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Sir Richard Branson has seen and tasted the Coming Food Revolution

Virgin Founder blogs about tasting the Clean Meat of the Future

“Meat production has not changed in 10,000 years. It’s time that changed” says Sir Richard Branson. 

In a Virgin blog entitled “Tasting the Clean Meat of the Future”, the Virgin founder recalled a recent dinner with family and friends. The dinner was delicious and to everybody’s surprise at the end of the meal, Dr Uma Valeti revealed that they had been eating real meat but with a difference. This was meat that had been grown directly from animal cells. It was sustainable, cultured chicken.

No living animals had been involved in the process so of course there was no animal slaughter and suffering. The process involved no livestock producing 18 per cent of man-made greenhouse gases. The process did not require the usage of the world’s land and water let alone the enormous 33% of the world’s land which is currently used in feeding humanity. 

This is the new world of sourcing high-quality animal cells and then cultivating them into meat. The result is the theoretic ability to make food that is healthier, more nutritious and safer. Clean meat fits into the scheme of the vegan trend since animals are not been harmed, though the source of the cell-based food is the cell of an animal. 

Dr Valeti is the co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats, a clean meat company in which Branson has invested. Cargill, the second-largest beef producer in the world, Tyson Foods and Bill Gates are fellow investors. 

Having been told that the meat industry would “fight him” Dr Valeti has seen them join him as they have realised that this direction is their future too. 

The investment is primarily to enable the company to scale. This will eventually lead to a price reduction in this “clean meat”. 

Future Generations will be Shocked at our Meat Production Methods

Change is coming in the slipstream of the vegan trend. The development of plant-based foods and clean meat from animal cells heralds the dawn of a new agricultural revolution.

The global meat industry is facing massive disruption with a shift away from traditional animal farming showing signs of beginning its first tentative steps. Consumer demand, particularly from Millennials, is one force driving the change. 

One recent report by AT Kearney opined that most meat sold by 2040 would not be from dead animals. 

Branson concurs with the need for dramatic change. He states that: 

“Conventional meat production cannot scale to feed the world’s growing population and appetite for meat. Global consumers already spend nearly $1 trillion per year on meat, and demand for meat is expected to double in the coming decades.

“In the next few decades, I believe that clean and plant-based meat will become the norm and animals will no longer need to be killed en masse for food. I’m sure future generations will look back and be shocked at our currently accepted meat production methods.”

Harvesting from cells instead of animals will make a real contribution to this change. In that way, in the words of Memphis Meat: 

“You can enjoy the meat you love today and feel good about how it’s made because we strive to make it better for you….and for the world.”

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Nicholas Orosz

Nicholas is a former City solicitor and Cambridge graduate. He has a long-standing interest in health & nutrition, the environmental movement, green politics & digital publishing. He has always loved crafting words. His transition to a vegan perspective has been gradual and an ongoing process of self-discovery. Contact: nicholas@vegansbethechange.com
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