By Lauren Victory

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    CHICAGO, Illinois (WBBM) — Yellowstone National Park is slowly re-opening after damaging floods final week, and a Chicago company is intently monitoring the state of affairs from 1,300 miles away.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory shares the important thing function the park performed within the rising enterprise.

On the positioning of an outdated hog processing facility at Pershing Road and Halsted Street, you’ll discover manufacturing of recent type of protein known as Fy.

It won’t look very appetizing whereas its being grown, however breakfast patties fabricated from Fy are beginning to grow in reputation particularly within the vegan world.

“We don’t need pesticide. We don’t need insecticide. We don’t need hormone,” stated Thomas Jonas, CEO and co-founder of Nature’s Fynd, the company that developed Fy.

It isn’t animal-based or plant-based. Fy is from fungi. It’s made from microbes.

“If you ever had a beer in your life, if you ever had a piece of cheese in your life, then you probably have – you actually have – eaten something that is made with microbes,” defined Jonas.

CBS 2 obtained a tour of the Fy-making course of on the company’s plant within the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The microbe will get loaded with vitamins and multiplies in a fermentation room. Then it grows right into a strong protein. About 4 days after the beginning, a robotic helps “harvest” the Fy. It is then processed and packaged into two sorts of breakfast patties and two forms of dairy-free cream cheese.

Nature’s Fynd developed its Fy-growing know-how in Chicago, however the edible fungi initially comes from acidic springs in Yellowstone National Park. It was found as a part of a NASA-funded analysis mission about life in excessive environments.

“Considering the history that we have with the park, and the partnership that we have today with the park, it’s even more heartbreaking,” stated Jonas, speaking concerning the devastating flooding the hit Yellowstone earlier this month.

Roads washed away, forcing park closures, which then prevented guests from attempting Nature’s Fynd products that have been obtainable at Yellowstone for the primary time this season.

Back in Chicago, rising the protein goes so effectively {that a} second manufacturing facility is within the works, and meals scientists are already testing out what’s subsequent on the menu.

CBS 2 requested if the nationwide parks system and/or the federal authorities helps the work Nature’s Fynd is doing, on condition that the microbe got here from Yellowstone and the company is now monetizing it.

“It was very important for us to give back to the park. We think the park mission is something that was really meaningful and important for all of us,” stated Jonas. “So, we approached the park and actually put in place a benefits-sharing program. And we’re very proud of that. It’s something that matters to us.”

The company additionally not too long ago donated to flooding aid efforts, honoring the park’s historical past whereas serving up the longer term.

In just a few weeks, Nature’s Fynd know-how is scheduled to go into area. The mission: see if Fy could be grown on the International Space Station to present meals to astronauts.

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