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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. We grow Fy using our break­through fer­men­ta­tion process to cre­ate 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 pro­tect our plan­et for future gen­er­a­tions. Find out more here.

  • 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 is sup­ple­ment­ed by high lev­els of cal­ci­um, 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 boost immu­ni­ty 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 and 30x less sodi­um than ground beef. On top of that, Fy has 50% more pro­tein than tofu and twice as much pro­tein than raw peas. 

    What more could you ask for?

    Well, research* sug­gests that eat­ing Fusar­i­um helps main­tain healthy blood cho­les­terol lev­els and blood glu­cose and insulin lev­els, pro­motes 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 cre­at­ed from Fusar­i­um strain flavolapis, a wild, nat­u­ral­ly-occur­ring microbe orig­i­nat­ing in Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park. The mag­ic is in our unique, inspired-by-nature fer­men­ta­tion process, where we sim­ply give it the nutri­ents and 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 ingre­di­ent, 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.

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. Stay con­nect­ed to learn more about the new prod­ucts we’ll be intro­duc­ing in the com­ing months!

  • Yes, our prod­ucts are 100% 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.

Environmental Impact

  • Pro­duc­ing Fy is incred­i­bly resource-effi­cient. Mak­ing Fy emits rough­ly 99% few­er green­house gas­es, and uses 99% less land, and 87% less water than grow­ing beef, with no methane emis­sions, and min­i­mal waste.

    Fy is also more effi­cient because we are able to pro­duce 3.6x more pro­tein per acre than ani­mal pro­teins and 1.8x 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 sam­ples col­lect­ed from Yel­low­stone Nation­al Park are all we need to pro­duce unlim­it­ed amounts of Fy.

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 is pre­pared to meet.


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

Still curious?

 
 
 
 
 

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