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Healthy, Sustainable And Environmentally Friendly Protein For Globe

Alternative protein from mushroom- a sustainable solution for the well-being of people, the environment, the planet, and food security.

Photo of Van Pham
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Emmay And Colleagues Joint Stock Company

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Researcher Institutions: Vietnam National University of Agriculture (Vietnam) Food Industries Research Institute (Vietnam) PUM (Netherland)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

http://namtuoicuoi.emmay.vn

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 3-10 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Hanoi city

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Vietnam

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Ho Chi Minh, a city in Vietnam, covers a total area of 2,061 km^2

What country is your selected Place located in?

Vietnam

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Some members of our team were born and grew up in Ho Chi Minh city and neighborhoods so we truly understand the geography, the climate, the culture, the cuisine, the people, the market and we know exactly what problems that the food system here is facing now. 

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Ho Chi Minh City,  also known by its former name of Saigon, is located in the South of Vietnam, the metropolis surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometers (796 square miles). With a rising economy, a well-educated populace, and modern facilities, roughly 200000 to 400000 migrants are moving to the city every year in search of better job opportunities and financial prospects, raising the city's population to 13 million people (the most populous locality in Vietnam).

The City’’s culinary culture is known as a convergence of quintessence of delicious and unique dishes of the South as well as all regions of Vietnam. It is extremely dynamic and incredibly diverse. Due to economic conditions and lifestyle, people who migrate to the City for living and working, bring their typically regional dishes, enriching the culinary culture of the City. The best dishes are well regarded as nutritious, savoury, and hearty delights that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The City’s Inhabitants enjoy sweet and spices flavors more than others in the North and Central of Vietnam. The people here are more open to experience new food trends.

One of the significant characteristics of the City is the warm weather and fertile soil. As a result, these characteristics become an ideal condition for a wide range of fruit, vegetables, herbs… Foods here are often vibrant and flavorful with uses of garlic, shallots, coconut milk, and fresh herbs.

Street food, for which Vietnam is rightly famous, can be a financial boon to local communities, helping many people, especially the poor, increase their income. However, hygiene at stalls has been a problem for years. 

Many local consumers also worry about the quality and origin of produce sold at local markets and supermarket chains. According to VnExpress, the Vietnamese government has been urged to put food safety higher on the national agenda and to issue policies strong enough to encourage the production and supply of safe food. The World Bank said that Vietnam has a modern food safety regulatory framework with foundations in place for further improving food safety performance and outcomes, but much more could be done to make it result-focused and risk-based. The Food Safety Law, adopted in 2010, has regulations on the management of many kinds of foods, including street food. But a lack of effective enforcement has done little to reduce the number of food safety and hygiene issues.

Consumers want to know and understand what ingredients are going into their products. Saigon residents cared more about healthcare and education access, gender discrimination, unfair competition, and racism. Women, in particular, paid much more attention to food safety, healthcare access and sexual harassment than men, according to the survey released late last month. People from lower-income backgrounds cared more about healthcare, clean water and access to education access, while higher-incomers paid more attention to sexual harassment and corruption. The survey findings suggested that low-income people tend to care more about issues that directly affect their daily lives, rather than political or global issues.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

