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Thomas Jonas

Chief Executive Officer

Thomas believes in asking the big questions but also in finding new and different solutions. When a chance encounter on the beach in Hawaii led Thomas to a lab in Montana where he met Mark, he saw infinite possibilities in the tiny microscopic organism. When others often ask why, Thomas’ curiosity drives him to ask, why not and what if? Why not use the nutritional power of Fy to positively impact the environment and disrupt the food industry? What if Fy could feed people today and for generations to come? And as a former officer in the French Air Force, Thomas knows that even the sky is not the limit.
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Dr. Mark Kozubal

Chief Science Officer

Mark loves exploring science to find groundbreaking ways to benefit mankind. True to his curious nature, he journeyed to Yellowstone National Park and later discovered an extremophile microbe in samples taken from the hot springs. This microbe eventually grew to become our nutritional fungi protein, Fy. As a leading expert in extremophile organisms, it’s no surprise that his deep knowledge has led NASA, the National Science Foundation, the USDA, and the EPA to seek him out. When Mark isn’t researching extremophiles, he likes to mountain bike, backcountry ski, and strum guitar.
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Matthew Strongin

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew is passionate about leveraging technology to deliver a sustained impact on the planet and our society. This enthusiasm led him to Nature’s Fynd after working in venture capital and banking. As a venture investor in early-stage companies focused on agriculture and energy, Matthew experienced firsthand the struggles and rewards of commercializing technologies that both challenge convention and create sustainable solutions that disrupt the food industry in a positive way. He enjoys building towards audacious goals using his innovative spirit— just ask him about completely remodeling his home in his spare time.
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Karuna Rawal

Chief Marketing Officer

As a marketer with award-winning international success, Karuna was ready for the challenge of building a purpose-driven brand from the ground up. That brand? Nature’s Fynd. Karuna’s broad experience in launching new food innovations combined with an intentional focus on how we can create a better food system led her to this position. Building on the company’s unique origins, Karuna is crafting a compelling narrative for Nature’s Fynd. And her own enthusiasm for food extends beyond her kitchen to seeking out amazing tasting vegan food. So if you’re in Chicago, ask her to share a favorite recipe or restaurant she last visited for a flawless recommendation.
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Jim Millis

Chief Technology Officer

Jim’s belief is simple: live modestly and leave the world in a better place than you found it. He does this by preparing food from his own garden and through his work at Nature’s Fynd. With over thirty years of working as an entrepreneurial leader and his expertise in fermentation technology, Jim helped create the breakthrough method used to grow our nutritional fungi protein, Fy. This innovative spirit comes from a family of creators. With a woodshop on his family’s farm and an uncle in the business of wood lathes, Jim also loves woodturning to craft stunning bowls from reclaimed wood.
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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Fy Protein™

  • Fy is a nutri­tion­al fun­gi pro­tein derived from a nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring microbe (Fusar­i­um strain flavolapis) with ori­gins in Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park. Using our break­through fer­men­ta­tion process, we grow Fy, an ani­mal-free, com­plete pro­tein source with all 20 amino acids and min­i­mal envi­ron­men­tal impact. With Fy, we cre­ate a wide range of tru­ly deli­cious foods—all free from ani­mal products—that nour­ish your body and nur­ture our plan­et for future gen­er­a­tions. Find out more here.

  • When our founders dis­cov­ered this microbe in Yel­low­stone, they sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly dubbed it Fusar­i­um strain flavolapis (“yel­low stone” in Latin). This inspired us to name our pro­tein Fy” to con­nect to its ori­gins as the Fusar­i­um of Yellowstone.

  • Fy is a nutri­tion­al pow­er­house. It’s a com­plete veg­an pro­tein source with all 20 amino acids, includ­ing the 9 essen­tial amino acids, which help build and main­tain muscle. 

    The nov­el pro­tein con­tent con­tains good lev­els of vit­a­mins and min­er­als, with no cho­les­terol or trans fats. Fy is a good source of fiber, includ­ing beta-glu­cans and pre­bi­ot­ic fiber. Beta-glu­cans from fun­gi are known to sup­port a healthy immune sys­tem and sup­port healthy cho­les­terol lev­els and heart health, and pre­bi­ot­ic fiber is known to sup­port diges­tive health. Fy is high­ly digestible so our bod­ies can absorb its nutri­tious pro­tein con­tent eas­i­er than peas, peanuts, and many oth­er plant-based pro­teins. Talk about nutrient-dense!

    As an ingre­di­ent, it only has 1/​10th of the fat of ground beef. On top of that, Fy has 50% more pro­tein than tofu and twice as much pro­tein as raw peas. 

    What more could you ask for?

