Genetic engineering is an essential part of our mission and our product, and we’ve always embraced the responsible, constructive use of genetic engineering to solve critical environmental, health, safety and food security problems. We’ve long advocated for responsible use of this technology in the food system. We wouldn’t be able to make a product that rivals or surpasses beef for flavor, texture, nutrition, sustainability versatility and accessibility -- without it.
We use two key genetically engineered ingredients: heme (soy leghemoglobin) -- the “magic” molecule that makes meat taste like meat -- and soy protein.
To make heme: We take the DNA for soy leghomoglobin, 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 -- delicious, nutritious and vastly more sustainable than meat from animals.
We also source genetically engineered soy protein from farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois that meet the highest standards for health, safety, and sustainability. You can read more on our blog here.