2061

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

13000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

1. Diets
- The demand for animal protein is growing: Meat has a special place in Vietnamese diets, especially pork, beef, chicken. They have an innate preference for meat as it is both energy‐dense and protein‐rich. There has been an increasing pressure on the livestock sector to meet the growing demand for high-value animal protein. The livestock sector is growing at an unprecedented rate and the driving force behind this enormous surge is a combination of population growth, rising incomes, and urbanization. There is a strong positive relationship between the level of income and the consumption of animal protein, with the consumption of meat, milk, and eggs increasing at the expense of staple foods. In addition, urbanization is a major driving force influencing global demand for livestock products. Urbanization stimulates improvements in infrastructure, including cold chains, which permit trade in perishable goods.
- Dirty food and poor traceability system: Many kinds of goods are smuggled into the City through border areas each year but this year food items seem to be much in demand, more than previous years. Foods such as chicken, meat, eggs, and animal viscera are being smuggled into the City. The price of animal viscera is very cheap and resources abundant. Most foods have no markings of origin, expiry date or quarantine period, posing a serious threat to human health. Callous food distributors even resort to adding hazardous substances like artificial sweetener cyclamate, detergent or urea, to processed meat, blood pudding or sweetened porridge, to preserve items longer and improve the taste. Many traders just chase profits by selling unsafe foods, regardless of the cost to human health. Many small manufacturers used industrial additives instead of food additives to reduce costs, ignoring the fact that they contain a high dosage of impurities and heavy metals.
- Human health is influenced more by food than by any other single factor: Major health issues associated with overconsumption of meat – obesity and heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and some cancers are now increasing in this century. The overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture has created a public health crisis by rendering a growing number of bacterial infections in humans resistant to available antibiotics. Cattle, pigs, and chickens are major sources of food-borne illnesses and major incubators for dangerous viruses, including potentially lethal strains of influenza and even Ebola, Foot-and-mouth disease, lethal strains of influenza...
2. Environment: Significant environmental impacts from the production of meat. Livestock rearing can also be a source of dispersed and point pollution (including nitrogen, phosphorous and pathogenic microorganisms), especially where rules on manure and slurry management are lacking or poorly enforced. The need for grazing land and for arable land to grow animal feed is the single most important driver of deforestation with consequences for greenhouse‐gas emissions, deforestation, habitat destruction, and species loss.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

We have developed an alternative protein that enables consumers to experience the taste, texture and other sensory attributes of popular animal-based food while enjoying the nutritional benefits of eating our fungi-based food. We create fungi-based products using our scientific processes to identify a micro fungus seed that could easily convert plentiful carbohydrates into scarcer and more nutritionally valuable proteins via fermentation rather than the use of animals as the method of conversion. We have a range of fungi-based product platforms that align with the largest protein categories globally: beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. 

The technology superiorities that can address the challenges described in the previous question: 

  • Meat-like texture: Emmay uses a “unique strain of mycelium”, one of the fastest-growing organisms on the plane, which allows it to mimic the texture of animal muscles, a feat that’s been a challenge for other plant-based meat brands to recreate. 

  • The versatile flavor: Have ingredients blended into it to give it a meat-like flavor, so can make any manner of meat or seafood substitutes (Pork, chicken, beef, seafood)

  • Ingredients: Natural, safe, have Certificates of origin and certificate of quality. 

  • Production time: It just takes around 14 days to cultivate and produce fungi-based products, faster than producing animal meat (45 days for breeding a chicken, 80 days for a pig, 5950 days for a cow). 

  • Breakthrough in technology allows us to customize nutritional values, nutritional element to create customized/individualized products as follow historical health, eating habit of each customer.

  • Healthy benefits: Strong nutritional profile: Same amount of protein and amino acid composition as meat and be a dietary source of iron, fiber, calcium; Animal-free: Has no animal hormones, antibiotics, and cholesterol; Added value: A levels of natural medicine is added into products; Preventing & treating: Obesity, Heart disease, Diabetes, Cancer…

  • Scalable: It can be scaled more easily and affordably than some common ingredients used in plant-based meat products. Other plant-based meat brands have already faced supply chain challenges, with Beyond Meat announcing this week in its third-quarter earnings call that it will triple its pea protein sourcing in 2020 to keep up with demand

  • Sustainable production and environment benefits: Emmayfoods provides an efficient and sustainable way of producing a healthier protein with a lower environmental impact. The ingredient doesn’t require a supplier. It can be cultivated in-house, using less land, water, and energy, produces a fraction of the emissions than other alternative protein sources. The feedstock needed to cultivate mycelium is sugar, which can be sourced from locally grown sugar crops such as sugar beets.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Our business is to improve the wellbeing of life, the environment, and our planet, and create sustainable solutions for food security.

By replacing animals in the food system with delicious, nutritious meals made from plants, vast swathes of the Earth’s entire land surface could be spared for biodiversity and wildlife. As natural ecosystems are restored and recovered land converted to plant biomass, photosynthesis (the most reliable and proven carbon capture method, optimized by billions of years of evolution), could stabilize and even reduce global atmospheric CO2. Reversing the destruction and degradation of wildlife habitat would also save untold numbers of species from extinction.

