Bill Gates and Richard Branson Invest in Lab-Grown Meat Startup

Is this the future of food?

8. 25. 17 by Kyree Leary
Memphis Meats
Image by Memphis Meats

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Beef

Memphis Meats, a post-livestock meat producer, received a new $17 million donation from a slew of major American industrial powerhouses, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, and Cargill Inc, one of the largest agricultural corporations in the world. As of August 23, Memphis Meat has raised a total surpassing $22 million.

Some consumers prefer to know their meat comes from a familiar source, but lab grown meat may be the inevitable future of food. This isn’t a small-time one-off or fad. Another company called Beyond Meat is also proving the concept’s worth by creating great-tasting food without live animals, which require a lot of resources to properly house and raise.

Memphis Meats already produces chicken, beef, and duck from animal cells, forgoing the need to use live animals, and intends to use their new funding to add to the range of food it produces. It also plans to improve upon various aspects of its business, including faster food production and reduced production costs.

More Lab Chicken, Less Gas Emission

“The world loves to eat meat, and it is core to many of our cultures and traditions,” said Memphis Meats co-founder and CEO Uma Valeti in a press release. “Meat demand is growing rapidly around the world. We want the world to keep eating what it loves. However, the way conventional meat is produced today creates challenges for the environment, animal welfare and human health.”

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A climate change report published by the WorldWatch Institute earlier this year claimed animal agriculture accounts for nearly 51 percent of gas emissions. Meat production alone uses about a third of our planet’s fresh water and land. The new livestock-free process uses fewer resources to grow meats, which would certainly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we pump into our besieged atmosphere. The thing to take away here is this: climate change continues to be huge issue, and shifting to lab-grown meat would go a long way in addressing this serious antagonism.

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