« Freakonomics Radio

367. The Future of Meat (Rebroadcast)

2019-08-29 | 🔗

Global demand for beef, chicken, and pork continues to rise. So do concerns about environmental and other costs. Will reconciling these two forces be possible — or, even better, Impossible™?

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
FR economics. Radio sponsored by progressive insurance were customers save an average of more than seven hundred fifty dollars when they switch and save visit, progressive dot com to get your car insurance quote. It only takes about seven national annual average auto insurance savings by new customers surveyed in twenty nineteen potential savings will very, if you'd like to listen to for economics, radio without ads the place to do that is sticker premium. Five dollars and you can get a free month trial by going to stick your premium dot com and use a promo code freak. You also get access to all our bonus. Episodes and you'll be supporting our show to that sticker premium: dot, com, promo code, freak thanks in their progress listeners. The episode you're about to hear the future of meat was first published in February, quickly became one of our most downloaded episodes ever. Why is
because so many of you love to eat meat, maybe or is it So many of you don't love to eat me also. Maybe we explained there is a movement happening right now really large movement around needless meat. That is meat like food that does not come from living animals, the California, but he beyond me had won the hottest appeals and recent memory and its barely slowed down their market cap. Now for nine billion dollars impossible foods. The company you, about in today's episode, also appears to be headed for an ip, oh and perhaps a similar success. Is it passed. that fifty years from now or even twenty or even ten years, most of the meat
come from animals, and I know let's check in then, but for now here's are best attempt at describing the future of me. Let's begin with a few basic facts fact number one: a lot of people the world really like to eat me, especially beef, pork and check, if you add them all together, were actually higher than we ve been and in recent history, its Jason Musk profess. And head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Produce University. I study what we eat and why we eat it, and then, in terms overall meat consumption per capita. In the? U S, how do we rank worldwide where it, where the key
mediators, so compared almost any other country in the world. We eat more meat per capita, even Brazil, Argentina, yes, yes and part of that difference. is income based. So if you took Argentina, Brazil and adjusted for income, they would probably be consuming more than us, but we happen to be rigorously eat a little more. The average amount consumes roughly two hundred pounds of meat a year. That's an average, so let's say you're a meat eater Someone in your family's vegetarian, you may putting away four hundred pounds a year, but in America at least there aren't that many vegetarian I probably have the largest data set vegetarians of any other researcher, that I know really why I've been doing a survey of U S, food consumers every month for about five years, and one of the questions I ask is: are you a vague and are a vegetarian so over five years time and about a thousand people a month of that about sixty thousand up
nations well, and is this nation wide data serving it is representative in terms of aid and income education let's say on average you're looking at about three to five percent of people, say yes to that question: that's it a very slight uptake over the last five years? So again, a lot of me eating in America. Water other countries that consume lotta meet Australia, and New Zealand, Israel, Canada, Russia, most european countries and increase namely China. Where things we know, is it when consumers get low more income in their pocket? When the first they do is want to add high value proteins to their diet. What is the relationship generally between GDP in meat consumption, positive, although so the diminishing returns. So as you get to really high income levels, it might even tail off a little bit, but certainly at the lower end of that spectrum, as it can
ray grows and adds more GDP start to see some pretty rapid increases in meat consumption. Meat consumption is, of course, driven by social and religious factors as well by health concerns and animal welfare, not Everyone agrees that humans should be eating animals at all. That said, we should probably assume that the demand for me will continue to rise as more of the world keeps getting richer. How is the supply side doing with this increased demand? Quite well? The meat industry is massive and complicated and often heavily subsidized, but long story short! If you go by the availability of meat and especially what consumers pay. This is an economic success. So prices of almost Oliver meat products of decline, pretty considerable, over the last sixty two thirty years and in the reason, is that we have become so much more productive at producing meat. If you look at
most of the statistics like them out of port produced per Sal. You ve, taken, a lot of the sea, no variation at least to see as these animals have been bright indoors and aunt em, you look it at poultry production, broiler production? The about me that's produced per broiler, has risen dramatically. I'm almost doubled savour last, be no fifty two hundred years, while also consuming slightly less feed. That's due largely to selective breeding and other technologies same goes for beef. Action. We get a lot more meat per animal for exam on a smaller amount of land, as you can imagine, people concerned with animal welfare may not celebrate these efficiency, events and then there's the argument that, despite these efficiency improvements, turning animals into food is wildly inefficient, because the Cowden devolved to be meet testing