By drastically reducing global demand for land and water, success in our mission could reduce conflict over land and water rights, improving geopolitical security. At-risk farmers would have safer jobs and more certain futures, with less fear over climate change. Reducing stress on land and water and improving access to high-protein and iron-rich foods at lower costs would mean fewer conflicts over scarce resources. Bypassing animals and making meat directly from plants would return the land to native ecosystems, enabling us to reduce global pesticide and fertilizer use. The urgent public health risk of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and potential pandemic viruses — which evolve and are incubated in concentrated animal feeding operations — would recede.

Decreasing the environmental footprint of food is exponentially more effective — and easier — than switching from gas-powered to electric vehicles, eliminating coal-fired power or building a completely renewable energy grid. Increasing food chain sustainability will ensure that we can feed 10 billion people by 2050, reduce conflict and inequality that leads to humanitarian crises and wars, and make the economy more inclusive. And we will eliminate the confinement, misery, and slaughter of billions of animals per year.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

We believe there is a better way to feed the planet

We can address four growing global issues: human health, climate change, constraints on natural resources, and animal welfare. To drastically reduce humanity’s destructive impact on the global environment by completely replacing the use of animals as a food production technology. We intend to accomplish this mission within two decades by creating the world’s most delicious, nutritious, affordable and sustainable meat, fish and dairy foods directly from plants.

Most people erroneously conflate meat, fish, and milk (the foods) with the animals that produce them (the production technology). Even the names of many of these foods imply an inseparable link to the animal technology we’ve historically used to produce them. It turns out that consumers love meat, fish and dairy foods not because they come from animals, but in spite of the fact that they come from animals. To most consumers, the fact that we currently use animals to produce these foods is not a valued feature, but a necessary (or so we’ve assumed) evil.

Not only are animals, not the only way to produce the world’s favorite foods; they aren’t even the best way. Until today, the only technology we’ve known that can turn plants into meat has been animals. But cows, pigs, chicken, and fish didn’t evolve to be eaten. They’re terribly inefficient at turning plants into meat, and there’s no reason to think they’ve even come close to reaching the potential for deliciousness in meat.

10 years ago it was only a hypothesis, but today we know that by understanding and optimizing the molecular mechanisms that underlie the deliciousness of meat, we will be able to transform natural ingredients from plants into meat that outperforms the best beef from a cow, the best pork from a pig... — not just in sustainability, cost, and nutritional value, but in flavor, texture, craveability and even “meatiness.”

New products and new technologies replace their predecessors by doing a better job of giving consumers what they want and need. The surest strategy for replacing the most destructive technology on Earth is to deliberately create foods that deliver greater pleasure and value to consumers of meat, fish and dairy foods, then offer them as a choice — and let market demand take care of the rest. If this sounds implausible, even impossible, consider a historical precedent in which a ubiquitous, deeply-rooted, traditional animal-based technology was rapidly and completely replaced by a categorically better technology:

Two hundred years ago, the horse was synonymous with powered transportation. Nobody imagined that a cart could move at all, let alone move faster, without the horse to pull it. Horses were fundamental to how the world worked — from how we tilled fields to how we communicated (the Pony Express). But within a few decades, horses were rapidly and all but completely replaced as a transportation technology. They were replaced not because they had an extremely destructive impact on the environment (they did), but because a new technology (automobiles) outperformed the horse in delivering value to consumers. The market quickly decided that cars and other forms of mechanized transportation provide better value than animal-powered transportation, and the rest is history.

For many years, people in many cultures have developed plant-based foods that purport to be replacements for meat, replicating some meaty attributes sufficiently well to satisfy some consumers who are seeking a non-animal-based alternative. But none of these products has taken a serious share of the market for meat; they’ve fallen far short in delivering the powerful array of sensory pleasures that meat lovers crave. I knew that our success would depend on creating foods that not only match but categorically outperform meat from animals in taste, nutrition, and value.

