Why rethink, remake, reform cheese?
This Thing called earth.
We live on Earth at a time known as the Holocene. It’s a time when atmospheric conditions have created the most beautiful balance of biodiversity and fertility ever known. Right now though, we consume far beyond the planetary boundaries necessary to keep this place stable and liveable.
Food is in the middle of it all.
It gives us life, vitalises and enriches us. The problem is however, the food system smells like cowshit: it causes 1/3 of global emissions, ravages sweet biodiversity, chugs away 70% of our annual freshwater, and has simply zero respect for momma nature.
The system needs rebooting.
The promise of animal-free dairy
By swapping livestock for microorganisms we want to massively reduce the impact of protein consumption on our home and those we share it with. We do this without challenging people to compromise on the foods and traditions they adore.
The numbers show what’s good:
84 – 97% less greenhouse gas than conventional dairy.
of the water
Less than 10% of the water usage.
>100x more efficient at converting calories than those cows.
of the land
Less than 1% of the land usage.
Except for us, the human animals.
New Stuff is Not Enough
Radical system change requires a diversity of guiding ideas.
At Formo we:
Listen to nature
See that technology is no substitute for the generosity of nature and the wisdom of those who know it best. We pursue circularity, humility and respect in everything we do.
Recognise the power
Know that all of us have the power to make decisions every day to shift momentum towards a better, more sustainable planet.
Look to the future
Believe in the potential of bright minds and brilliant technology to fuel a better, more sustainable food system.
Lead with love
Craft everything around experiences and traditions people love, knowing this to be the basis of lasting, empowering change.
THINGs ARE not how they were before.
The time when sustainability was a nice afterthought for companies is over. Now is the time to flourish alongside Earth, not at its expense.
Animal-free dairy is merely one piece of the puzzle, but once humans and our home planet are back in balance with each other, we will all deserve a very large cheese platter.
How exactly is precision fermented dairy better for the planet?
Fantastic question. Most metrics show producing proteins through microorganisms instead of animals as way better for the planet. First estimates show reductions in GHG emissions by 91%-97%, water consumption by 96%-99%, energy consumption by 60%, and land usage by 99%.
Savings like this can help us avoid creeping towards environmental cliff edges but also allow us to return significant amounts of land back to nature.
Does anyone even want animal-free dairy?
Yup, it looks like it. We teamed up with the University of Bath to ask 5,000 people how they felt about the idea of precision-fermentation made dairy. Over 78% of consumers saw themselves as likely or definitely likely to buy animal-free dairy cheese when it’s available. We made our findings and methodology open-access, check it here.
Why not just adopt a plant based lifestyle instead?
We love a good bowl of daal but to reach the many who still want animal products in their life, we need a different strategy. Creating products that hit the elusive animalish sweet spot can be a massive step towards reducing our reliance industrial animal agriculture.
What will the impact of precision fermentation in dairy be?
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of habitat destruction, species extinction and water pollution, responsible at the same time for 18% of all greenhouse gases. Cows are prime culprits here, so if we could even reduce our reliance on them slightly, massive environmental savings would be made.
In general though, precision-fermentation and technology at large can only be one part of rebalancing our food-system. Our attitudes to nature, animals and food all need to shift, along with those of legacy industries and politicians. We hope the emergence of values-driven technology will stimulate and grow alongside the different components of a fixed food system.