that's Pat Brown use a long time. Stanford biomedical researcher was done ground, breaking work in genetics, the cow evolved, cow and make more cows, and not eaten by humans- and it's not very good at making me meaning it takes an enormous amount of food and water and other resources to turn Cow or a pig into dinner, much more than plant based foods and is pat round sees it. That is not even the worst of it, the most environmentally destructive. nobody on earth using animals in food production. Nothing else even comes close. Not. Everyone agrees that meat production is the environment's biggest enemy, but not in dispute is good. Will demand for me, is high and rising and that the production of meat is resourceintensive
and, at the very least, an environmental challenge, with implications for climate change. Pat brow things. He has a solution to these problems. He has started a company. company, whose mission is to completely replace animals as a food production, Algae by twenty thirty five, the meat industry, as you can imagine, has other ideas. We want to keep the term meat to what is traditional, We are harvested and raised in the traditional manner today Humphrey What's radio everything I want to know about meat about needless meat. and where meat meets the future
friends stature and that no productions, this is for economics, radio, the casket explores the hidden side of everything, here's your host Stephen governor what determines which food you put in your mouth every day. There are plainly alot of factors, personal preference tradition, geography on and on so take something like horse. Consumption that you knows it's almost unheard of to even think about consuming a horse in the United States, Jason Musk again the agricultural economies. whereas you know you gotTa Belgium, France, it there will be a commonly consume dish, but there's another big factor that determines who eats what technology.
Technology related to how food is grown, preserved, transported but also technology. that isn't even related to the food itself consider the case of Mutton is the meat of an adult sheep meat of young sheep. It's called lamb. I am willing to bet that you have not eaten mutton in the last six months, probably the last six years, maybe never, but if we were talking a hundred years ago, different story, Certainly the case that, back in nineteen, twenty and thirty is it that mutton wasn't much. or commonly consumed product. Mutton was a staple of the american diet. The standard items ship to soldiers during world war? Two was canned mutton, but shortly after the war, mutton started to disappear. What
a sheep is not just me. Ok, the sheep is not just meet these arm. Malta, Product species and their valuable not just for their meat, but further wall. Oh yeah wool and like leather which can be harvested only once from an animal. You can cheer wool from one sheep many times over many years, so anything the facts. The demand for wars also, then affect the internal market for the rest of the of the underlying animal and what might affect the demand for wool? How about synthetic substitutes nylon, for instance, was created by do pot in nineteen thirty five became available to the public in eighteen. Forty, a year later, polyester was invented. So in any anytime you new clothing technique, jeez come along, that's going to affect them buying demand for four she
and make them less less valuable than they would have been otherwise, so an increase in synthetic fabrics, led to a shrinking demand for wool, which meant that, although sheep, that had been kept around four shearing no longer needed to be kept around. Also, wool subsidies were repealed and America's sheep flock drastically shrank from high of fifty six million in thanking forty two barely five million today, but is amazing. I've worked at several Agri also universities across the? U S. Now and often the largest cheap herds in those states are at the university research. Farms in fewer sheep meant less mutton for dinner. Is it possible? Americans would have stopped eating mutton without the rise of synthetic fabrics? Absolutely if you,
The room full of meat eaters to name their favorite me? I doubt one of them will say mutton still. This is just one example of how technology can have a big effect on the meat we eat and if you talk to certain people, it's easy to believe that were on the verge of a similar but much larger technological shit. Ok, my name is bad brown. I'm currently, the ceo and founder of impossible Foods whose mission is to completely replace animals as a food production technology Brown, grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC, as well as Paris and tie pays. Father worked for the CIA, he studied to be a pediatrician and, in fact completed his medical residency, but he switched to buy, chemistry, research. I had the best job in the world at Stanford. My job was basically to discovered, invent things and follow my care
