Guest: Paul Shapiro | Co-Founder & CEO | The Better Meat Co
Category: 🍏 Sustainable Food | Animal-Free Meat
Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[0:15] PS: "The Better Meat Co. is an ingredients company based in Sacramento that really is formed for the purpose of helping to reduce humanity's footprint on the planet. [...] Despite the fact that it's commonly known now that meat production is a leading contributor to deforestation, climate change, wildlife extinction, pandemic risk, and more, meat demand continues to go up, not down. [...] Can we divorce the meat experience from animals?"
[1:59] PS: "We use a very special kind of microscopic fungi. [...] From the moment we inoculate our fermenter to the time we harvest our fermenter, we are spending less than a single day to get delicious, succulent mycelium, the root like structure of fungi. And what we can do is essentially create a great meat experience for very little money. And so we can actually have a meat replacement that's cost effective, very convincing to the average meat consumer, and really nutritious."
[3:59] PS: "There are thousands of fungi species out there, and they all have different properties. And what we're doing is creating a very meat-like experience through a whole food that is grown through fermentation, where the product has more protein than eggs and more iron than beef. It's really a superfood."
[4:52] PS: "We have always had the North Star of creating a way to satiate humanity's meat tooth without animals. So as an ingredients company, we are partnered with big meat companies like Perdue Farms, where we sell them ingredients, and they can cut down on the number of chickens they use. [...] That enables them to make hybrid products. So these are products that are half plant based and half chicken."
[11:28] PS: "Microbes are [our] animals, and they are way more efficient than animals. So with a cow, you might need 25 calories in to get one calorie out. However, with fermentation you're talking about way better ratios, down to like three to one. So basically, this is going to be way better than animal meat from a climate perspective."
[31:02] PS: "The food industry spends nearly no money on R&D compared to what you see in the tech space. [...] You see companies having budgets of around 30% for R&D basically. Whereas in the food industry it's like single digit percent."