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Back to our roots: Becoming a conscious consumer in the food industry

November 29, 2023
Back to our roots: Becoming a conscious consumer in the food industry
The purchasing decisions that are often given the least thought – the food we consume – happen on a daily basis and can have the most significant effects on our individual footprint.

In the 21st century, being a member of the food chain is as easy as clicking a button – you can now get dinner delivered straight to your doorstep within minutes. But where is that meal coming from? The increased development and emphasis on convenience in today’s food industry means that diners have become disconnected from the source of their food, though it is more important than ever before that consumers are aware of their impact. 

Our current agricultural systems are failing us and our planet. Farm-to-table eating has nearly vanished as the animal agriculture industry relies on factory farming to provide 90% of global meat supply

Eating a hamburger in the U.S.? Chances are it came from Brazil, the largest beef exporter in the world. At least 20% of the legendary Amazon Rainforest has already been deforested in the past 40 years, and cattle ranching is responsible for an estimated 70% of this destruction. The demolition of Earth’s largest rainforest has ripple effects throughout the social-ecological system: over 10,000 native species are at extreme risk of extinction, over 500 distinct indigenous communities residing in the forest are threatened by ecosystem destruction and climate-related disasters, and the region that was once the world’s greatest terrestrial carbon sink now emits more CO2 than it absorbs. Of course, none of this is reflected in a U.S. grocery store or restaurant, meaning that many consumers don’t realize the story behind their dinner.

In the meantime, the planet simply cannot sustain our modern food production methods. We are running out of land, freshwater, and energy to keep up with society’s growing appetite for meat, and the effects of climate change are already taking a toll. 

Global warming has created a social justice crisis, where wealthy nations disproportionately contribute and developing countries suffer the most severe consequences. The environmental crisis is exacerbating inequalities in access to food, clean water, and other natural resources. In fact, global food insecurity rates reached 29.6% in 2022. With temperatures rising and Earth’s natural capital quickly depleting, this number will only continue to grow unless we can transform the way we produce and consume food. 

The responsibility that comes with each meal can seem daunting, but understanding the impact of what they eat can enable consumers to contribute to positive change for people, animals, and plants around the globe. With increased awareness of where our food comes from and how it is made, we can shift the agricultural industry and move towards healthy and climate-resilient foods. 

Mamu was designed for chefs and diners to feel confident that they are getting the protein they need and flavor they crave without social or environmental drawbacks. Mushrooms have been recognized since ancient times for their nutritional benefits and healing properties, and now they can be grown at scale in harmony with the planet using cutting-edge mycelium refineries.

New food system technologies can have tremendous advantages for the planet and society, but innovation in production does not mean that we have to abandon real, trusted ingredients. It is time to reconnect with natural foods that can be ethically and sustainably grown, helping consumers feel good inside and out.

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