acetate Brown, this for many years and was considered a world class researcher. One of his breakthroughs was a new tool for genetic mapping. It's called the DNA Micro array that lets you read all the words at the salaries, sing and effectively kind of start to learn. The vocabulary learn how the genome rights to life story of a sour something I got. It also has practical applications, because what it's doing in a sort of a deterministic way specifies the potential of that salaries. It's a cancer, so some people think the DNA Micro array will win. Pat Brown, a Nobel prize when I bring this up, just shakes his head and smiles its clear that his research was a deep passion. For me, this was the dream job. It was like in the renaissance. You knew having the Domenici's as paper Is there something like that? But after many
There's Brown wanted a change. He was in his mid fifties. He took a sabbatical figure out his next move. It start out with stepping back from the work of his doing and ask myself if the most important thing I could do. What could I do that we have the biggest positive impact on the world and look Yet what are the biggest unsolved problems? In the world you know came relatively quickly the conclusion that the use of animals of food production technology is by far and I could give you endless reasons why that's true. But it is absolutely true by far them. environmentally destructive thing that humans do? There is indeed a great deal of evidence for this argument across the entire environmental spectrum. The agricultural historian James, Mc Williams in a book called just food, argues that quote
every environmental problem related to contemporary agriculture and of having its deepest roots in meat production, mano, cropping, excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer addiction to insecticides, rain forest depletion, land degradation to soil run off declining water supplies, even global warming. All these problems, Mc Williams Rights, would be considerably less severe if people eight meet. Rarely. If ever mean others, no doubt that meat production has environmental consequences. Jason less began suggested it's the most damaging environmental thing we do is, I think, a pretty extreme overstatement, but what about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with it? me, especially in the U S, which is the world's largest beef producers, own EPA. Environmental protection agency suggest that all of livestock contributes. three percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions. So I made three percent.
Nothin, but it's it's not the major contributor that we see that that now, I should say, is much higher and many other parts of the world, so the carbon and impacts per I'm produced are so much smaller here than a lot of other world. But when you tell people the waiter, he's carbon emissions is to intensify our production. That's not a story! A lot of people like to hear because Vienna, it sounds like it's against animal welfare. Well, too, exactly one as there are concerns about animal welfare, particularly when you're talking about broiler chickens or or hogs less about cattle and the other one is there are concerns about when you concentrate lie animals when placing it on his waste in in a location that. You have to think about creating ways to deal with the don't have some significant environmental problems, so the EPA number livestock contribute three percent. Does that include the entire production chain, though
because some of the numbers of icy from environmental activists is much much higher than that? The? U That's demand that you often hear from Iraq it was created in this report called livestock. Long shadow is something around nineteen percent, but that nineteen percent rough The number is a global number Actually, there was a as study that came out point some flaws and ass. They reduced it. Some life. in any case, there is a growing concern in many quarters over the externalities of meat production over the ass five to ten years, there's been a lot of negative publicity of stories about an hour. impacts about carbon emissions, about animal welfare, and, if you just look, news stories, you would think boy, people, must be really I cutting back, given the stood, a frightful stories that you see on the front pages of the newspapers. But if you look at the data itself demand
fairly stable and so that estimates there. It's it's hard to change people's preference on us. There's something about meat consumption. Some people would argue that were evolved. Turn like meat that it's a protein invite him unpacked. We know tasty punch that weave own to enjoy as a species? There are some people that even argue that one of the reasons we became a smart as we did vitamins in new trance, when that meet allowed our brains to develop in certain ways at my have not otherwise Pat Brown saw that same strong preference. For me, he decided that the number one scientific problem to solve was replacing animals as food, and a problem that nobody was working on in any serious way, because everybody recognise that most people in the world, including most environmental scientists and people care about this stuff love. The foods we get
man was so much that I can't imagine giving those up. Brown himself was a long time. Vegan side the I haven't, eaten you meet for decades in That's just a personal choice that I made long be I realise the destructive impact of that industry. That was, I try to meet. For other reasons. wasn't something that I felt like you know. I was in a position to tell other people to do and I still don't feel like there's any value in doing that. Brown makes an interesting point year, many of us when we feel strongly about something in environmental issue or social or economic issue were inclined to put forth a moral argument. A moral argument would appear to be persuasive evidence of the highest order. You should do this thing because it's the right thing to do
