to trawling techniques and are also unsuitable for aquaculture farms. To develop seafood directly from fish cells, Atlantic Fish Co. uses genetic engineering technology to scale fish cells in bioreactors, providing them nutrients for growth, developed in partnership with Defined Bioscience, and scaffolding structure for support. Atlantic …

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Believer Meats CEO with Senator Ted Budd

From left: Muthuraman, Burger, and Senator Budd. Image supplied by Believer Meats

Politics & Law

Believer Meats Urges US Senators to Promote North Carolina’s Role in Cultivated Meat

Cultivated meat startup Believer Meats announces its CEO Gustavo Burger met with US Senators Ted Budd (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to reaffirm the company’s commitment to investing in the state of North Carolina.  The June 20 meeting, which took place in Washington DC, also included Believer Meats COO Kash Muthuraman. The two executives met with Senators Budd and Tillis to discuss the company’s ongoing commitment to investing in North Carolina while promoting local employment and supporting economic growth.  In response, the senators showed enthusiasm for learning more about cultivated meat’s potential to address food security, and how North Carolina can play a significant role in the industry.  “It was great to meet with Believer Meats as they expand their presence in North Carolina,”  said …

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Plant-Based Po-Boy Sandwich by Pearlita

©Pearlita

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

7 Game-Changing Startups Putting North Carolina on the Innovation Map

Continuing our series on emerging hot-spots in alt protein, we turn to North Carolina, The Tar Heel State – a place better known for its scenic countryside and traditional BBQ than cutting-edge food tech. But North Carolina’s world-class research facilities, low taxes, and pro-tech economy have attracted some of the world’s most innovative animal-free companies looking to disrupt a wide range of industries. From cultivated oysters and filet mignon to algae-made fabrics and next-level collagen, here are 7 startups turning North Carolina into a visionary center for alt protein and more.  1. No Evil Foods Founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Mike Woliansky and Sadrah Schadel, No Evil began its journey selling hand-crafted plant-based meats to local shops and restaurants in and around …

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Chewy chocolatey Dirtbag Bar offers consumers a clean-label snack

© Dirtbag Bar

Sweets & Snacks

Dirtbag Bar: A Chewy Wholefood Chocolate Bar With a Mission for Mental Health

Dirtbag Bar is a vegan chocolate bar created by Mark Andrew Gravel for consumers looking for healthier snacks for humans and the planet. The bar is organic, vegan, and free of GMOs and gluten. Based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Dirtbag is a purpose-driven company that raises money for mental and environmental health initiatives. A portion of its sales go to 1% for Mental Health — a social impact project broadening access to mental health care — along with 1% for the Planet, a philanthropic organization working to drive positive change. Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month, Dirtbag has announced that its website will be live in mid-May, with plans to ship its product nationwide across the US. Clean ingredients Described as “clean and light”, Dirtbag Bar contains …

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Myodenovo aims to grows cultivated meat using plant-based scaffolds

© Ilia-Nesolenyi-stock.adobe.com

Cultivated Meat

Myodenovo Gets First Capital to Grow Filet Mignon with Plant Scaffolding Tech

Myodenovo, a cultivated meat startup based in North Carolina, USA, has disclosed a $105,000 raise from its first two investors, Sustainable Food Ventures and Sweet Farm.  Founded by George Engelmayr, a biomedical engineer with experience in regenerative medicine and other cultivated meat companies such as Memphis Meats (UPSIDE Foods) and Mission Barns, Myodenovo focuses on cultivated whole cuts with “realistic texture,” starting with filet mignon.  The new capital will enable the startup to cover general corporate expenses, including payments of director’s fees and salaries to employees. Plant-based scaffolding tech The company says to be developing an automated process to create thick cuts using bioreactors and its proprietary, patent-pending, plant-based scaffold tech for cell attachment in various dimensions. Its end products will be 90% cells to deliver the …

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Barvecue Plant-Based Pulled Pork

©Barvecue

Investments & Finance

Barvecue Completes Seed Equity Round to Support World’s Largest Plant-Based Smokehouse

