Company that makes dog food from fungi gets $11 million in venture capital funding

Not my dog (well dog from many years ago since she passed away quite some time ago)

I once gave my dog some Bar S hotdogs after we couldn’t stand how terrible they tasted. She took a bite or two of them and she quickly spat em up. Even worse is at that time she had a terrible issue eating her own poop and she seemed to like the taste of that over those hotdogs.

The lesson we learned? Don’t buy Bar S meat products.

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There’s a reason people shouldn’t feed mushrooms or other fungus to dogs.

Dogs are born without a taste for mushrooms. They ignore them when encountering them outside. When dogs are fed mushrooms (like, included in table scraps or something) they can develop a taste for them. When that happens, they will sometimes eat mushrooms they encounter outside - during dog walks, park visits, their back yard, etc. And many of those dogs get very sick or die.

It’s not worth it.

Just a note: these dog treats are not just chunks of mushrooms. They’re highly-processed fungus (kind of like the Quorn I posted a picture of above) made into a sort of soy/meaty substance and flavored to taste like peanut butter or strawberry. In no possible way would a meaty/peanut-butter block give a dog a taste for mushrooms they’d find outside.

I was hoping for a link to the study you seem to refer to…
I’m really interested in nutrition, but I never came across the terms “meat-derived nutrients” or “the complete proteins (etc) found in meat”.
There are many sources of complete proteins e.g. milk, eggs, soy or quinoa, meaning their protein contains the necessary essential amino acids.
So if this fungal-based product contains all the essential amino‘s dogs need, it should be fine.

As an example, cats can’t synthesize Taurine. As for dogs, they might just be pretty bad at surviving off a diet without any meat due to their rather short digestive track length.

People waffle on whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores that can eat grains due to an adaption from living with humans, but they always thrive on a meat based diet.

“What breed of dog is that?”

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Uh oh, sounds dangerous. Dogs are preferred truffle hunters over pigs only because it’s hard to keep the pigs from eating the truffles. If we’re training dogs to also eat fungus, then…


The fungus of origin isn’t a mushroom to begin with(forms thin mold films in its natural state; not sure if the people bulk culturing it just produce some sort of cell slurry in a nutrient vat); and it gets processed considerably from there.

That said, without knowing more about exactly what olfactory cues survive processing and are shared with mushrooms the possibility can’t be dismissed out of hand: these might produce dogs confused by the fact that only some things with a mushroom smell also taste like delicious peanut butter; but just because the processing is successful at removing the “tastes weirdly like mushrooms” comments from 9 out of 10 focus group participants we can’t be sure we’ve eliminated the canine cues.

These things are fungi, so they almost certainly share an enormous amount of chemistry with mushrooms; and dogs have fairly sensitive smelloscopes; so they will probably still pick up any commonality well beyond the point where humans can’t.

None of the above is to say that it’s either definitely going to be a problem or that the matter is unknowable: our analytical chemists are much much more sensitive than our taste buds; and dogs are always up for experiments involving food; so if we want to know what chemicals mean “smells like mushrooms!” to a dog that’s doable; and if we want to know if a product contains them, that’s doable; and if we simply want to feed a test population of dogs something and see if they start sniffing out and devouring mushrooms that’s doable; but at least some of that would have to be done before we could say we know what the effect will be.


Wouldn’t fungus-food appeal more to the Yuggothshire Terrier?


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