but there is a ton of research showing that moral arguments are generally ineffective. People may smile at you nod, but they won't change your behavior, that's what Brown realized about meet. The basic problem is said that people are not enough why these foot and the only way you can solve it, is not by us and meet you halfway and given my substandard product doesn't deliver what they They want from meat or fish anything like TAT, the only how to do it? If you have to say we're going to do with a much harder thing, which is we're going to figure out how to make meat this, not just as delicious as the meat we get from animals, it's more delicious, and better nutritionally and more affordable and so forth. In other words, a marginal improvement on the standard veggie burger would not do it been tried. It just doesn't work to waste of effort, so Browns
did fooling around in his lap doing some kind of micro experiments just to convince me in a way that this was doable. Those early experiments were fairly encouraging. I felt like ok there's about things I thought I could be used for and then I felt like I could just go in with a little bit more confidence to talk the investors, the investors, meaning venture capitalists. Remember Brown is at Stanford, which is next door to the biggest pile of venture capital in the history of the world. Then, basically, by them was you know it was. It was very naive from fundraising standpoint then said, I'm basically, I most I just told him about how there's this absolutely critical, invite mental disaster that needs to be solved and and they're probably expecting
hear something now about carbon capture more yeah. That's that's thing, and most people still arm, so I wait via so I am told these guys look Does an environmental disaster knows anything about it. I'm gonna absolved for you. So how does the almost Pediatrician, who became a freewheeling biochemist, build a better meet from the ground up amazing story after the break? Ok bingo this is how we're going to do it for economics. Radio sponsored by Petsmart Petsmart makes it safe and easy for you to care for your pet at Petsmart, the health and safety of employees, pet parents and pets are which most important, which is why they require face coverings, social distancing and stop plexiglas shields and enhanced cleaning to follow CDC recommendations for contact with him thing just order online at Petsmart, not com or on the Petsmart app
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it is estimated that more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with all animal agriculture comes from cows, and that is due to the fact that, if our ruminant animals, the Purdue economist, Jason, Lust again, there's stuff produce methane come The front, not the back end is a lot of people think and consequence. We look at carbon consequences is mainly beef that people focus on not import or chicken because they I have the same kind of digestive systems. There has been progress in this area. For instance, it turns out that adding sea weed to cattle feed drastically reduces their methane output, but the scientist, Pat Brown, is looking for much bigger change to the animal agriculture industry. If I could,
snap my fingers and make that industry disappear right now, which I would do if I could and would be a great thing for the world. It is very unlikely to disappear, time soon it is a trillion dollar global industry, soup, in many places by government subsidies, selling products the billions of people consume once twice even three times a day. Pat Browns desire would seem to be an impossible one. The company he founded is called impossible foods. its essentially a tech start up three more than seven hundred fifty million dollars in venture capital and, as of May was valued at two billion dollars So we ve only been in existence for about seven years and We have about three hundred people. We started by basically
building a team of some of the best scientists in the world to study how meet works basically By that I mean to really understand that a basic level the way in my previous life. When I was about medical scientist, we might be studying how A normal cell of this particular kind, becomes It is our understanding, the basic biochemist mechanisms in this case. But we I do understand was what are the basic biochemical mechanisms account for the unique flavour chemistry in this over behaviour and aromas and textures inducing us, and all those are called Is that consumers value in meat and we spend about two and a half years, just doing basic research trying to answer that question before we really started working on a product and then decide
it for strategic reasons. Our first product would be while ground beef made entirely from plants because burgers what people want or well there's a lot of reasons. Why thinkers a strategic choice, the largest single category meeting you ass us, it's probably the most iconic and it was made in the. U S, it seemed like the idea of vehicle for communicating to consume first the delicious meet doesn't come from animals because its it sort of Lee Goober meet for a lot of people who were lowered you got. A lot of people are not Yale hamburgers neurotic guide and beef production is most environmentally destructive segment of the culture industry so from an impact standpoint made sense of their choice.
