In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Uma Valeti, CEO of Memphis Meats; David Lee, COO of Impossible Foods; and Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of The Good Food Institute discuss different methods of making plant-based and clean meats, with radical transparency.
It’s not every day that you meet a food scientist, especially someone as passionate about animal agriculture as Dr. Liz Specht from The Good Food Institute. With a background in chemical and bio-molecular engineering, Liz is working to make the current meat, dairy, and egg industries obsolete — by creating real meat, dairy, and eggs that are produced without the use of living animals.
At The Good Food Institute, we look at the existential threats posed by conventional animal agriculture, and we pragmatically ask: what is the best way to decrease the amount of animal products that are consumed? And it seems to us that the most likely way to do that is to create the products that compete with animal agriculture on the basis of the factors of taste, price, and convenience.
In an op-ed in WIRED, Bruce Friedrich talks about the solution to both of the big problems in food technology–how we're going to feed a burgeoning population and what we're going to do about climate change. And it's actually quite simple: plant-based proteins, or what Alphabet's CEO Eric Schmidt calls "nerds over cattle."
"The commercial meat industry today contributes heavily to global warming, ecological problems, and, of course, the never-more mundane American trait, obesity. But how do you get people to stop eating mouth-watering beef with such obtuse arguments as these?"
Bruce Friedrich tells Ezra Klein why Bill Gates and the Google founders are investing in clean meat, and how the plant-based market has changed in recent years. Other guests on the Ezra Klein podcast have included Arianna Huffington and Grover Norquist.
There have been a few misconceptions about clean meat when it's referred to as "cultured meat". But moving to "clean meat" accurately communicates what meat produced through cell replication is all about: that it's better for people and the planet.
The debate surrounding clean meat has been placed in the spotlight by a feature in Time. Bruce Friedrich explains why clean meat is a game-changer: "Right now, people eat meat despite how it's produced, not because of how it's produced." Once clean meat is available, there will be a swift global shift away from animal slaughter and toward this safer, more humane, and more sustainable option.
GFI gets the spotlight as a non-meat nonprofit working in tandem with transformative companies and venture funds to make sure the alternative proteins that are better for human health and for the environment are widely available.
"A whole new conscious food economy is rising, consisting of companies that are working to disrupt our food system dominated by industrial animal agriculture by offering healthier, more sustainable foods."
Roughly 80 percent of all antibiotics produced in the U.S. are given to farmed animals. In a letter to the editor, Bruce Friedrich addresses the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture, and the need to refocus reduction efforts on food production.
Bruce Friedrich: "The seafood industry is ripe for disruption by forward-thinking plant-based food tech companies...it's hard to imagine any product that is worse for human health than conventional seafood."
"America is on the cusp of a market revolution to replace animal products with plant-based alternatives, but consumers need more choices that are convenient, affordable, and tasty in order for long-term changes to take root"
"Vegan meat may sound like an oxymoron, but it's proving to be the future of meat as we know it. Through the work of scientists and renowned chefs, it's regularly dominating spots on plates millions of American long reserved for animal products. And it's also dominating something else: the booming tech industry."