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Tech Talks: Meat and Beyond

Why is Silicon Valley investing in meat alternatives? SDW’s own Josh Oakhurst is gives a fantastic look at meat that’s not meat and the technology investors throwing down cash to make dinner less bloody.

An eight year vegetarian (and Pelican enthusiast), Josh gave us an informative chat on how and why new protein sources are coming to fruition.

Catering was done by Whole Foods, and the audience got to try a few samples of our new future.

Alternative Protein Sources With Significant Funding from Silicon Valley, A List:

Beyond Meat (fake chicken strips, for now…)
progress: already and Whole Foods nationwide, more stores very soon
investors: Bill Gates, Biz Stone/Evan Williams (via Obvious Corp), Morgan Creek Capital, The Humane Society of the US, Kleiner Perkins, etc.

Modern Meadow (3D printed/grown burgers)
progress: TED demo
investors: Peter Theil

Hampton Creek Foods (Beyond Eggs, an egg substitute)
progress: commercial baked-goods market viability stage
investors: Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystems), Founder’s Fund (Napster Facebook), Bill Gates

Unnamed Petri Dish Burger
progress: first taste test was in fall of 2013
investors: Sergey Brin (Google)

Why Is Silicon Valley So Interested in Meat Alternatives?

As Josh lays out in the talk, there are four reasons why alternatives to animal proteins are needed:

  1. Better Health
  2. Climate Change
  3. Animal Welfare
  4. Global Resource Pinch

Which area do you think is the primary cause for investment by the world’s technology titans? (Josh answers this question in the video.)

More Reading:

PCRM 21 Day Vegan Kickstart

Bill Gates on the Future of Food

“Your Meat Addiction is Destroying the Planet.”

SAMSARA food sequence