We’ve always embraced the responsible, constructive use of genetic engineering to solve critical environmental, health, safety, and food security problems, and we have long advocated for responsible use of this technology in the food system. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to make products that rival or surpass their animal counterparts on flavor, texture, nutrition, sustainability, versatility, and accessibility.
We use two key genetically engineered ingredients: heme (soy leghemoglobin) -- the “magic” molecule that makes certain meats taste so meaty -- and soy protein.
To make heme, we take the DNA for soy leghemoglobin, insert it into yeast, and ferment the yeast. By making our heme using genetic engineering, we avoid growing and digging up soy plants to harvest heme (from the root nodules), which would promote erosion and release carbon stored in the soil. The method we’ve adopted enables us to produce heme sustainably at high volume and make meat from plants for millions of people that is delicious, nutritious, and vastly more sustainable than meat from animals.
We also source genetically engineered soy protein for our products. This has allowed us to responsibly scale our production and make our products increasingly more accessible, providing shoppers the chance to ditch unsustainable animal foods in favor of something equally delicious and more sustainable.