    Well, research* sug­gests that eat­ing Fusar­i­um fun­gi help main­tain healthy blood cho­les­terol lev­els and blood glu­cose and insulin lev­els, pro­mote mus­cle syn­the­sis, and increas­es satiety.

  • No, Fy is not a plant-based pro­tein. And it’s not an ani­mal-based pro­tein either. It’s made from a microbe that’s actu­al­ly part of the third king­dom of life—fungi. Fun­gi are an omnipresent, almost invis­i­ble part of nature that is some­times for­got­ten but can be found all around us.

    Learn more about what makes fun­gi-based pro­tein special.

  • No. Fy is cer­ti­fied non-GMO and is cre­at­ed from Fusar­i­um strain flavolapis, a wild, nat­u­ral­ly-occur­ring microbe with ori­gins in Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park. The mag­ic is in our unique, inspired-by-nature fer­men­ta­tion process, where we sim­ply give it the nutri­ents it needs and an envi­ron­ment where it can thrive and grow into Fy, a nutri­tion­al fun­gi pro­tein. We have not genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied it in any way. 

  • All pro­tein sources can trig­ger aller­gies for cer­tain indi­vid­u­als with sen­si­tiv­i­ties. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Nebras­ka Food Aller­gy Research and Resource Pro­gram (FAARP), one of the most well-known author­i­ties on aller­gens in the world, deemed Fy, our pro­tein, to be a low-risk allergen.

    We do rec­om­mend that those with sen­si­tiv­i­ty to fun­gi species, includ­ing mush­rooms, avoid con­sum­ing our foods.

  • We reluc­tant­ly did because most reg­u­la­tors in the world still man­date ani­mal test­ing to prove that an inno­v­a­tive, new-to-the-world food prod­uct like Fy, is safe to eat. So we com­plet­ed the required test­ing to assure the safe­ty of our products.

  • We take the health and well­be­ing of our cus­tomers seri­ous­ly and have thor­ough­ly reviewed the sci­ence sup­port­ing the safe­ty of Fy. Fy has been con­firmed to be Gen­er­al­ly Rec­og­nized as Safe (GRAS). In addi­tion, we have received a no-ques­tions let­ter from the Unit­ed States Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA), accept­ing the unan­i­mous con­clu­sion of a pan­el of inde­pen­dent food-safe­ty experts that Fy is safe to eat.

In Stores

  • Our prod­ucts are now avail­able in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, New York City, and the Chicagoland area. But stay tuned—we’re work­ing hard to grow the avail­abil­i­ty of our meat­less and dairy-free foods in oth­er regions.

  • We have some excit­ing retail part­ner­ships in the works and will be in more stores by the end of the year. To be one of the first to know about store avail­abil­i­ty please sign up for our newslet­ters. Eager for our foods to hit your local stores? You can take this form to your local retail­ers to kind­ly ask that they stock the shelves with Nature’s Fynd foods.

    If you are inter­est­ed in car­ry­ing Nature’s Fynd prod­ucts in your retail loca­tion or restau­rant, please reach out to us at sales@​naturesfynd.​com.

Products

  • Due to Fy’s ver­sa­til­i­ty, we can cre­ate a wide range of both meat and dairy alter­na­tives, and many more of your favorite foods. To start, we’ve launched meat­less break­fast pat­ties and dairy-free cream cheese. Stay con­nect­ed to learn more about the new prod­ucts we’ll be intro­duc­ing in the com­ing months.

  • Yes, our prod­ucts are veg­an.

    Our prod­ucts are pro­duced with­out any ani­mal ingre­di­ents, added ani­mal prod­ucts, addi­tives, or byprod­ucts. This includes ani­mal meat, poul­try, fish, and shell­fish as well as eggs, dairy, hon­ey, and gelatin.

  • Yes, all of our prod­ucts are nut-free; our prod­ucts do not con­tain tree nuts or peanuts. Our prod­ucts were man­u­fac­tured in peanut-free facilities.

  • Nature’s Fynd prod­ucts are not cur­rent­ly cer­ti­fied organ­ic. We con­tin­ue to explore organ­ic cer­ti­fi­ca­tion require­ments and oppor­tu­ni­ties to use organ­ic cer­ti­fied ingredients. 

  • Stove­top (rec­om­mend­ed method):

    Pre-heat your non-stick skil­let over medi­um heat and gen­er­ous­ly coat the skil­let with oil (approx­i­mate­ly one table­spoon for every two pat­ties). Then, heat the pat­ties for 23 min­utes on each side, 46 min­utes total. Only heat pat­ties until very light­ly browned. Please don’t overcook.

