This New Company Is Creating Super-Realistic Vegan Versions of Your Favorite Seafood Staples

Photo: Good Catch
So far, 2018 has been a really great year to be vegan. Long gone are the days of having to choose between limited options that taste more like cardboard than food in order to get your faux-animal-product fix: Now there's ultra-creamy ice cream, Beyond Burgers gracing the meat aisles of grocery stores, plenty of non-dairy options at Starbucks, and Impossible Burgers making history by being served at fast food chains. Heck, there's even an eggless scramble that tastes so real hitting the retail market soon. And now, one company is diving headfirst into the world of plant-based seafood.

"We want to offer a delicious new protein option for consumers that we call 'seafood without sacrifice': harmless, nutrient rich (including omegas and protein), free of mercury and better for the environment." —Good Catch co-founder Marci Zaroff

Good Catch was founded with one mission in mind: to create alternative food options that honor both sea life and ocean ecosystems. "First and foremost, we want to offer a delicious new protein option for consumers that we call 'seafood without sacrifice': harmless, nutrient rich (including omegas and protein), free of mercury and better for the environment—helping to protect our oceans from overfishing," co-founder Marci Zaroff tells me. And the company's most-talked-about vegan seafood product accomplishing just that is its fish-free tuna that was carefully crafted to taste like, look like, and have the same texture as the so-called "chicken of the sea." To make it realistic, Good Catch uses plenty of plant protein from a six-ingredient blend of legumes—chickpeas, soy, peas, lentils, fava beans, and navy beans—and a special ingredient that gives it an authentic briny flavor: algal oil extracted from sea algae, which has the same omega-3 fatty acid—called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—that's found in fish oils. Because of these all-star ingredients, you'll get 13 grams of protein per serving.

Plants are a powerhouse of good nutrition. They are loaded with phytonutrients, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming a plant-based diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancers, and high blood pressure. Moreover, plant protein is typically easier to digest than animal protein and no animal is ever harmed! _ #goodcatchfoods #seafoodwithoutsacrifice #seathechange #seabeyond #veganseafood #veganrecipes #chefmastered #nothingfishy #culinaryrebels #rebels #veganism #foodstagram #f52grams #feedfeed #foodies #foodnetwork #wholefoods #buzzfeedfood #veganlife #bonappetit #huffposttaste #veganfoodspot #plantmade #plantbased #gmofree #vegan #vegetarian #whatveganseat #bestofvegan #healthyrecipes

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But its tasty, healthy faux-seafood products aren't the only reason to celebrate this company. Co-founder Chris Kerr partnered with chefs Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno—as well as fellow co-founders Zaroff and Eric Schnell, who are behind the conscious branding agency BeyondBrands—to create a product that caters to the environment. According to the World Wildlife Fund, a whopping 3 billion people around the globe rely on seafood as their primary source of protein. Because of that, 85 percent of the world's fisheries are either fully exploited or overfished. Not only does this reality translate to the leading cause of death of aquatic mammals, with more than 300,000 dolphins, porpoises, and whales being killed every year due to getting caught in nets and other fishing gear, but it could also lead to a major food shortage by 2023 because of the increasing world population.

So what's Good Catch doing about it? Well, while some vegan products on the market can skew pricey or be tough to even find, Kerr tells Fast Company his goal is to make Good Catch's seafood alternatives as affordable and easily accessible as possible, and part of that means providing it in both shelf-stable (like the three flavors of tuna: naked in water, olive oil and herbs, and Mediterranean) and frozen forms (like the upcoming fish-free sliders, fish-free burgers, and crab-free cakes). "In the case of our seafood, it better taste like tuna fish, it better be priced like tuna fish, it better be as available as tuna fish, and I better know where to get it," he says.

And the easiest way to bring the tuna home ASAP? Through online food retailers Thrive Market and Fresh Direct, where it's set to roll out in early December—and undoubtedly become a regular addition to your weekly menu.

Are you getting a side of plastic when you order fish? Also, learn how to make poké the vegan way.

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