About Carrie Chan & Avant Meats:
Carrie Chan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Avant Meats, the first cultivated fish company in Asia.
What is cultivated fish? If you assumed it meant fish that’s refined and well-educated, you’re wrong, but hey that’s what I thought, too!
Instead, it means that they are able to create real fish using the cells in a process that’s not dissimilar to brewing beer. They can take the fish cells and multiply them in a controlled environment, bringing you real fish without the animal killings, without those yummy microplastic seasonings that we all love so much, and without toxic heavy metals like that mercury that gives fish its healthy, wholesome taste.
Carrie has raised over 13 million dollars for her idea so far, and in my opinion, it’s the future of fish and meat.
Full Unedited Audio Conversation:
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[Creating Fish that are Mercury-Free And Microplastic-Free]
*2:16 – “Our ocean is actually very polluted. You know, ever since the Industrial Revolution, it has been a very convenient location where we dump a lot of the industrial waste and things like that…we are also catching fish from the ocean and cumulatively – so mercury is something that accumulates into the food system, the food chain in the ocean – and then when we catch a fish, we actually expose ourselves to a lot of this consumption. And if we eat too much, of course, then we’ll get the poisoning. And our solution, so we pluck the cells from fish, and then it needs to go for a very rigorous investigation and review and checking that it is not contaminated with virus and things like that. So once that is established, we will let them actually continue to do the cell kind of thing. You know, inside our animal bodies, the cells, they actually have a self-regenerative behavior and property. So given the right condition, temperature, nutrients, things like that, 1 cell can continue to split into 2, 2 split to 4, 4 split to 8. And that’s how we build our muscles and how our wounds are healed. And so we use this property to take it outside of the animal bodies and let it happen in a very, very controlled environment….In this process we won’t have microplastic, we won’t have heavy metals, we won’t have kind of viruses that get into this production of our seafood.”
5:30 – “Fish is the only kind of animal we still rely on catching from the wild. We cannot imagine doing these to get our chicken, right? Pork or beef. But then for fish, it seems like the ocean, it seems to have an infinite supply and is out there, is free. As long as you have a boat or you have any kind of fishing gear, you can actually catch a fish. And we have been catching and emptying ocean, trillions of fish every year, basically countless. We also farmed fish in fish farm, also trillions of fish. And it’s basically the same kind of horrible stories of squeezing as many animal, number of individuals, in a small space so that we can maximize our productivity. So if we care about animal welfare like pigs and chicken in cage farm and things like that, it’s actually the same thing happening.”
Could We Run Out Of Fish By 2050?
*6:55 – “We find that now we see that the trend is that even though we have more advancement of the technology and vessels and gear, we are not driving more harvest from the ocean, which means that we already reached a tipping point. You know, to the degree we catching fish that cannot replenish. So I think we heard about, scientists predicting if we do nothing to improve that, we may run out of the fishless scenario in part of the planet, at least, around 2050.”
Reducing World Hunger With Cultivated Fish
*16:10 – “We’re creating only the part of the fish that we eat. So we do not produce the head or tail, or the bones. And then so we only produce a part. We eat, we consume, reducing on the waste. We also check the box of life on the water. And obviously because we’re talking about fish and then we also indirectly helping with the zero hunger because our thing at the moment is not that the planet does not have enough natural resources to go about for everyone is actually the wasteful and also not effective way of using the resources, either in production or distribution of the food, globally that happened, that we still have famine, we still have people suffering from hunger in parts of the world. And I think that, you know, obviously people can step up to the plate and actually contribute a part, adopting different kind of lifestyle and adopting different way of producing meat.”
23:19 – “The first generation of product that we see in the market will very likely be hybrid products as we see them now. So there’s a combination of the muscle cells that we produce using these methods and then that is combined with some plant material basically to make it easier to form some shapes and not get a patty so that we can cope with them. And then I think that the technology space would need a bit more time to develop more sophisticated solution.”
29:28 – “I think that in a very good solution, a good product, I think they will be 90% similar. And of course, product under development, it will be more on the mouthfeel and the texture that is under development. The flavor is actually the strength and the nutrition is the strength of this technology. So maybe you will still detect kind of a little bit different at this point of time. But we actually have conducted one public, small scale public tasting in Singapore with our one of the product called Fish More. And then we got feedback. They said that okay, is actually close enough to the conventional thing that really like it and then they see that okay we can actually imagine having it in hotpot and you know, those kind of like dishes that we like.”
47:34 – “Now, this technology has a bit of benefit because conventional way you have no choice but actually catch a fish. They need to be cut up, frozen and be on the boat, on the lorry. Before that they put in the refrigerator and then you go to the supermarket to buy them. So you think about the freshness or you want to catch them and keep them in the tank before you eat it, and you know you’re sorted then. But I think in this case there’s a lot of opportunity for us to actually to be much closer to the time when we complete the production cycle, to the time we consume it.”
53:18 – “One of the challenges in the food services or in the retail process is that, you cannot standardize the shape of those animal because they are small. And even if you grow them, you try to harvest the same time, there will be kind of still varied between the shape and size of that. So I think this technology has gained some very interesting and not intended at the beginning, but actually benefit is that we can customize the portion very much for operation for food services that make their life a lot more easier.”
56:11 – “For those who are actually think about, food safety and how to support sustainability with your own action in choice of food. I mean, get on board and learn a bit more. And as there are product, in the States and wherever you are, go give it a try because it’s going to be helping with the planet and you know also good for our health as well.”