so Pat Brown said about replacing the scientific wisdom he too crude over a long, fruitful career in biomedicine, a career that may improve the health and well being of countless billions, and now you got to work on a truly earthshaking project, building a better burger, a burger that doesn't come from a cow, an impossible burger. So how did that work? What ingredients do put in an impasse, apple burger. That's an interesting aspect about the signs, which is that we didn't look for what are the precisely specific choices of ingredients that would work. We we ve studied what are the biochemical properties we need from the side of ingredients? And then we did so
hey of things available from the plant world that match those by a physical properties and so forth, of which there were choices. So what are the main components? this Berger. I can tell you what it's made up right now. That's what it's me. Right now is different from always made two years ago. Was different from ours made two and a half years ago and the ex version we're going to launch has not quite different set of ingredients. We first interviewed several months ago, the main ingredients at the time included a protein from we'd protein from potatoes, not start from potatoes, but a protein from tears. A byproduct of starch, action among the other ingredients, cocoanut I also major fats horse, and then we have a bunch of other small molecules but they're all familiar things amino acids, vitamin sugars nutrients, but all
please. Ingredients did not make Pat Browns Plant based Hamburger, meet, taste or act or look lake hamburger me. It was still missing a critical component, a component called so Hooker Sohemus founded and essentially every living thing and him in as inhuman animals is the exact same molecule. Ok, it's just one of the most ubiquitous and fundamental molecules in life on earth period. The system, that burns calories to produce energy use is here as an essential component and it's what carries auction in your blood as what major blood red and none of this week covered. This has been known for a long time end, and so am I have a lot more heaved than plants, and it's very high concentration of Heem that accounts for the unique flavors of meat that you would recognise something as meet its D. overwhelmingly dominant factor. In
Making the union taste of meat and visit is involved and texture and mouth feel, and all that is well knows, taste just tat, justice, texture, I feel are really important and there's a whole another set of research around that super important, had kind of guest short shrift, because people think of flavour, a sort of most dramatic thing about meat, but you have together stuff right to Brown and his team of scientists after a couple years of research and experimentation we're getting a lot of that stuff right, but without Heem a lot of heem their meat. meat would never resemble meat, so there is one component of a certain kind of that has a high concentration of human, that is in plants at fix, nitrogen taken measures from Aaron turned into fertilizer, they have a structure called the route. Not your word: nurtured fixation, takes place for reasons that are too complicated, explain right now they they that has high concentration of him
I just happened to know this from way back and if you slice open the route nodules of one of these plants, they are a high concentration of him that they look like a freshly cut, stake, ok and- and did a calculation about the concentration of that stuff. I soya chemo goblins the protein, which is very we identical to the high protein and muscle tissue. It's called Maya Globe and that there is enough hemoglobin envy route, nodules of EU soybean crop to replace all the Heem all the meat consumed in the? U S? Okay, so I thought genius. Ok, we'll just go on harvest all these root? Nodules from the? U S soybean crop and we'll get the stuff practically for free. Well, sir, raised money for the company and I we spent like half the money trying to figure out how to oversees rude nodules from soybean plant only basically to finally convince ourselves said
there was a terrible idea, but if you are a veteran scientists like Brown, a little failure is not so off putting you know, you're gonna be doing things that are pushing the limits and, trying entirely new things and a lot of Margaret to fail, and if you dont have a high tolerance for that and realize it basically the way you do really really important cool stuff is by try a lot of things and not punishing yourself for the fair there's but just celebrating the successes, you know you're, not gonna, accomplished as much in the idea of buying up all the route nodules of the. U S, soybean crop wasn't a complete failure. I mean we got enough, though we could do experiments proves that really was magic ingredient from flavour and so forth. But then we have to start over and then what we did was. We said: ok, have engineer a micro organisms produced gobs of their seem protein. Ok and since now, we
bound by any natural source? We looked at like three dozen different Heem Brodie, Everything from you know pair museum, too a barley to Hell's gate bacteria, which is like this at the plant else get back. There's a bacteria that lives in deep sea events it near New Zealand, that's their survivors temperatures above the boiling point of water that we mostly just looked at four. on but fighting brought down. The reason we rejected is that that you did so he'd stable, that you can cook a burger to cooking temperature, still says stays bright red because unfold, but anyway, and then we pick the best one which turned out to be are just committed why soya hemoglobin, which was the one we're going as far as your terrible Ionia, is actually pretty good. It wasn't really brilliant idea were accidentally turn out to be the right choice through the magic of modern plant Engineering- Patrick,
team began creating massive stocks of him in that Heem would help catapult the impossible Well beyond the realm of the standard, veggie burger, the mostly unloved, veggie burger, we should say the impossible. Burger looks like hamburger me when its raw and when its cooked it behaves like hamburger me most important. It tastes like hamburger me Mary. How would you like it media media? and then, when the freak economics, radio, recently ate some impossible burgers in a restaurant near Times square. I actually like it s like good day, impossible rhubarb, economic, but Zack with Kinsky Allison Craig
