Not plants, and not animals, fungi are an entirely separate kingdom of life, and they can do some really amazing things. For example, two episodes ago you heard from a startup called Funga that’s seeking to implement fungal transplants in forests to enhance the carbon-capturing capacity of the soil. And you may know that my own company, The Better Meat Co., uses fungi fermentation to recreate the meat experience without animals.
But Bosque Foods is putting fungi to work in a very different way from what I do during my day job. They’re not fermenting fungi in stainless steel fermenters. Rather, they’re practicing what’s called solid-state fermentation to create high-protein foods that will be center-of-the-plate for sure, but they’re not seeking to mimic meat per se.
They’ve raised $3 million in venture capital so far and are making products that at least from the photos I see online, look fungally fantastic.
In this episode I sit down with Bosque Foods CEO Isabella Iglesias-Musachio and chat about her lifelong passion that started her on this path. We discuss all types of cool things, including what to call the products she’s making, how she intends to upcycle agricultural byproducts as a feedstock for her fungi, her pathway to commercialization, and more.
So if you’re interested in yet one more way fungi may save us, enjoy this episode. I think you’ll be inspired by Isabella’s story.
Discussed in this episode
Our past episodes with Funga (fungal forest transplants), Perfect Day (animal-free real dairy), and Aqua Cultured Foods Isabella recommends the How I Built This Podcast Article in the journal Nature on biochar from human feces More about Isabella Iglesias-Musachio
Isabella is a passionate citizen scientist with an academic background in sustainability and agriculture, and a proven track record in helping tech startups scale internationally. She’s now forging her own path in the food & biotech industry, with a focus on alternative protein and fermentation.
At TechShop, as General Manager and then Director of Operations, Isabella played an essential role in building and managing multiple makerspaces in the United States and in France. Alongside the CEO, she oversaw the first international TechShop expansion to France, and gained experience in adapting an innovative startup to a new market and culture.
More recently, Isabella decided to combine her skills in business development and expansion with my academic interest in food systems and agriculture. She joined Infarm, a leading ag-tech startup in Berlin, to build and head their first new market expansion team, and to establish their operations in the United States, Canada, and Japan. Beyond managing an all-star team to meet our growth goals, she was a key stakeholder in partnership building with major international retailers in North America and Asia (Kroger, Sobeys, Kinokuniya).
Isabella’s a life-long learner of food science, biotechnology, sustainability, and fermentation, as well as a passionate foodie, brewer, and fungi enthusiast. Today, she’s merging her passions with her skills in business management, and forging her own path as an entrepreneur. Isabella’s ultimate goal is to help accelerate the world's transition to environmentally sustainable, equitable, and animal-free protein.