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Synthetic meat investor Bill Gates calls for rich countries to shift entirely to synthetic meat

Beef Central, February 17, 2021

Livestock industry leaders have urged Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthrophist Bill Gates to undertake more research into livestock production after he called for policies requiring people in rich countries to eat “100 percent synthetic beef”.

To view Mr Gates’ full interview with the MIT Techology Review click here

Mr Gates, who has invested in range of ‘synthetic meat’ startups including Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats and Hampton Creek Foods, made the comments in an interview promoting his new book ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’.

In the interview with MIT Technology Review, Mr Gates said he did not think the poorest 80 countries in the world would be eating synthetic beef in future.

“I do think all rich countries should move to 100 percent synthetic beef,” he said.

“You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time.

“Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.”

He described the problem of reducing methane emissions as “very difficult”, stating that even compounds which reduce methane emissions weren’t enough.

Mr Gates does not claim to be vegetarian and is reported to still enjoy the occasional cheeseburger.

However he has been strong public and financial supporter of plant and cellular based alternatives to meat for several years, stating that farmed animals take a “big toll” on the environment.

Mr Gates said in the MIT interview he wasn’t sure if ‘lab grown’ meat like Memphis Meats will ever be economical, but said plant-based protein companies Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have a quality and cost road map that makes them “totally competitive”.

In his new book Mr Gates says using regulation to force a shift to synthetic meat is only one of a wide range of government policies that will ultimately be needed to avoid a climate disaster.

After initial market hype, plant based ‘fake meat’ brands have run into headwinds in recent times including stock rating downgrades, price discounting to lift sales, and law suits over food safety standards.

In response to his push for the developed world to replace beef with synthetic meat, which appears to have generated largely supportive media coverage around the world, a range of voices have responded on social media by urging Mr Gates to spend more time researching the livestock sector.

 

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Comments

  1. Rebecca Allen, February 27, 2021

    Bill didn’t come to this decision lightly. He knows his agriculture, I understand he is the largest farmland holder in the US. He’s knows we need to be 100% off beef.

    We can either plan to transition to something else or be the last ones out f the beef industry. The tobacco industry had the same problem and tried to hold on as long as they could. Climate wise, it is time to make a change.

    • Steve Sorenson, February 27, 2021

      Trying to link red meat to tobaacco is grossly misleading. People have thrived eating red meat for millions of years and suddenly Bill Gates and his billionaire mates (who stand to make a fortune from their investments in synthetic meat) are falling over themselves to brand real meat as a human health and planet emergency. Trying to compare the dangers of tobacco to eating meat is misleading – take it from the Cancer Council https://www.cancer.org.au/iheard/ive-heard-that-eating-processed-meat-is-as-bad-as-smoking-cigarettes-in-terms-of-cancer-risk-is-this-true The worst thing the WHO’s rtesearch said about red meat is that a person’s lifetime risk of colorectal cancer is about 5pc, and eating processed meat every day appears to boost a person’s absolute risk of cancer by 1pc to 6pc. So enjoying the odd bit of bacon or salami sandwich isn’t going to change your lifetime cancer risk, but eating it every day could increase your risk of this particular cancer by a single percentage point. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/16018658/what-the-health-documentary-review-vegan-diet Any claim we need to be 100pc off beef ignores the science on health and the science on livestock methane emissions, but as long as Bill Gates says it it must be rigjht, right?

      • John Rarere, April 8, 2021

        Gates would make way more off real beef than synthetic meat .he’s genuinely concerned

  2. Jan Gold, February 23, 2021

    Hey Bill Gates, did you ever consider people with food allergies??? I can’t eat wheat, dairy, eggs, tree nuts or legumes(beans, peas,soy,peanuts). I can’t eat “Beyond Meat”
    I could never survive as a vegetarian!!
    You only care about your pocketbook. Just because you are so wealthy does NOT make you expert in other areas besides $$.

    • Stan Miller, March 21, 2021

      Be real. Of course meat won’t go away and you will still have a choice. Nothing is strictly black or white.
      Meat production is a huge contributor to climate change. Those who can’t eat grains, etc. will still get meat. There are many other ways you can contribute to a lower carbon world.
      There are a lot of other changes coming down the pike; nature is seeing to that.

