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🍏 "The Rise & Fall of Plant-Based Meat"


Photo by LikeMeat / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Tamar Haspel & Mike Grunwald
Category: 🍏 Sustainable Food | Plant-Based Meat

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[1:04] MG: “I remember when Beyond Meat, the first plant-based unicorn, went public in the summer of 2019. And it wasn't just the biggest IPO of the year, it was the biggest stock of the year. It was supposed to go public, I think at 30. It went up to 75 right away. Pretty soon the stock went up to 240. It was crazy. […] And now Beyond Meat’s stock has gone from 240 down to 25. Plant-based meat sales, which were rising 40% a year, last year were flat. […] I think there're real worries about the future.”

[4:29] MG: “Most of the studies done by the plant-based companies themselves, but also by independent researchers, have found that from an initial emission standpoint, you're gonna reduce about 90% of your greenhouse gas impact by going plant-based rather than beef in particular. […] Getting away from chicken, and getting away from pork is not as much of an emergency. I think most of the studies still show that there's at least a modest advantage to cutting out the middleman. You're just going straight to the plants and avoiding the animals that eat the plants.”

[9:52] MG: “I do think Impossible Foods has done a really good job of replicating a lot of the sensory experience of eating meat, of eating a burger. […] And remember, they're using GMO soy, which a lot of people hate. Now Beyond, which does not use GMO soy, they use pea protein, and I think they're not quite there. […] Given what's happened to sales, which have really not taken off the way it was expected, people don't think it's good enough right now.”

[12:06] MG: “Ethan Brown (CEO, Beyond Meat) told me he wants to be the next Tesla and people don't buy a Tesla, because they want to save the world, they buy it, because it's an awesome car. In fact, Beyond Meat’s first product was a fake chicken that Ethan pulled off the shelves, because he thought it wasn't good enough. […] The plant based meat industry […] said [that] 64% of our customers come back. That's not enough.”

[25:15] TH: “One of the objections that people raise about all of these things is, it's ultra processed. And ultra processed foods have been a part of our obesity problem, but I think that there's a fundamental misunderstanding about why. Processing is a tool. And like any other tool, it can be used for good, or it can be used for evil. […] We see a couple of ways that people are trying to use processing as a tool for better things, and this is one of them.”

[29:18] MG: “We are careening towards a climate catastrophe. And we're not going to be able to grow food or raise livestock on this planet, the way things are going. Things really do need to change. And I'm kind of desperate for solutions at this point. And it seems to me that we're going to find some of them in technology. I think the real question that this entire plant-based movement has raised is, is this going to be an answer? Is this going to do it? Plant-based milks are already almost 15% of the US milk markets, but plant-based meat is still a drop in the bucket.

[40:04] MG: “Americans eat way too much. We average three burgers a week. […] We should be skipping a few trips to the drive thru, if we care about the climate, and if we care about our bodies, too. But the third world needs more meat. And I think there's a real possibility that you can imagine if they can get the price down, going straight to plant-based meat.”

Rating: 🍏🍏🍏

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 43 min | 🗓️ 07/12/2022
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