By Shannon Harts
Mushrooms are packed with nutrients and play an important role in nature as decomposers. Many forms are also important to people because they are simply delicious!
Today’s Made in the FLX featured company is Leep Foods which specializes in an innovative and sustainable approach to cultivating organic superfood mushrooms. The company started in 2017 and is based at a modern indoor farm in Rochester, said Jeff Adair, the CEO of Leep Foods, via email.
Leep Foods specifically uses organic and regenerative soil farming techniques to grow premium edible mushrooms—including Blue Oyster, Lion’s Mane and Shiitake—on nutrient-rich American hardwoods. These premium mushrooms are then sold to consumers and restaurants.
“Regenerative agriculture focuses on rebuilding soil health to increase its biodiversity and, in doing so, helps both the carbon and water cycle,” Adair explained.
Leep Foods has found other ways to make growing its nutritious mushrooms more beneficial for the natural enviornment—and even other Finger Lakes busineses!
“Leep Foods sources sawdust for its growing substrate from Pittsford, NY,” Adair said. “The company also utilizes brewers grain from nearby breweries to support the growth of the mushrooms.”
Additionally, instead of sending spent mushroom blocks to landfills, Leep Foods repurposes them for a variety of agri-businesses farming methods.
Thanks to its ingenuity, in 2020 Leep Foods was one of the winners of the Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Competition. It took third place and won $250,000 from the competition, beating out about 260 applicants from 27 countries and 26 U.S. states, according to the Leep Foods blog.
Leep Foods is continuing to demonstrate its creative and sustainable food production capabilities with new two-ingredient burgers made with their organic premium mushrooms and grass-fed beef, according to its website. You can find these burgers on QVC and Thrive Market.
Leep Foods mushrooms are widely distributed at grocery store chains you’ve likely heard of including Wegmans, Tops, Dash’s Market, GreenStar Food Co-Op, and Lori’s Natural Foods. They’ll also soon be available at a Hannaford near you!
To learn more visit leepfoods.com.
Made in the FLX is a weekly column highlighting the small scale food producers of the Finger Lakes. Each week we will feature a locally made food product that is distributed widely throughout the region and beyond, showcasing the strength and quality of our local resources.