    • Is there anything you can eat Jan mate

  3. Bill Gates can stick it where the sun don’t shine. Have you ever read the nutrition label on those brands he’s looking to profit from? One can get more protein with less saturated fat from a good lean real beef product. If Gates thinks we somehow “owe” it to “poor” countries to give up wholesome food, money, transportation, electricity, etc., he can start with himself which I don’t see happening any time soon. These leftist tyrants never do that. They just like to virtue signal while dictating to the rest of us.

  4. Plant based and synthetic meat’s still require bovine embryos. High in added salt and fats and highly processed. I prefer natural products.

    It’s not embryos, Matthew – it’s foetal blood, extracted from unborn calves. Click here to view Beef Central’s earlier story on this https://www.beefcentral.com/news/the-darker-side-of-lab-grown-meat/ Full name required for future reader comment please Matthew – as per our long-standing reader comment policy. Editor

  5. Kat cawley, February 20, 2021

    If I had to eat synthetic meat I would become a vegetarian. As you don’t know what is actually in the false meat. What they tell you and what is actually in it are what they want you to know. But what is really in the synthetic meat

  6. If all the vegetarians love animals that much. Why are you eating their food?

  7. Given Bill is invested in these companies and he thinks it is the way to go then rather than being condescending and telling “rich countries” what they should do maybe he should just start giving his manufactured processed product to the poorer countries who he says won’t be eating it in the future. If it so good he should get it to them and actually overcome some of their disadvantage and lack of food.
    Interesting though how we need to eat organic, eat less processed food to be healthier yet Gates and others investing in “Plant based” foods are not advertising these as processed, as natural and if they are so good and would be demanded by the population why do they need to advertise them as tasting like meat or advertising them as “plant based (chicken), (prawns), (meat)” etc? There is no such thing as plant based meat of any type. It is misleading. And if the plant base stuff is so good why do they need to align it with a product they reckon is no good and should be replaced?

    • Rachel Burnett, February 20, 2021

      I agree with your comment.
      I have to say I do not agree that cattle is a big “global warming” or “environmental pollutant” as he makes it sound.
      I know a country that is sometimes referred as the “big ranch of America” where there’s more than 4 cows per capita, yet this country as been recognized as the greenest and cleanest country in the Americas and comparable to the cleanest in Europe(no, it’s not Argentina). They have worked very hard on being 100% green power and self sustainable. May be we should start there….and see the results…
      By the way, I don’t eat much beef and I do not agree on killing animal to feed if it is not necessary but synthetic “meat”… I ‘ll keep eating fresh veggies!

  8. Anita Gindes, February 19, 2021

    Synthetic meat seems to me to be a last resort. It would be more palatable on so many levels if those advocating synthetic meat were at least vegetarian. Vegetarian ‘meat’ products make more sense. Let’s stick with cultivated food or wild growing plants for as long as we can. Why not find a way to use tree bark more affectively.

  9. Pamela Pollard, February 19, 2021

    Tried to reference article on FB, got flagged. Really surprising.

  10. Esther Ganga Peter Azi, February 19, 2021

    We should start calling the world or whoever to enforce a limit to the amount of wealth an individual is require to have . cut down their wealth and put a stop to this madness.

    • That sounds an awful lot like communism, which historically didn’t turn out to well for rich or poor.
      It might be more reasonable to increase the level of financial scrutiny of our politicians, to make it impossible for Rich nut jobs and foreign intrests to buy them.

      • Our politicians are well paid…to accept money from foreign agents is about greed and its wrong. Yes review like all job salaries needed time to time but not for this reason

  11. Alan Fenstermacher, February 19, 2021

    I think to remove large amounts of methane in the air we should remove bloviating gas bags like bill gates from the earth

  12. Bonita Curtis, February 19, 2021

    This certainly explains why Gates is buying up all the farmland he can across the US. He is now the largest owner of farmland in the US. Last check 270,000 acres to be exact. As they force more people into poverty by not letting people work the foreclosures will keep coming to drive more and more farmers out of business and he will buy up even more land for pennies on the dollar. Big Tech has to be stopped and with a spineless Congress and Senate I don’t see this happening any time soon.

  13. Barb Ernster, February 19, 2021

    Please move out of your 54,000 sq foot mansion and into a tiny home. It is taking an awful lot of energy to keep that home operable, much more than whole villages in poor nations and perhaps even the US. You have no right to start telling us how we will eat. Most people in this country are struggling already with food bills. So out of touch. And I hear he’s buying up all the farmland. Can someone please ask him how millions of buffalo roamed these lands in the past without destroying the environment?

