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The end of meat? Economics, the environment and changing tastes have top protein feeling the heat

Claire Brownell: ‘A veggie burger company may seem like an unlikely candidate for hot startup of the year, but Impossible Foods has raised US$182 million from investors including Bill Gates and Google Ventures. And it has plenty of competition. Startups Memphis Meats, Mosa Meat and SuperMeat are racing to sell meat grown from cells in a lab, and Berkeley, Calif.-based Perfect Day Inc. said it’s ready to put animal-free milk — chemically identical to the real thing, but minus the cholesterol and lactose — on grocery store shelves by the end of next year. Considering we already have a way to make meat and dairy, one that’s been working for the human race for thousands of years, it may seem like a lot of effort and money is being spent on coming up with alternatives, but demographic forces are putting the livestock industry and those who depend on it in a precarious position… Even if we used all the cropland in the world to feed livestock, the demand for meat by 2050 will not be met… Here’s the problem: Raising a cow is a very inefficient way to make food… But things are going to change once the alternative is just as good as the real thing, Lee said. “We do not intend to be niche,” he said. “There’s a huge opportunity, a problem to be solved”.’ SOURCE…

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