o Brien, Kelly and Gregg Ribbon their meal happened to coincide with the release of impossible burger to point. Oh an updated recipe that uses a soil protein instead of a weak protein and has a few more tweaks, less salt, sunflower oil to cut the cocoanut oil and no more as anthem, Gama conduct gum in my own tasting experience impossible burger. One point no was really good, but little slushy to point no was burger testing. I did not record my burger tasting, but if I did it sounded like this. These are, of course, our subjective observations. Here's some actual evidence impossible burgers are already being served in thousands of locations, primarily in the U S, but also Hong Kong and Macao. These include very high
restaurants in New York in California, as well as fast food chains like Mommy, burger, White Castle and burger king, which, after piloting the impossible whopper in Saint Louis. The spring has just gone nationwide. Impossible also has plans to start selling its burger me engross resources here, we ve grown in terms of our sales and revenue and so forth about thirty followed in the past year, and our goal is to completely replace animal footprint how do you by twenty thirty five? That means we have to approximately double in size and impact every year for the next Juno eighteen years are we I understand that you are taking aim at pigs and chickens and fishes. Well, yes, of course, so when we started out. We were working on technology platform and sort of the know how about how meat in general. We are working on ending dairy products and cheeses and stuff like that, and then we decide. Ok, we have to pick one product along with.
and then we have to do from a commercialization standpoint. Go all in on it for a while, as the scientists as ACE interest. Were you reluctant to candid narrow yourself for that commercial interest, or did you I appreciate that this is the way in this world. Things actually happen. Both I mean. Let's go this way. I would like to be able to to pursue all these things in power. and if I had the resources I would but if we launched another product right now, just be competing guest ourselves for resources, personalization so just would doesn't make any sense. we put out an apple not long ago called two totally opposite ways to save the planet. It featured the science journalist Charles Man. Are we going to deal with climate change? There been two ways that have been suggested, overarching way to represent
if you like, poles and a continuum and they ve been fighting with each other for decades. The two poles represented by what man calls in his latest book, the wizard and the profit. The prophet sees environmental destruction as a problem best addressed by restoring nature too. natural state, the wizard me my believes that technology can address environmental dangers. This is, of course, a type apology, a short hand. A profit doesn't know early fear technology anymore than a wizard fears, nature. That said, if there were ever an embodiment of the wizard profit hybrid person, driven by idealism and pragmatism in equal measure, I'd say it's Pat Brown from impossible foods, which means his invention has the capacity to upset people all across the spectrum. The consumers and activists who might cheer
a meet with meat are often the same sort of people who are anti GMO. Genetically modified organisms in the impossible burger would not have been possible without its genetically modified. He which, by the way, the FDA recently declared safe after challenges from environmental groups like friends of the earth, another group that might object to impossible foods, the meat industry. You know the ones who use actual Adam, to raise food. My name is Kelly Fogarty and I serve as the executive. Vice president for the United States, cattlemen association and I am a fifth generation- beef cattle rancher here in Oakdale California, I'm just curious, as woman do you find yourself ever wishing the? U S cattlemen services It would change or namer you, ok with it. You know
it's funny. You mentioned that there is always a little bit of a notion. in the back of my mind, of of you know, of course, being an history for so long. I take it as representing all of the livestock industry, but you no definite having a special nod to all the female ranchers out. There would be nice to have as well and what is the primary difference between the? U S: cabins Association and the National Catalans Beef Association as the United States government, association, we are made up primarily of cattle producers, so your family branches. You know: cow calf operations run by producer in kind of for producers is what U S. Ear was built on, whereas national parliaments, Beef Association, does includes two more of pay Her influences as well. As you know, some of the processing facilities as well. Can you just talk generally for a moment how big of a threat does the beef into
we see from alternative, quote meat. So from our end you know, and looking at the quota quote meat and appreciate you hate o using those courts around that term. from Aryan we're not so much seeing it as a threat to our product. What we're looking at is not limit on consumer choice or trying to back one product out of the market. It's really to make sure that were keeping the information out their accurate, and that's what is available to consumers and what is being shown to consumers on labels is accurate to what the product actually is Two thousand eighteen for These organization filed a petition with the: U S: DNA, to prevent products from being labelled as beef or meat unless they come from now I mean: does that mean that year? Organ donation thinks that consumers are can
used by labeling. Is that the primary objection, so the primary dejection, Fran from the United Kingdom Association is that we want to keep the term meet, did what is traditionally harvested and raised in the traditional manner, and so when we see term meat being put on these products? That is not derived from that definition? What our producers came to us and really wanted us to act on was what we saw happened in our industry, specifically when you look at the dairy industry and where the term milk has now been used, a common milk, for instance, which comes from almonds animals which led the national Milk Producers Federation to argue that it should not be sold as almond milk De Commissioner seem to agree pointing out that quote, an almond doesn't left eight.
