This Hawaiian startup recycles cashews into vegan meat


3 Min reading

There’s new plant-based meat in town, and it’s not made from soybeans, peas, or wheat. Instead, it’s made from recycled cashews, and Hawaiian startup Cajú Love has become the first to bring this new vegan meat alternative to the United States.

Cajú Love has just created the first cashew nut meat introduced to the American market. Instead of using typical vegetable protein ingredients like soy or wheat, the Honolulu-based company’s whole vegan meat is made from cashews that would otherwise be food waste.

Cashew meat

The founders of Cajú Love

Cajú Love sources its cashews from the cashew and juice industry, which sheds millions of pounds of fruit every year. The startup uses this waste, which contains nutritious fiber, in a healthy and complete vegan meat substitute that fights food waste.

“When I found out that cashews were growing on a fruit considered waste in the nut industry, I knew we had to do something to change that. The fruit is full of health benefits and can be cooked like chicken, pork, tuna and minced meat, it’s delicious, ”said Felipe Barreneche, co-founder of the family startup.

As the company uses a by-product of food production, its plant-based meat alternative does not require additional land or water for production, which sets it apart in terms of sustainability.

Health wise, cashews are loaded with healthy fats, fiber, minerals, and protein. Cajú Love adds that its vegan cashew meat is suitable for a wide range of diets as it is gluten-free, GMO-free and soy-free. It is also kosher and paleo-friendly.

Making sustainable choices accessible

Sharing more information about their newly launched brand, co-founder Alana Lima said Cajú Love was created to “make it easy for people to make a positive impact on the world and their lives through their food choices.”

“Everything we consume directly affects our health and the health of our planet,” continued Lima. “Cashew meat is an extremely nutritious food for a healthy lifestyle and one of the most sustainable food options. With every packet of cashew meat you buy, you are helping to divert food waste and reduce the use of water and land for the food supply.

Currently, Cajú Love sells its cashew meat through its direct-to-consumer website, which is available for delivery nationwide. Each 200 gram pack is priced at $ 29.99, with prices 10% lower for those who opt for a monthly subscription.

Diversify ingredients of plant origin

More and more companies are now diversifying the range of plant ingredients used to develop new alternative proteins. Some of these include Growthwell, a Singapore-based company that uses chickpea protein in its plant-based meats and seafood line, and Karana, another Singaporean startup that uses jackfruit meat for its complete vegan alternative.

Unique plant ingredients are also making their way into the plant-based dairy world, with a number of food technologies using everything from pecans and pistachios to potatoes, millet and black-eyed peas to manufacture new milk without dairy products.


All images are courtesy of Cajú Love.