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Slim Jim Scientist Pivots to Plant Meat
Let’s not bury the lead: I’m here to tell you that the same person that invented Lunchables and worked to extend the shelf life on the Slim Jim is now the president of a plant-based meat company. 


Yeah, wow. 
 
Rody Hawkins, a founding member of Texas Tech’s meat science program, is today the founder and president of Improved Nature, a plant-based meat company based in the heart of North Carolina’s hog country. 
 
Hawkins is a born problem-solver whose interest in food has always revolved around finding solutions to whatever questions came his way. Over the course of his career, he has worked to solve problems like how to make meaty dishes for the U.S. military shelf stable. But an even bigger, more daunting problem beckoned: How are we to feed the world's growing population with our limited resources? 
 
Though Improved Nature, Hawkins delivered his solution: a versatile plant-based meat that is high in fiber, low in sodium, and more resource-efficient than any cow, chicken, or pig. 
 
“We now have a way to be 20 times more efficient than animal agriculture,” Hawkins explains. “Right now, it takes about five pounds of soy meal to make one pound of pork. We’re taking one pound of soy protein and making five pounds of plant-based meat.” 
 
That level of efficiency, coupled with the benefits to human health, make plant-based meat an appetizing option for anyone interested in creating deep, systemic, and positive change on the planet. The profit potential is pretty enticing too. So go ahead, take some notes from Improved Nature! 

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Header image re: Nati Harnik, Associated Pres

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