the agency is now reviewing the labour policy, which is why you may soon see your grocery store carrying almond beverage rather an almond milk. There are important differences between so called milk It doesn't come from animals and so called me that doesn't come from animals. Common milk is very different: nutritional content and cow's milk impossible. Burger, meanwhile, has a similar nutritional profiles, hamburger bringing the iron content, which regions can have trouble getting enough of. That's another my colleague, photography and the? U S Cabins association might not want the impossible bird to be labelled me. I'm just curious about the kind of I guess mental state of your industry, because I was looking your facebook page and one post. The other day lead with with the following eat or be eaten b.
at the table or on the menu fight or be forgotten, said that sounds wouldn't make me believe that the future of me is why in which capital ranchers feel a little bit like an endangered species or at least under assault. I think that speaks to a lot of, I think misconceptions that are out there. Regarding the: U S, beef industry, whether it be in terms of you, know, nutrition, environment, animal welfare. We really been hit from a lot of for an angles over the years. Ok, we'll, according to some scientific research meat action and were cattle. Ranching are about the most environmentally damaging activities on on earth between the resource intensively. This land, but especially water and the extra nowadays, the run off of manure and chemicals
the groundwater. I think one of the first point to make is that cattle. Are really there defined. As as what is termed as upset. Colours and so cattle today they're turning plans that have little to no nutritional value, just as is into a high quality and a highly high dense protein. And so when you look at where cattle are grazing in the? U S and then all across the world, a lot of the land that their grazing on our land that is not suitable for crops. my worry would be a kind of looking as a highly marginal type of of land and the ability of livestock to turn? What is their into something that can feed the world is pretty remarkable, photography believe Her industry has been unfairly maligned. That has come to be seen as a target
four environmentalist groups and causes, I would absolutely say it out the livestock industry an end to that matter. The agriculture industry as a whole, I think, has really been at the brunt of a lot of a lot of disinformation campaigns for many points that you and report claiming that the global livestock industries, greenhouse gas emissions were shockingly high report that was found to be built on faulty calculations. Yes, it was a really in an equitable and grossly, inflated percentage that really turned a conversation. The inflated percentage around eighteen percent was really around fourteen point. Five percent so grossly inflated, maybe the eye of the aggrieved forward. He said is that, even though the air was acknowledged and a revised report was issued, folks have not forgotten it as much as we wish it still something that it's hard to have fun
kind of on Reed- or I know something that they had initially saw, the fact is that the agricultural industry is massive and massively complex without question, it exempts costs on the environment it so provides benefits that are literally the stuff of life delicious, abundant, affordable food. As with any industry, there are trade offs and there's friction. Activists tend to overstate claims in order to encourage reform. Industry defenders tend to paper over the legitimate concerns, but in the food industry, especially, It is clear that a revolution is under way a revolution to her our food, be not just delicious and abundant and affordable, but sustainable too, with fewer negative externalities. Some start ups like empty,
simple foods, focused on cleverly engineering plant matter to taste like the animal flesh. So many people love others start ups are working on. What's called lab grown me using animal stem cells to grow food without animals, this is still quite young technology, but its very well funded It was curious to hear Kelly phobias view of this. One of the investors in the lab, meet Quote company Memphis meets, is cargo which is a major constituent of the big meat industry? I mean it other investor for what it's worth his bill gates, but I'm curious, what's with your position that, because the way I think about this long term, presumably a firm like argool can win the future with alternative quote meat. in a way that a cattle reenter can so I'm curious what the position is of
ranchers on this kind of investment from a firm like Cargill, are their firms that are sort of heading there bets on the future of meat. you know, and that it's a really interesting point, and it's it's been a bit of a tough pill for producers to swallow. The fact that some of the big three some of these big processing plants that have been so obviously heavily focused and have been stock dominant are now kind of going into this alternative, in the end, and sometimes the cell culture lab meets alternative proteins and it really has been point of contention among the large producers who are kind of confused, unsure feel a little beds. You no kind of oh here trying to think of the right term here, but I want to say betrayed by by the industry, but but a little bit so others may soon feel bad.