Plant-based BBQ brand Barvecue announces it has completed the opening capital raise for its Seed equity funding round. The company will use the funds to support continued growth of its retail and food service business, as well as sustaining operations of its Carolina Smokehouse production facility.  Based in North Carolina, Barbecue produces a range of authentic, wood-smoked Pulled BVQ and Carnitas that replicate the taste and texture of pulled pork. In the last two years, its distribution has expanded to over 1,000 US grocery stores including Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Giant, Gelson’s and The Fresh Market. Barvecue has also partnered with WebstaurantStore, the largest online restaurant supply store, to expand its food service business. In 2021, the company broke ground on The Carolina Smokehouse – …

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Barvecue Vegan BBQ

©Barvecue

Retail & E-Commerce

Barvecue Expands Wood-Smoked Plant-Based Meats for Food Service on Webstaurant

Plant-based BBQ brand Barvecue announces it is expanding its food service presence by launching on WebstaurantStore.  Known as the largest online restaurant supply store servicing both professionals and individuals, Webstaurant customers will now be able to order Barvecue’s Naked BVQ, Pulled BVQ and Carnitas in 4lb frozen food service packs.  According to Barvecue, its food service products are authentically wood-smoked and seasoned for various applications. Naked BVQ is a lightly seasoned, versatile plant-based meat that allows chefs to customize any dish that typically uses pulled pork or chicken. Pulled BVQ and Barvecue Carnitas offer two convenient heat-and-serve options for busy food service operations. Pulled BVQ features original BVQ seasoning that just needs a restaurant’s signature sauce for a classic BBQ sandwich, while Barvecue Carnitas are …

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© Barvecue

Science

Barvecue and Arbiom Partner to ‘Dramatically Increase’ Consumer Acceptance of Plant-Based Meats

Plant BBQ brand Barvecue and protein innovator Arbiom announce a strategic partnership to improve the taste, texture and nutritional profile of clean-label plant-based meats.  The partnership seeks to “dramatically increase” public acceptance of plant-based meats by conducting product innovation, focus group research, and commercial trials.  Based in North Carolina, Barvecue produces an acclaimed line of wood-smoked pulled pork alternatives and carnitas. In 2021, the brand opened the world’s largest vegan smokehouse and has expanded its products to over 1,200 US stores, including Sprouts, Safeway and Harris Teeter. Since 2020, Barvecue has raised nearly $3M in investment funding.  “The world’s demand for protein is expected to double by 2050, and as a result, the need for high-quality alternative protein sources is going to increase dramatically,” said …

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Oysters cultivated

©Charlotte Coneybeer/Unsplash

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Pearlita Opens Research Lab to Develop World’s First Cultivated Oysters

Pearlita, the latest startup seeking to disrupt seafood, announces the opening of a new research lab in Raleigh, NC to grow oysters from cellular agriculture.  While many alt-seafood companies focus on cell cultivation of various species of fish and crustaceans, Pearlita is the first food tech company to work with oysters – a global delicacy whose soaring popularity has led to increased pressure on ecologically important wild stocks.    By cultivating oysters’ special tissues from living cells, Pearlita hopes to fully recreate the mollusk’s beloved flavors and textures without the overharvesting and killing of wild populations.  In addition to easing the burden on marine life, Pearlita’s production process would take place in a controlled and sterile environment, eliminating the risk of contamination from pollution and …

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No Evil Foods

©No Evil Foods

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

No Evil Foods Plant-Based Meats Named a Real Leaders Top 200 Impact Company

No Evil Foods has been selected as a Top 200 Impact Company by Real Leaders, a global media platform dedicated to positive change. The plant-based meat brand was recognized for demonstrating industry leadership and driving positive social and environmental innovations.  Based in North Carolina, No Evil Foods was founded in 2014 by Sadrah Schadel & Mike Woliansky to create minimally processed and nutrient-dense plant-based meats. The couple initially sold their products at local farmer’s markets before quickly expanding and obtaining major distribution deals with Whole Foods Market, Walmart and other large retailers.  In 2020, No Evil Foods became the first Plastic Negative Certified plant-based meat company by partnering with rePurpose Global. Through the agreement, No Evil Foods removes as much plastic as it creates by …

