Meet America's Newest Meat

The Lempert Report
November 20, 2014

Beyond Meat creates "near perfect replicas of meat" from plants

Experts predict that by the year 2050, meat production is expected to double, a daunting figure when you consider that meat production has quite an impact on the environment. For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated last year that emissions associated with livestock added up to 4.5% of all human-caused greenhouse releases.  Beyond Meat is one company working on an innovative solution to this problem: make fake meat so good, it wins over even the biggest meat lovers.


I began thinking about this idea back in 2005,thinking about if you could get all the protein you need from plants, in the form of consumable meat. How would you do that and what would that do for the world? 

The animal is a massive bioreactor where they're consuming grasses, feed, turning into consumable meat. Most inefficient part of the process, taking the plant matter from field, converting from the animal and turning it into meat.  If you can take the animal out of the equation you can do a lot of things like reduce the cost improve the quality, because you're not constrained to what the animal can do you can create new types of meat. It's pretty exciting.

I think for whatever reason, we've stumbled across something that really resonates with people, if you think about these four major problems that are related, human health, climate change, natural resources, animal welfare, all four related back to use of animas for protein.  if you can simply change out the acids at the center of the plate you can make an impact on all four of those problems, just by making that one change you can impact all four really big important problems 

Phil:Beyond Meat, which has attracted investment from the likes of Bill Gates, was named as one of Fast Companies most Innovative Companies in 2014 - and like any good innovator their setting goals far into the future:

Ethan: the 25 by 20 campaign was really aspirational for us, it was 'hey this is what's necessary  if we want to try to solve the climate change issue' and I worked with the scientists who were behind the 51 number from livestock and they said:  if you really want to make a contribution, it's still not too late, this is the amount of reduction that would be necessary in animal protein consumption by 2020.

It's not about asking people to not eat meat, that would be a bad idea, it's about asking people is to eat a different kind of meat. On the most important level, Beyond Meat is good for consumers because of the health benefits.

Our new burger for example, more protein than beff, iron than steak, omegas than salmon, calcium than milk, antioxidants than blueberries creating more nutrient dense foods in same structure as animal allowing people to have all the benefits of meat without health risks. 

 At Beyond Meat our mission is simple, creating real meat from plants.