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Bill Gates says, let’s work towards plant-based meat substitutes

Credit: thegatesnotes.com

Credit: thegatesnotes.com

Bill Gates says the planet cannot handle the amounts of meat currently being eaten because of the toll on land and water. The soaring population of the planet will makes things even worse in the future. Yet we can’t ask everyone to be vegetarian. The solution is plant-based meat substitutes.

From The Future of Food on Gates Notes

Food scientists are creating healthful plant-based alternatives that taste just like eggs, chicken, and other sources of protein.

Companies like Beyond Meat and Hampton Creek Foods are experimenting with new ways to use heat and pressure to turn plants into foods that look and taste just like meat and eggs. I tasted Beyond Meat’s chicken alternative and was impressed. I couldn’t tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken. Beyond Eggs, Hampton Creek Foods’ egg substitute, doesn’t contain the high cholesterol of real eggs. Even spices are getting re-made: a company called Nu-Tek Food Science has found a way to make potassium chloride taste just like salt, with only a fraction of the sodium.

  • DJ

    Yes, we eat too much meat. It’s not good for us or the planet. But shipping soy products around the globe isn’t the answer, either. Consider: the average soy-based product in the U.S. has something like 3,000 food miles in it. When I was in Sri Lanka, there was a popular “soya meat” available in every shop. It was made in Canada, some 10,000 miles away – and loaded with GMOs. Most of the planet can’t grow soy, so shipping is the only answer in that model.

    On the other hand, the current meat industry model *is* based on grain-fed CAFO operations. It doesn’t have to be. Grain isn’t even good for most meat animals. And there’s an alternative. At present, we have pork, lamb, and goat in our freezer that were all locally-grown and pasture-fed. We’ve stopped buying store-bought meat entirely. Unlike a CAFO, pasture-fed meat is sustainable, since the manure (instead of being slurried where it creates ozone-damaging methane) fertilizes the pasture. I also just bought a turkey tag and have applied for a deer tag. Hunting is a source of meat that, when managed well by the state, has very little
    environmental impact.

    The limited availability of pasture-fed meat means we have to eat less of it. That’s okay – we also eat dairy from pasture-fed cows, which is far more efficient and planet-friendly than either meat or CAFO dairy operations. Since our climate doesn’t support growing beans or nuts, dairy and meat are the main locally-available sources of protein.

    Just as we can’t grow beans here, pasture-sourced meat is not available everywhere. That means local solutions are the answer.

    As for the growing world population, the main cause of the continuing population explosion is poverty. We’d have fewer people to feed if we didn’t keep half the world living on less than $3 a day.

    The economic system is broken. More globalization isn’t the answer. Education, localization, and poverty elimination are.

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