On May 24, hundreds gathered in Manhattan for a summit dedicated to answering one of the most important questions of the twenty-first century: How do we feed 8 billion people by 2024? The event drew key figures in the food industry, including investors, startups, technology companies, and food manufacturers.
Among those speaking at the summit was Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute and founding partner of New Crop Capital. Serving on a panel with Erika Smith, technology director at General Mills, and Ory Zik, VP of analytics at Lux Research, Friedrich recommended that food industry leaders and investors consider entering the market of plant protein.
“It’s an extraordinarily good time to be getting into the food technology of plant proteins,” he said, noting that Eric Schmidt, Google executive chairman, named plant protein technology one of the top six innovations that would change the world.
Drawing attention to the environmental benefits of plant protein technology, Friedrich detailed the inefficiencies and environmental impact of animal protein.
According to research, a chicken requires nine calories of feed to produce just one calorie of meat. Soy and legume proteins produce two grams of carbon dioxide per protein calorie versus 54 grams for chicken, which is the least polluting meat.
Friedrich’s fellow panelists also presented on the future of plant protein, describing it as a lucrative market as well as a sustainable means of producing food.
Said Erika Smith of General Mills, “We’re going to have to rely on plant proteins. We need to position ourselves to be competitive in the space as we’re looking at the alternatives.”
To learn how The Good Food Institute supports startups and innovators in the plant protein sphere, check out our website.