    Alter­na­tive microwave heat­ing instruc­tions (if you don’t have a stovetop):

    Please cook the pat­ties on a stove­top for opti­mal expe­ri­ence. If you don’t have access to a stove­top, below are instruc­tions to cook the pat­ties in a microwave. All microwave appli­ances vary so please use these as guide­lines only. Remem­ber: please do not overcook—it’s not meat!

    • Microwave cook instruc­tions (assum­ing 1100 watts)
      • Remove two (2) pat­ties from packaging.
      • Place on a microwave-safe plate and cov­er with a paper towel.
      • Microwave on high for 45 sec­onds or until hot.

    Heat to a min­i­mum tem­per­a­ture of 165°F.

  • Our prod­ucts should be stored in the fridge and con­sumed by the Best By” date on the pack­ag­ing. After open­ing the cream cheese or break­fast pat­ties, please con­sume with­in 7 days. Please do not freeze either our Dairy-Free Cream Cheese or Meat­less Break­fast Patties.

  • Please con­sume our break­fast pat­ties and cream cheese by the Best By” date or with­in 7 days of open­ing (whichev­er comes first). The Best By” date is locat­ed on the left-side pan­el of our break­fast pat­ties and on the lid of our cream cheese tub.

Environmental Impact

  • Grow­ing Fy is incred­i­bly resource-effi­cient. Work­ing with Life Cycle Analy­sis experts, we deter­mined that Fy emits rough­ly 94% few­er green­house gas­es, and uses 99% less land, and 99% less water than grow­ing beef, with no methane emis­sions, and min­i­mal waste.

    Fy is also more effi­cient because we are able to pro­duce 5.4x more pro­tein per acre of crop­land than ani­mal pro­teins and 1.3x more than plant proteins.

  • No. We retrieved a small sam­ple of Fusar­i­um strain flavolapis and thanks to its remark­able capac­i­ty for growth and self-suf­fi­cien­cy, the orig­i­nal sam­ple col­lect­ed from Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park is all we need to grow unlim­it­ed amounts of Fy using our break­through fer­men­ta­tion method.

Company

  • Nature’s Fynd is a com­pa­ny of opti­mists, explor­ers, and sci­en­tists who are ded­i­cat­ed to solv­ing the biggest chal­lenges fac­ing human­i­ty. We believe human inge­nu­ity along with sci­en­tif­ic curios­i­ty will reveal Nature’s solu­tions to our planet’s chal­lenges. We’re deeply com­mit­ted to our mis­sion of cre­at­ing amaz­ing foods that are nutri­tious, taste great, and help renew our plan­et for future gen­er­a­tions. Learn more about us.

  • Our food land­scape, what we eat, where it’s made, and the choic­es we have will be rad­i­cal­ly altered in the com­ing decades. 

    Cli­mate change and the chal­lenges fac­ing the food sup­ply sys­tem aren’t a prob­lem fac­ing one com­pa­ny or industry—it’s a cul­tur­al, glob­al chal­lenge, with solu­tions requir­ing inno­va­tion, curios­i­ty, and most of all—optimism.

    Solv­ing the chal­lenges that face our food sup­ply sys­tem is the moon­shot of our time. Pro­vid­ing a method to feed the world in a way that’s good for humans and the health of the plan­et is an auda­cious goal, but it’s one Nature’s Fynd has the tech­nolo­gies and capa­bil­i­ties to meet.

  • Our sto­ry starts with an extra­or­di­nary microbe named Fusar­i­um strain flavolapis, with ori­gins in Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park. Our food ingre­di­ent name, Fy, is inspired by this extra­or­di­nary microbe and our unique origins.

    As we con­sid­ered our company’s objec­tive of unlock­ing the unmatched nour­ish­ing pow­er of our plan­et for future gen­er­a­tions, it became evi­dent that we want­ed to cap­ture this ori­gin sto­ry and a core part of our iden­ti­ty and pur­pose, right in our brand name.

    Hence, Nature’s Fynd was born as a way to tell the sto­ry of who we are, and inspire the pos­si­bil­i­ty of what we will do. The new spelling of the word Fynd” is a nod to our remark­able pro­tein and pays homage to the pow­er of nature’s tech­nol­o­gy. We were just the ones who found it.


*Finni­gan, T. J. A. et al. Myco­pro­tein: The Future of Nutri­tious Non­meat Pro­tein, a Sym­po­sium Review. Cur­rent Devel­op­ments in Nutri­tion 3, (2019).

Still curious?

 
 
 
 
 

If you couldn't find an answer to your question, drop us a line.

If you’re interested in carrying our foods or for other sales inquiries, reach out to sales@naturesfynd.com.

For press inquiries, reach out to press@naturesfynd.com and check out our press page.