California-based vegan seafood startup Impact Food recently got $500,000 to assist with building a more sustainable food system, starting with raw, sushi-grade vegan bluefin tuna.

By doubling down on the improvement of the right flavor, texture, and experience of seafood, the Impact Food group desires to provide a solution to saving the ocean’s most weak animal populations.

Established in 2021 by University of California, Berkeley graduates Kelly Pan, Stephanie Claudino Daffara, and Adrian Miranda, Impact Food is headed to create new answers to build a more sustainable and versatile food system.

By combining their knowledge in food science, molecular biology, and business, the team’s central goal is to provide a sustainable solution utilizing plants, but without compromising flavor when it comes to seafood.


“We decided to start with a vegan, whole-cut alternative to tuna because tuna is both the world’s most consumed fish and one of the world’s most endangered animal species,” Impact Food co-founder Kelly Pan told VegNews. “Bluefin tuna is known for its delicate texture and subtle ocean flavor that is perfect for popular dishes like sushi. It is also an apex predator that helps maintain the health of our oceans.”

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Saving the oceans with plant-based seafood

Impact Food believes that plant-based seafood is the answer to reestablishing and preserving healthy ocean ecosystems.

Unlike traditional animal-based seafood, vegan alternatives do not contribute to common seafood sustainability issues, such as overfishing, pollution, and bycatch. 


As indicated by the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations, 90% of fish stocks are as of now completely fished or overfished.

Moreover, fish cultivated in hydroponics systems require an impractical amount of land and assets to produce and take care of them.

Pacific bluefin tuna, specifically, is currently listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature with decreasing population numbers. With its plant-based Impact Tuna, Impact Fooddesires to facilitate the weight on our seas and explicitly the Pacific bluefin stock.

“Because of increasing global demand for seafood, overfishing has continued to decimate the tuna population at an alarming rate,” Pan said. “We created delicious plant-based tuna so that fish stocks can finally recover from decades of ecological damage and the tuna fish can continue to restore the balance in our marine ecosystems. But tuna is only the start—there are so many other species and cuts of seafood to be explored.”

Impact Food’s vegan tuna is made to give a similar nutritional content as conventional seafood and is made out of three key ingredients: pea protein with all nine essential amino acids, algae for omega-3 fatty acids, and beet juice for a natural red color while also providing potassium and other healthy minerals.