New food company Zero Acre Farms has raised $37 million (£27.4m) in funding to produce a new category of healthy and sustainable oils and fats.
The funding round, which will support its development and bring the company’s first product to market, was oversubscribed and led by investors Lowercarbon Capital and Fifty Years.
Zero Acre Farms aims to end the food industry’s dependence on “destructive” vegetable oils by using the process of fermentation, “not deforestation”, to produce oils and fats.
According to the company, more vegetable oils are produced globally than all beef, chicken, shrimp and cheese combined, contributing to record rates of deforestation and carbon emissions, with one of the top drivers of global deforestation being vegetable oil crops.
In addition, the increase in vegetable oil consumption is also believed to be the single largest dietary change of the last 100 years and is claimed to be linked to increased rates of obesity and chronic disease, including heart disease.
Jeff Nobbs, Co-founder and CEO, Zero Acre Farms said: “Fermentation is the original culinary art, after fire.
“We use this ancient technique to produce oils and fats with significantly lower levels of the bad fats that have been linked to inflammation and disease while having a fraction of the environmental footprint. We’re proud to be the first company stepping up with the mission to completely remove industrial ‘vegetable’ oils from our food system.”