  14. Paul Neurohr, February 18, 2021

    Leave my steak alone Bill, keep your stupid ideas to yourself, climate change if any is not from cows or animals. Why do rich nuts try to change the way we live , can only be to make him and his rich mates more money that they will never be able to spend.

  15. Cornelis van leeuwen, February 18, 2021

    You can not use the word MEAT because it is not MEAT so there is no compère
    Freedom of choice
    And I happened to love my MEAT

  16. Think the premise is good but I’ll directed. Many vegans and vegetarians won’t touch synthetic meats so why would omnivores?
    A. Defeats thier purpose if based on animal welfare why eat something meat like?
    B. Where for health benefits synthetic fake meat has poor nutritional value.
    Why eat poor processed substitute with addituves and supplements when you could eat real plants?
    If the reasoning is for environmental. Argument would be eat wholefoods plant based.

    Full name required for future comment please, Buz – as per our long-standing reader comment policy. Editor

  17. Anthea Henwood, February 18, 2021

    When Mr Gates makes all his software and hardware out of plant based products and sell his shares in petroleum and transport industries then I will takes his comments more seriously.
    Grain derived products like flour and sugar syrups are directly responsible for the majority of mortality and morbidity in the “rich” countries.
    I guess that would achieve the aim of stopping climate change- kill off more people with the Bil Gates diet endorsed by the WHO.

  18. Greg watkins, February 18, 2021

    How pathetic, this bloke needs to vanish off the face of the planet!!!

  19. I’d rather turn vegetarian to help the environment than eat Gates’ unnatural meat.

  20. James Jensen, February 18, 2021

    I am concerned that Mr. Gates backing of the SYn Meat and Somatic Artificial Gene Therapy appear to be working hand in hand to kill those that eat “real ” in the next 5 years

  21. Floyd Rogers, February 18, 2021

    The times, they are a changin’………..how about we discuss it….make both choices available…..let us decide…….. over time, perhaps, we can enjoy whatever we like, AND become a bit greener,,,, One thing is certain, we are going to have to become MUCH more green……

  22. Mike Introvigne, February 17, 2021

    Bill Gates is typical of those self proffessed know alls because theyhave money and who have made their wealth from those that grow and consume beef. All of a sudden he is an expert in something he knows nothing about, stick to tech Bill.
    As for the comment on Jacinda from Contado Beckerman, I rest my case. Thank God she isn’t our PM, she is as nutty as poor old Bill.

  23. Lindsay Godfrey, February 17, 2021

    Plant based fritters are not to be called beef or meat.
    The industry need to take immediate action against companies who call their products beef or meat under truth in labelling or misleading advertising.
    The advertising on Fox and other media for these products is rapidly expanding with Coles and some Burger franchises involved. The industry needs to take urgent legal steps to shut down this advertising and branding.

  24. Val+Dyer, February 17, 2021

    Why would Beef Central give this ‘air’?

    Hi Val, one of our key aims is to keep our readers informed about global developments of direct relevance to the beef industry, regardless of whether those developments are perceived to be positive or negative for the industry. In this case global headlines about the world’s second richest person seeking to use his influence to urge Governments of developed countries to introduce policies forcing people to stop eating beef in favour of eating only sythentic alternatives, of which he is also a major investor, is news of relevance to people in the beef industry in our view. Editor.

  25. Val+Dyer, February 17, 2021

    One day, someone will provide evidence that the raw materials and processes to manufacture, supply and deliver the products that Bill Gates, (and other suppliers of Technology hardware and software) sell are more detrimental to the environment than natural products.

  26. Andrew Whitelaw, February 17, 2021

    Bill Gates is also an investor in faux meats. I’d take his advice with a pinch of salt.

  27. Contado Beckerman, February 17, 2021

    Plant based big time will happen sooner rather than later. We know that is difficult to change, but it is already happening. New Zealand is the proof and Jacinda just announced a plan to limit traditional production of animal protein and milk.

  28. Geoff Maynard, February 17, 2021

    What’s next Bill: Incarcerate the carnivore, castrate and spay the undesirable, collect semen and ovum from the elites, and euthanise the bearer of coal.
    Bills marketing program: Legislate my product, outlaw the opposition.

    You have finally spiralled up your own orifice, Bill

  29. Eric Newsome, February 17, 2021

    Would you please tell Bill Gates to mind his own business

  30. Richard+Golden, February 17, 2021

    Yet another reason for having Microsoft gear and programs as a last resort.

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