Eat The Change: Beyond Meat Chairman Launches Vegan Mushroom Jerky Line

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Eat the Change, a new plant-based snack startup co-founded by Beyond Meat chairman Seth Goldman and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, has debuted its first product – organic mushroom jerky. Currently available through the brand’s direct-to-consumer online platform, the products will be rolling out across retail channels starting from January next year. 

Marking the brand’s first offering, Eat the Change’s just-showcased line of vegan-friendly organic mushroom jerky will come in five flavours. These include sea salt and cracked pepper, hickory smokehouse, teriyaki ginger, maple mustard and habanero barbecue – all of them made using USDA-certified organic portobello and crimini mushrooms

In addition to being far less carbon-intensive by virtue of being 100% animal-free, the entire line of plant-based jerky is also made with mushrooms that are usually deemed not aesthetic enough to be sold and would otherwise be going to waste. Sourced from a farm in Pennsylvania, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company uses up bruised, oversized and discarded stems of mushrooms to make its snack-ready bags of jerky. 

We are thrilled to launch our first product line—chef-crafted mushroom jerky, in a tasty range of flavours—from tangy to spicy. Our goal at Eat the Change is to provide delicious, climate-friendly foods.

Seth Goldman & Spike Mendelsohn, Co-Founders, Eat the Change

According to the brand, each bag provides a significant source of vitamins B2 and B3, and is also suitable for paleo, gluten-free and soy-free folk. All five flavours are available to purchase through the brand’s direct-to-consumer website, with retailers to offer the product nationwide from January 2021, retailing for US$5.99 per 2-ounce package

The Eat the Change platform was set up in February this year by Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea and chairman of the board for food tech leader Beyond Meat, and chef Spike Mendelsohn, the restaurateur behind the PLNT Burger chain. Besides offering vegan snacks, the founders say that the brand exists to act as a platform to “inform and empower consumers to make dietary choices aligned with climate and health”. 

Speaking to VegNews about the launch, Goldman and Mendelsohn said: “We are thrilled to launch our first product line—chef-crafted mushroom jerky, in a tasty range of flavours—from tangy to spicy. Our goal at Eat the Change is to provide delicious, climate-friendly foods.”

Eat the Change’s vegan jerky line comes amidst the coronavirus pandemic-driven boost in plant-based sales, which experts forecast will be sustained for the long-term as first-time consumers plan to make their new flexitarian habits a long-term choice

They aren’t the only brand to harness the power of mushrooms to create jerky, with Pan’s Mushroom Jerky offering its version since 2008. The Oregon-based company has recently attracted renewed attention, thanks to Shark Tank investor and billionaire Mark Cuban’s headline-making US$300,000 investment into the brand

The entire product line developed by Pan’s Mushroom Jerky is soy-free and 100% vegan, made from organic dried shiitake mushrooms, plus organic coconut sugar, avocado oil, Himalayan pink salt and organic chia seeds. 

All images courtesy of Eat the Change.

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