Bill Gates, founder and ex-CEO of software giant Microsoft, has just released details of his new project entitled "The Future of Food."
With meat consumption expected to double by 2050 and limited resources available to raise animals for food, the future lies with companies that are able to produce healthful, plant-based alternatives to meat and eggs in a sustainable manner. As Bill Gates writes, "The meat market is ripe for reinvention."
And there are many other individuals who share his view. Various venture capitalists have begun funding environmentally conscious, animal-friendly food companies in the hopes of saving the planet's dwindling resources. An article by Bloomberg Business Week spotlights several ventures that may change the way we all eat, especially when it comes to meat, dairy, and eggs. "It's not just fake meat. The goal is to have a no-compromise solution," says Amol Deshpande, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins.
Companies such as Beyond Meat are already producing faux meat with a texture and taste so close to the real thing that many experts have been fooled by this innovative product. In Europe, the Like Meat project has been developing meat analogues with "excellent, well-accepted texture, juiciness, appearance and aroma based on plant proteins."
Eggs are also getting a makeover; Hampton Creek, the company behind Beyond Eggs, is working with the company's over 20 employees towards a cholesterol-free, plant-based product to replace eggs in everything from omelets to cookies. At a recent conference, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Bill Gates were presented with muffins made with Beyond Eggs and then asked to compare the muffins to ones made from eggs. Neither could tell the difference.
By attracting such high-profile interest and tremendous capital, faux meat products and egg substitutes are poised to continue a rapid growth. As more and more substitutes are being developed, factory-farmed meat and eggs might soon become a thing of the past.