Umaro Foods has launched its “meaty” vegan bacon in US Michelin-starred restaurant Sorrel.
The California startup, which recently bagged a $1 million deal with Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, uses patented red algae protein extract to make its realistic-tasting bacon. According to the brand, it’s this ingredient that gives the product its signature meat-like mouthfeel.
Umaro CEO Beth Zotter said: “We’ve nailed crispy bacon.”
“We’ve found a way to use seaweed in a totally new way to improve not just the meat, but also the unmistakable taste and texture of bacon fat.”
The ingredient is also good for the planet. It’s renewable, it requires very few resources, it absorbs carbon dioxide, and it improves water quality. Plus, unlike traditional bacon, it doesn’t impact animals.
James Cromwell-approved vegan bacon
The meat industry slaughters millions of pigs every year. But before that, a majority of these animals spend their lives on factory farms. There, they often live in cramped, dirty conditions.
According to The Humane League, pigs are also “genetically manipulated” to grow quickly, increasing their risk of conditions like arthritis.
Seaweed bacon, however, is a cruelty-free alternative. It has even caught the attention of James Cromwell, an actor and activist known for appearing in the 1995 film Babe.
Cromwell recently wrote to Zotter and co-founder Amanda Stiles, awarding them the “Vegan Game Changer Award” on behalf of PETA.
He said: “You may know that I went vegan after spending time with a smart, social young pig on the set of Babe.”
“It was a truly life-changing experience and certainly a diet-changing one. I’m delighted and appreciative that you are helping to spare other pigs pain and suffering, and I wish you great success.”
As well as Sorrel, Umaro Foods’ vegan bacon is also being added to the menu at Egg Shop Cafe in New York City and D’Andrews Bakery in Nashville.