As plant-based foods and meatless meats gain ground with consumers for health and environmental reasons, companies like Tyson Foods -- a chicken, beef and pork purveyor whose name is practically synonymous with the word meat -- have had to think about how to remain competitive. It's an existential question, to be sure, but already, one potential solution has emerged: create a venture capital arm aimed at investing in alternative forms of protein and food sustainability.
"It had been a culinary nobody, mushy and maligned. But when a chef as decorated as Daniel Humm [of Eleven Madison Park] turns his attention to perfecting a veggie burger, the signal is clear: That second-fiddle vegetarian staple has arrived."
Considering the current zeitgeist for simple, unadulterated foods, the concept of lab-grown beef, chicken, pork or fish might seem out of touch. But while unanswered questions remain, there are reasons to be excited about [clean] or 'cultured' meat."
A group of investors are urging 16 food companies to accelerate the switch to sustainable, plant-based proteins. These investors were brought together by the FAIRR Initiative, which aims to raise awareness about the material risks of factory farming.
We're not going to feed the world, and we're not going to avoid a climate catastrophe, if we continue our global reliance on a system of food production that is so vastly inefficient and polluting. Clean meat represents a solution.
The start-up named Memphis Meats is perhaps the leader among the
world's four fledgling companies rushing to convert proven science—growing real meat from animal cells—into packages of hamburger,
sausages, and other meats at your local Kroger.
Modern Meadow is a Brooklyn-based
biotech startup that creates new forms of animal products made from
animal cells. There is no slaughter of livestock, let alone the
water, land, chemical, and energy consumption required to sustain
Clean meat and plant-based options offer an alternative for those who would rather not support cruelty to animals. Meat from plants or grown outside of animals in a culture could put this ethical question to bed for good.
“Veggie burgers and nondairy milks have escaped the realm of ‘substitutes.’ Instead, the growing ranks of novel protein sources and potential replacements appeal to the everyday consumer, foreshadowing a profoundly changed marketplace in which what was formerly ‘alternative’ could take over the mainstream.”
Muufri launched this year with a
simple concept: “to make real milk from the bottom up,” not “from
the cow out.” The company is creating authentic-tasting cow’s
milk that eschews all the negative effects of industrial dairy
farming, including the inhumane treatment of animals and global
throws his support to plant-based foods, remarking that “some
exciting new companies are taking on this challenge. They are
creating plant-based alternatives to chicken, ground beef, even eggs,
that are produced more sustainably, and taste great.”