The next time you visit a sushi restaurant, the delicious spicy tuna rolls that come with your sushi platter may not come from a fish at all. Finless Foods, a company specializing in cell-cultured seafood, plans to release a plant-based tuna in 2022. Using nine whole ingredients, Finless says it designed its tuna to imitate its sushi-grade counterpart. And while it's possible to marinate the plant substitute, the company envisioned it making its way into dishes that would typically call for raw fish, including poke bowls.
"Our plant-based tuna offers an option for consumers who can't eat seafood because of allergies, who think about other health concerns or who just want to enjoy a seafood dish without the catch." And sustainability is a critical facet here. Unlike salmon, it's challenging to farm tuna at scale, and as the company points out, global populations of the fish have declined by more than 60 percent in the last 50 years. And with climate change wreaking havoc on the Earth's oceans, scientists expect there will be even fewer fish for people to catch sustainably by the end of the century.
When it comes to plant-based alternatives, it's easy to find beef and pork substitutes. You don't have to look further than Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. Fish alternatives are a different story, however. Not only have they had less press, but they're also harder to find. A company called Ocean Hugger Foods has released plant-based tuna and freshwater eel alternatives. You can find those at restaurants like Blue Sushi Sake Girl and select Whole Foods locations across the US.