Hawaiian Entrepreneur Launches Vegan Jerky To Save Planet
New Hawaiian brand this month Moku Launched with three vegan jerks: Original, Hawaiian Teriyaki and Sweet & Spicy. The brand was developed by Oahu-based Matt Feldman, who along with a number of other vegan entrepreneurs was in the limelight in the recently released version Forbes 30 under 30 list. “Growing up on Oahu, Hawaii, an island with limited natural resources, I understood the importance of taking care of the land or of taking care of the land malama ‘aina, as we say in Hawaiian, ”Feldman said. “As I got older, I learned more about the immense carbon footprint caused by factory farming, which led me to adopt a plant-based diet. I struggled to find an alternative to replace jerky, my favorite snack, that wasn’t filled with ingredients that sounded like they were made in a lab. So I set out to create my own. ”
Working with renowned vegetable chef Thomas Bowman, Feldman spent a year in his home kitchen developing vegan dried fruit made from oyster mushrooms, coconut amino acids, chickpea miso and maple syrup. Moku’s products are currently available through his website and will be released on Amazon Prime in January 2021.
Investing in a smooth future without beef
Moku received initial financial support from Thrive Market CEO Nick Green, Casper Co-Founder and COO Neil Parikh and the founders of Soylent, Juneshine and Mendocino Farms, and now includes investment capital from big companies like Siddhi Capital, Vanterra Capital and KBW Ventures – an asset management firm run by Saudi Arabian vegan Prince Khaled Alwaleed bin Talal.
Feldmand hopes its flavourful jerking – which saves up to 12 square feet of land, 11 pounds of methane and 107 gallons of water per bag when compared to its beef-derived counterpart – is an environmentally friendly choice that many will make. “We’re not here to jerk. We’re here to encourage everyone to take mindful steps toward a healthier, more sustainable future – from how we choose our snacks to our daily routines,” said Feldman. “Moku makes it easy to include more plant-based foods in your diet. and small changes add up. Let’s take it one day at a time, one choice at a time. “
Vegan jerky boom
A number of new vegan brands have been launched in the past few months, including Urban Cowboy (a brand founded by a Texas-based company that was recently launched at select Whole Foods in Texas and Louisiana). ELECTRIC Jerky (developed by taste researchers to fool the brain that its soy-based protein is meat); and Eat the Change (created by Seth Goldman – co-founder of Honest Tea and CEO of the vegan brand Beyond Meat – and Top chef Alum Spike Mendelsohn from “ugly” Portobello and Crimini mushrooms).