Our team approached the challenge of creating better meat with the same blend of creativity and concentration, and many of the same tools and techniques, that biomedical scientists use to understand how our bodies work and to discover treatments for previously incurable diseases: Start with the hard fundamental research required to understand the basic principles and molecular mechanisms responsible for the flavors, aromas, textures and juiciness that make meat delicious and craveable; then, discover scaleable plant sources of the specific proteins and other nutrients required to reproduce the magic of meat.

We are actively developing a wide range of delicious meat and dairy products to replace their animal-derived counterparts — a defining goal of our R&D strategy. But as a young startup, we wanted to focus our limited resources on a single product that delivered impact enough and would convincingly show the world that delicious meat doesn’t have to come from animals.

Pork production is one of the most environmentally destructive segments of the livestock industry in southeast Asia. And pork is the most popular meat choice in Viet Nam, accounting for about half of our total pork consumption. Versatile and convenient, it’s the basis for the iconic Vietnamese meals, and it’s a mainstay of dumplings, noodles, sauces, meatballs, soups and more. So making a product that could replace pork meat would have the greatest environmental benefits. As we were testing prototypes for the last 10 months, we encountered the consumers who love our products.

Over the next few years, the best pork, the best beef, the best chicken, the best fish, cheese, eggs the world has ever seen will be made directly from plants, using the know-how and tools Impossible Foods is developing today. The biggest realization we’ve had so far is that the replacement of animals as the dominant technology for producing meat, fish and dairy foods is inevitable and coming soon.

Our impact will depend on developing local supply chains and production facilities and enabling local entrepreneurs and farmers to build their own businesses using the tools we’re developing. We intend to focus heavily on leveraging the inherently greater efficiency of plant-based foods to create mainstream, mass-market foods that address the critical nutritional and food security challenges in the world’s poorest communities.

Addressing the greatest environmental, geopolitical, and public health challenges starts by making the global food system sustainable. By replacing animals in the food system with delicious, nutritious meals made from plants, vast swathes of the Earth’s entire land surface could be spared for biodiversity and wildlife. As natural ecosystems are restored and recovered land converted to plant biomass, photosynthesis (the most reliable and proven carbon capture method, optimized by billions of years of evolution), could stabilize and even reduce global atmospheric CO2. Reversing the destruction and degradation of wildlife habitat would also save untold numbers of species from extinction.

By drastically reducing global demand for land and water, success in our mission could reduce conflict over land and water rights, improving geopolitical security. At-risk farmers would have safer jobs and more certain futures, with less fear over climate change. Reducing stress on land and water and improving access to high-protein and iron-rich foods at lower costs would mean fewer conflicts over scarce resources. Bypassing animals and making meat directly from plants would return the land to native ecosystems, enabling us to reduce global pesticide and fertilizer use. The urgent public health risk of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and potential pandemic viruses — which evolve and are incubated in concentrated animal feeding operations — would recede.

Decreasing the environmental footprint of food is exponentially more effective — and easier — than switching from gas-powered to electric vehicles, eliminating coal-fired power or building a completely renewable energy grid. Increasing food chain sustainability will ensure that we can feed 10 billion people by 2050, reduce conflict and inequality that leads to humanitarian crises and wars, and make the economy more inclusive. And we will eliminate the confinement, misery, and slaughter of billions of animals per year.

People are working today on audacious projects to colonize other planets, on the premise that the environmental catastrophes humans are creating will soon render Earth uninhabitable. For me and our team, instead of ditching our planet, we want to reconstruct it again.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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Team

Hi Van Pham 

Welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community! Thank you for your vision about the healthy and sustainable protein that could transform the food system in Hochiminh city.

There are some questions that you can think of when working on your vision: "How your Vision will address the following six interconnected themes: Environment, Diets, Economics, Culture, Technology and Policy?", "How might you evolve your Vision to make it more inclusive and systemic for your food system in Hochiminh city and its numerous stakeholders?".

You can find some guiding principles on Systems Thinking and inspiration in the Prize Toolkit: http://bit.ly/2X4ZxQk.

Please remember that the deadline to edit the vision is on Jan 31. We are very looking forward to seeing your final work.