BlueNalu is developing innovative cell-based seafood

June 9, 2020 by  
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Scientists are leaning into the idea of lab-grown food as a solution for food shortages around the globe, and while the idea may not sound appetizing, advancements in cell technology have moved towards more palatable, and even enjoyable,  food options. While 3D printed steak and lab-produced chicken are on their way to the market, one innovative company has set their sights on providing a well-rounded menu of seafood options that don’t come from the sea. BlueNalu’s mission is to be the global leader in cellular aquaculture, a type of food development aimed at creating sustainable solutions for overfishing and seafood shortages.  Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of BlueNalu said, “As a planet, we need to do something immediately. The United States is regarded as having the most sustainable fisheries management program in the world. However, the U.S. imports 94% of its seafood according to the FDA, and the global supply of seafood is increasingly diminishing, insecure, variable, vulnerable, fraught with issues of animal suffering and bycatch, associated with considerable damage to our oceans  via effects of trawling and nets, associated with inefficient fishing operations and potentially dangerous and illegal labor practices, and also associated with products that are frequently mis-represented to consumers and potentially contaminated with mercury, microplastics, parasites, and pollutants.” Related: What do Americans think about fake meat products? Speaking of pollutants, the fishing industry also contributes heavily to beach and coastal pollution through petroleum and  plastic waste  in the form of broken nets and other debris. As with many other types of animal harvest, fishing has yet to achieve a balance between production and environmental and animal protection. With this in mind, BlueNalu has invested in innovative technology to not only supplement naturally-harvested seafood, but to make it a sought after option for pescatarians and other environmentally conscious groups.  The process starts by isolating living cells from fish tissue. Those cells are then rapidly reproduced through a process of proliferation and subsequently turned into fresh and frozen seafood products. “So, our mission is to provide consumers with great tasting seafood products that are healthy for people, humane for sea life, and sustainable for our planet. We will produce a wide array of seafood products directly from fish cells, that are trusted, safe, and free of mercury and environmental contaminants,” Cooperhouse said. BlueNalu is all about looking into the future of food production . Forecasts show an increase in problems when it comes to feeding the world population. Working with the goal of becoming “the global leader in cell-based seafood that can sustainably support our need to feed the planet over the decades ahead,” BlueNalu will offer an alternative to wild-caught and farmed fish, rather than a blanket substitute for those options. The company is not there yet, but research and development is well underway. BlueNalu recently secured $20 million in financing from notable companies in the food industry; this funding will be used for healthy ingredients to feed the fish and to help the company break into domestic and international markets. BlueNalu’s products can help alleviate pressure on the fishing industry in Asia , for example, where seafood is consumed at a rate four or five times higher than in the U.S. and increased demand is expected. This influx of financing and partnerships may secure a path for BlueNalu to bust into a marketplace seemingly ripe to accept their offerings. Especially with a continued spotlight on workers’ rights in the fishing industry,  pollution reduction,  animal protection and concerns over the amount of microplastics and mercury found in seafood, lab-grown alternatives may help alleviate some issues. To further address these concerns, all of BlueNalu’s food will be produced locally, reducing transportation emissions that come from shipping fish around the world. BlueNalu centers sustainable practices by growing only the fish fillets to reduce waste, avoiding animal testing and focusing “on species that are overfished, primarily imported, or difficult to farm-raise.” While consumers continue to seek eco-friendly alternatives, BlueNalu is still 12 to 18 months from having products in the test market phase. The company is on plan, however, and worth watching as it expands production capabilities to accept product test manufacturing in the second half of 2021. BlueNalu will also seek approval from the FDA when ready to launch. Throughout the initial stages of development, the executive team at BlueNalu has continuously sought guidance from the FDA to work within guidelines. Hopefully, this will allow for quick approval when the company is ready to apply. BlueNalu is quick to recognize it is only one of three options for seafood, with the other two being wild-caught and farm-raised. To distinguish itself, the company aims to inform potential consumers about the benefits of the product, including that it will be free of microplastics and mercury. The company also acknowledges that its product is cell-based, stating on the BlueNalu website, “We believe that truthful and accurate labeling is necessary on all seafood products in a way that demonstrates whether it comes from wild capture, fish farming or via cellular aquaculture.” Rather than hiding the fact that its fish is made in a lab, the company plans to advertise it, insisting, “Labeling is of utmost importance to protect those consumers who are allergic to fish.” + BlueNalu Images via BlueNalu 

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BlueNalu is developing innovative cell-based seafood

