In the latest episode of my Climate Confident podcast, I had an enthralling conversation with Ali Wing, CEO of Oobli, who introduced us to the fascinating world of sweet proteins. These zero-calorie proteins not only offer a healthier alternative to traditional sugars but also hold the potential to address the growing concerns around climate change and the global health crisis caused by obesity and diabetes.
A Sweet Revolution
Oobli’s innovation lies in harnessing the power of precision fermentation to produce sweet proteins. This process is not only sustainable but also significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and resource usage compared to conventional sugar production methods. Ali explained that sweet proteins have been part of nature for millions of years, and Oobli aims to make them accessible to the masses, offering a sweet solution for people with dietary restrictions, such as diabetics.
One of the most striking takeaways from our conversation is the potential for sweet proteins to revolutionize the food industry and contribute to a more sustainable future. As Ali mentions, “The biggest challenge that our cousins in meat and dairy have, and I’m a huge advocate of all of them, particularly from a climate point of view, is you still don’t have consumers adopting at a fast enough rate. Whereas in sugar and sugar alternatives, you have consumers looking every which way.”
This indicates a unique opportunity for sweet proteins to gain rapid adoption among consumers, leading to a massive shift in the way we consume and produce sweeteners, ultimately benefiting the environment.
Oobli is just beginning to explore the potential applications of sweet proteins. Currently, they’re focusing on chocolates and fruity sweet teas. However, Ali believes that sweet proteins have a particularly significant role to play in the beverage industry. She notes that 40% of our daily added sugar comes from liquids, which has been the primary change in our diets over the last 20 to 40 years.
“Taking [sugar] out and just filling the rest with water is a very quick fit. But it’s also a good reminder for everybody when they think about where they are with their overall health equation is really paying attention to the sugar load in drinks.”
Call to Action
I encourage you to listen to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast to hear more about Oobli’s journey, the incredible potential of sweet proteins, and how they can play a pivotal role in addressing climate change and global health crises.
Listen to the full episode here or look for Climate Confident in your podcast app of choice, and it will be the most recent episode.
Sweet proteins are an exciting innovation that can help us combat climate change while improving our health. It’s time to embrace this sweet revolution and create a more sustainable, healthier future for all.
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Stay climate confident, and let’s make a change together!
Photo credit Tom Coates on Flickr