Plant-Based Shrimp Is a Thing Now, and It’s Still Technically Seafood

Attention vegetarians, vegans, and those with a shellfish allergy: No more are the days where you are left out from delicious seafood dinners. You can bite into juicy, fresh shrimp anytime without having killed a single crustacean.

New Wave Foods, a California-based startup, has invented plant-based shrimp. It’s made from algae and other plants, and the process is both environmentally-friendly and sustainable. The ingredients are all-natural — you won’t find any plastic in these rubbery recreations.

“A shrimp without slavery, bycatch, shellfish allergens, antibiotics, and ecosystem devastation,” their website reads. “A shrimp that everybody can love.”

Typical, shrimp-based shrimp are problematic for the environment, to say the least. Farming the critters causes a whole slew of complications, such as “the acres of mangrove forests cleared to make space, to the hazardous amounts of chemicals such as urea, superphosphate, and diesel used to prepare the water,” according to environmental reporter Jill Richardson. “That’s not to mention the pesticides and antibiotics fed to the shrimp itself.”

New Wave Foods hopes to remedy this environmental tragedy — or at least help mitigate it.

Other companies, so far, are on board with New Wave’s mission. Google, a company particularly concerned with its environmental impact, contacted the shrimp supplier because it wanted to reduce the amount of shrimp it served to its staff. The executive chef at Google tasted the product and, according to AlterNet, immediately placed an order.

According to New Wave Foods’ website, their “shrimp” are “uncompromising in taste,” and the support of those who tried it suggests the same. Right now, you’ll have to travel to California or Nevada to get a taste for yourself. New Wave Foods has only started selling their products in those states, and “are selling to food-service operators only: colleges and universities, restaurants, resorts, food trucks, Kosher caterers, and more.”

However, they’re taking their product to retail in 2018 — and then, even vegans will get the chance to experience any tasty shrimp dish they so desire.

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