Trump allows commercial fishing in Atlantic national monument

June 9, 2020 by  
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The Trump administration announced on Friday that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which encompasses over 5,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, will open to commercial fishing. The announcement came after the president attended a round-table discussion with commercial fishers from Maine who were concerned about the economic tolls of COVID-19 in their industry. Ocean experts are cautioning that the decision will cause comprehensive harm to the environment in the long run, especially as the proclamation will allow fishing within the monument without changing its size or boundaries. Brad Sewell, senior director of Oceans for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement that such a significant change to a monument must be done by Congress. Sewell cited that the Antiquities Act gives the president the power to protect specific natural areas, not the other way around. The 5,000-square-mile ocean monument is home to sea turtles, endangered whales, unique species of cold water coral reefs , four extinct underwater volcanoes and deep sea canyons teeming with marine life. Related: Sea turtles thrive on empty beaches during COVID-19 lockdowns The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument has been open to sport fishing but closed to commercial fishing (with the exception of the red crab and lobster) since its creation in 2016 by President Obama. Any continuing fisheries were given a 7-year transition period to end their operations in the area by 2023. The Seamounts monument has been no stranger to controversy, even before Trump’s recent decision. A year after its designation, five commercial fishing groups sued the Obama administration because they felt the president had created the monument illegally. Now, Trump’s announcement raises the question of the limits of presidential powers regarding changing the rules of national monuments altogether. National Geographic’s Pristine Seas founder Enric Sala told National Geographic that these types of national monuments are established to preserve the country’s natural and historical sites. “We need pristine areas set aside so that we can see nature as it was before we overexploited it, and understand the true impact of fishing,” Sala said. “If commercial fishing were allowed in a monument, it would become just a name on a map, and no different than any other place in the ocean.” Via National Geographic Image via NOAA

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Stay-at-home orders increase demand for eco-friendly interiors

June 9, 2020 by  
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Lockdowns have forced many to stay home. With all that time inside, you can’t help but pay close attention to the interior details of your home. Many have turned to home improvement projects to make productive use of their time. The novel coronavirus has likewise forced many to become more health-conscious. It’s no surprise then that a joint study, administered by Harris Poll for eco-friendly manufacturer ECOS Paints , found 69% of those surveyed “have taken or plan to take action to make their home environment healthier as a result of COVID-19.” How can we make homes healthier and more eco-friendly? For one, 45% of those surveyed are cleaning the house more often. That’s followed closely by 43% who plan to “use eco-friendly paint, change air filters, add air purifiers, and/or add more plants to their home” to avoid harmful VOCs. Next, 17% are shifting toward natural or chemical-free household products, while 12% will cease using harsh chemicals as cleaners altogether. Another 10% are going to add a humidifier to their homes. Related: Scandinavian company Tikkurila debuts new paint collection to protect endangered species What are VOCs? The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines them as substances that emit gases that have adverse health effects. Their toxic fumes, for instance, can cause headaches, dizziness, respiratory irritation, visual impairments or more severe bodily reactions.  VOCs can be found in paints, varnishes, cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners, pesticides and even hobby supplies. The use of eco-friendly paints and cleaning substances makes for a healthier home environment. So the pivot toward environmentally conscious products during the pandemic, as folks devote more time to home improvements, has piqued the interest of ECOS Paints.  “Having been in the home decor category for over 30 years, we believe this change in consumer behavior will significantly alter the industry,” said Julian Crawford, CEO OF ECOS. “Paint definitely impacts indoor air quality. ECOS Paints were originally created decades ago as a solution for individuals with chemical sensitivities, including children and babies who cannot tolerate strong odors and harsh chemicals. Today, ECOS has become a favorite among a broader market of consumers who care about creating healthier, wellness-focused living environments in their homes.” + ECOS Paints Image via Arek Socha

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After Cyber Monday, here comes a new spotlight on e-commerce shipping

December 4, 2019 by  
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This article is adapted from GreenBiz’s newsletter, Transport Weekly, running Tuesdays. Subscribe here.How many Amazon packages were rapidly shipped to your home this week thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday?For many of us, plenty. And those big cardboard boxes with tiny items inside are just one of the more visceral problems associated with the rapid rise of on-demand online shopping. 

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After Cyber Monday, here comes a new spotlight on e-commerce shipping

Capitalism’s change of climate

August 6, 2019 by  
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Capitalism is stepping in, doing what it does best: aligning markets and prices with risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

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Every sustainability team needs a customer-facing specialist

August 6, 2019 by  
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How does a company make sustainability simple enough for the everyday consumer to understand without sacrificing fundamental pieces of the puzzle?

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Nearly half of companies with deforestation risk aren’t addressing it

July 17, 2019 by  
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And only 8 percent of global companies involved in the production of commodities associated with deforestation have publiclu committed to ending it.

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Nearly half of companies with deforestation risk aren’t addressing it

Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a hotter, drier future

July 17, 2019 by  
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Dry years like 2018 are the likely future — leaders must begin planning for them now.

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Western states buy time with a 7-year Colorado River drought plan, but face a hotter, drier future

MIT develops new technology that shocks the salt out of water

November 23, 2015 by  
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The bright minds at MIT have developed a way to separate salt from water that is easy, cheap, and effective. Using an electrical current, the team discovered how to quite literally shock the salt out of water, a technique designed to aid disaster-stricken areas needing fresh drinking water. This process is said to be affordable and avoids some of the snags associated with other desalination methods, such as filters getting clogged and boiling water requiring too much energy. Read the rest of MIT develops new technology that shocks the salt out of water

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Glass-bottomed sky pool will be suspended 115 feet in the air

November 23, 2015 by  
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