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Seaweed AlgiKnit

©AlgiKnit

Textiles

Kelp Yarn to Be Produced at Scale as AlgiKnit Opens North Carolina Hub

AlgiKnit, a biomaterials company specializing in kelp yarn, announces the opening of a new innovation hub in North Carolina’s famed Triangle Park.  Founded in 2017, AlgiKnit aims to cut the fashion industry’s carbon emissions in half with eco-conscious materials created mostly from kelp. The company spent four years developing new technology that can commercialize and scale the inventive fabrics, and the Triangle Park facility will provide additional research and development space, as well as accommodate in-house manufacturing and business teams. In March, AlgiKnit raised $2.1 million to help scale the company’s bio-yarns, building on previous investments from SOSV and Horizon Ventures. Globally, the ethical fashion market is expected to be worth $8.25 billion by 2023.  According to the company, 342 million barrels of crude oil …

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No Evil

©No Evil Foods

Investments & Finance

North Carolina’s No Evil Foods Receives Bridge Financing From New Protein Fund

North Carolina-based No Evil Foods recently opened a bridge note round of financing to expand its growth strategy. The funds will help to bring long-term stability to No Evil Foods, the first Certified Plastic Negative plant-based meat company, as it looks to grow its environmentally sustainable, socially conscious plant-based food footprint. The round, led by early-stage alt protein investor Big Idea Ventures, is currently open and No Evil Foods reports that it is seeking additional partners as it pivots into a new stage of growth. The company has nationwide distribution in the natural and traditional retail channels, and will now look to expand distribution partnerships, product launches, and manufacturing strategy. With a focus on maximum nutrition through its utilization of blended proteins, fermentation, and upcycled …

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©Big Ideas Ventures

Agriculture / Agribusiness

Big Ideas Launches $125M Agricultural Fund in North Carolina

Big Idea Ventures LLC has announced the launch of the Generation Food Rural Partners (GFRP), a $125 million target fund that will fuel economic development in rural communities across the United States through the commercialization of food and agricultural technologies, protein innovation and other university intellectual property. “Big Idea Ventures was founded to solve the world’s greatest challenges by backing the world’s best entrepreneurs,” said Andrew D. Ive, founder and managing general partner. “This new fund will widen our scope to capture breakthrough technologies from world-class universities that will impact the global food supply chain. The goal is to drive job creation and entrepreneurship in rural communities hungry for economic development and have them continue to be the centres of food innovation and production for …

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Lee Cooper of Barvecue

Lee Cooper of Barvecue

Interviews

Barvecue: “The Word Excited Doesn’t Begin to Express How We Feel About the Possibility of Having an Impact in the Plant-Based Space”

North Carolina based Barvecue Inc, produces a hugely popular wood-smoked vegan pulled pork from soy and wheat, and is proud to produce with clean-label, non-GMO, US grown and processed ingredients. The company aims to “bring the best tasting barbecue to vegetarians, omnivores, and adventurous carnivores around the globe.”

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No Evil

©No Evil Foods

Company News

No Evil Donates 15,000 Plant-Based Meals to Outreach Workers in Homeless Charities & Animal Rights

No Evil, a plant-based meat company from North Carolina USA, will continue to donate a portion of its products to support those in need throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is mission-driven and focused on impacting environmental sustainability, public health, and animal welfare through better food choices.

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No Evil

©No Evil Foods

Retail & E-Commerce

No Evil Foods Expands into Kroger Stores Across the US

No Evil Foods, makers of artisan plant meat, announces new a distribution deal with Kroger, the USA´s largest supermarket chain by revenue. No Evil Foods is slated to line the shelves of 1000 Kroger locations across the US,  including Fred Meyers, Fry’s, Ralph’s, and QFC (Quality Food Centers) stores, also under the Kroger banner.

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