This Minnesota startup makes protein-packed chips that help the environment

By April 18, 2018

While the global meat and poultry industries continue to pollute lands and waterways with their factories, one Minnesota startup has offered up a protein-packed alternative that leaves a tiny fraction of the carbon footprint that meat production does.

The Minnesota-based Planetarians makes chips from sunflower oil, cutting out the necessity to grow any more crops for their product and instead relying just on what is already being leftover. According to the company’s site, more than 50 percent of plants grown around the world are not used and that many of these actually contain more protein than an average serving of beef.

In March, Planetarians said it could eventually feed a staggering 1.5 billion people with its sunflower chips. The company’s vision is to ultimately take part in a food revolution that makes obsolete the polluting factors drying up lands, emitting greenhouse gases into the air, and consuming large amounts of water in food production.

“Animal agriculture wastes 93 percent of nutrients. Much of what we feed to animals is high-quality nutrients that can be eaten by humans instead,” said Planetarians CEO Aleh Manchuliantsau in a press release. “We can feed 10 times more people if we stop feeding animals and start processing plants directly.”

With flavors like Sweet & Smoky BBQ, Sweetly Cinnamon, and Fiery Sriracha, the company has made it so eating clean doesn’t have to be synonymous with boring eating. The company claims to be the first food product made with the primary ingredient of sunflower meal, which contains 35 percent protein.

Planetarians has already reported more than $4.5 million in revenue and more than a million products sold after being founded in 2017.

According to the Planetarians founders, the up-and-coming generations are getting higher proportions of their daily food intake from snacks, meaning the sunflower chips might be coming into the market at the perfect time.

“More and more people join the Vegan movement to support alternatives to animal products. We want to help them,” said Anastasia Tkacheva, Chief Mixologist.

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