Food scientists are developing plant-based alternatives to meat that are produced more sustainably.
Writing for Mashable, Bill Gates shares recent innovations in food production that could take us away from a meat-based diet, which isn’t very sustainable or efficient given the land and water requirements, and environmental impact.
Meat consumption has doubled in the last twenty years and is expected to double again by 2050. Several food companies are developing plant-based alternatives to meat that have the same taste and “mouth feel” as the real thing.
Gates points to Beyond Meat, Hampton Creek Foods, and Lyrical, who use pressure and and precisely heat and cool oils and plant proteins (like powdered soybeans and vegetable fiber) to achieve the perfect flavor and texture of meat or eggs. He writes:
Our approach to food hasn’t changed much over the last 100 years. It’s ripe for reinvention. We need to look for new ways to raise nutrition in the poor world while shifting some of our choices in the wealthy world. Fortunately, there are thousands of plant proteins in the world, and many of them have yet to be explored for use in the production of meat alternatives. Current investigations of the world’s vast array of plant proteins could fundamentally reshape our food supply for the better.