it is well a company called modern meadows is using similar techniques. To grow leather in the lab, without the need for cattle, the israeli company super meat is focused on growing chicken impossible foods is experimenting with fish substitutes, including an anchovy, flavoured broth, and then there's company called Phyllis Foods, Phyllis Foods, taking seafood back to basics and creating real fish meal, entirely without mercury plastic without the need for antibiotics or growth hormones and also without the need for fishing or the killing of animals, because we grow the fish directly from stem cells, its MIKE Selden the coasts.
Hundred ceo of friendless is twenty seven years old started out as a cancer researcher. Like Pat Brown, you could call him the wizard profit hybrid. He does take issue with the idea of lab grown food. The reality is like labs art by definite an experimental and are not scalable seat. This won't be grown in a lab at all. It's prototypes. lab in the same way that snacks or prototypes in a lab doritos are prototypes in a lab by material scientists. Looking at different dimensions of like crunching too, vision and all these other sort of mechanical properties. So what our facility will look like when were actually production skill something really a lot closer to a brewery, big steel tanks, that sort of allowing these cells space in order to divide and grow into large quantities of themselves. Well
facing all of the nutrients that we put inside of this new traditional broth. The fishing industry, like the meat industry, exact its share of environmental costs but like Pat Brown, make Selden does not want his company to win on goodwill points so the goal of Finland's foods is not to create something that compete on ethics or morals or environmental goals it something that will compete on taste, price and nutrition. The things that people actually care about you know right now, everybody really loves whales and people hate when whales are killed. What changed because used to kill Wales for their blubber in order to light lamps, it wasn't an ethical movement. It wasn't that people woke up one day and decided o killing. Wales is wrong. It was that we and using kerosene. Instead, we found another technological solution, a supply side, change that didn't play on people's morals in order to win. we see ourselves as something like that. You know why
work with an animal at all. If you dont need to. Indeed, you could imagine in the not too distant future a scenario in which you could instantly summon any food. Imagine Annabelle new foods, new combinations, but also foods that long ago fell out of favor. How much fun would that be? I asked the agricultural economist, Jason Luskin. Doubtless, if we had a three day, printer and lets say had just will be conserved. A hundred buttons of different food said it could make me anyone press the mutton button was born. Things about our food system is that it's a food system vs makes food affordable. That also has a whole awful lot of choice for people who are willing to pay a bet, there's probably at least one or two people out there that push that mutton button. I also asked lust for his economic views on the future of meat, especially the sort of project
inventors like make Selden and Pat Brown and working on. You know, as I have no problems with what hey you know Doktor Brown trying to do there, and indeed, I think, is very exciting. This technology and I think, ultimately it'll come down to whether this lab grown meat. Can compete on the merits, so there's no free lunch here, in fact that possible burger I've seen it on menus its always higher prices and the traditional beef burger As an economist, I look at that and save those prices to me, should be signalling something about resource use may be an imperfect, maybe there's some externalities, but they should fact, all the resources that were used to go in to produce that product is one of the reasons that beef is more expensive than say checking. It takes more time more inputs to get produce a pound of beef in a pound of chicken. So why is it The impossible Berger is more expensive than the regular burger. Now it could be
This is just a start up and are not working at scale was a really Scala saying up at a really bring the price down. It could be there also marketing to a particular higher income. Consumer is willing to pay a little more by. Thank you know if the claims about the impossible, burger are truth, overtime, one would expect these products to come down significantly and price, and be much less expensive. The beef production- and this is not I make my be friends happy, but if they can do that, good forum in consumers want to pay for this party like the way it tasted it saves money which means saving some resources. I think, in that sense it's a great technology coming up next time on for economics, radio, Another NFL season is about to start. How is this year different from all other years. We hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bats made since we launched in seems to be getting bigger every month, arisen Supreme Court
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Transcript generated on 2021-01-19.