Processed Meat and Health Risks: What to Know

Here’s what the experts say.

#alzheimers-disease, #blood-pressure, #cancer, #colon-and-colorectal-cancer, #content-type-service, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #diabetes, #diet-and-nutrition, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hot-dogs-and-frankfurters, #meat, #oils-and-fats, #salt

Inflation Should Make Us All Vegetarians

Meat prices have soared 14 percent this year. Eating plant-based foods could save Americans’ wallets — and help the planet.

#diet-and-nutrition, #food, #global-warming, #inflation-economics, #meat, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #united-states-economy, #vegetarianism

As Inflation Jolts Grocery Prices, Shoppers Say ‘Ouch’

They’re store-hopping, cutting back on expensive items and using more coupons. Plying the meat counter staff with homemade banana bread for favors is not out of the question.

#finances, #inflation-economics, #meat, #shopping-and-retail, #supermarkets-and-grocery-stores

Meatpackers Misled Public and Influenced Trump Administration During Covid, Report Says

A congressional report claimed that meatpacking companies issued “baseless” warnings about food shortages and influenced government decisions to keep plants open early in the pandemic.

#clyburn-james-e, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-production-act, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #meat, #meatpacking-plants-and-slaughterhouses, #pence-mike, #perdue-sonny, #shortages, #united-states-politics-and-government, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Supreme Court to Weigh California Law on Treatment of Pigs

Trade groups challenged the law, which requires adequate space for breeding pigs to turn around, saying it unfairly burdens out-of-state farmers.

#agriculture-and-farming, #american-farm-bureau-federation, #animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #california, #humane-society-of-the-united-states, #meat, #pigs, #pork, #referendums, #tyson-foods-inc

In a Starving World, Is Eating Well Unethical?

A meditation on the true cost of dining when nearly one-third of the planet lacks regular access to food.

#claiborne-craig, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #diet-and-nutrition, #food, #gokce-nusret, #income-inequality, #luxury-goods-and-services, #meat, #salt-bae-chef, #springdesign2022

What Does the End of Beef Mean for Our Sense of Self?

When it comes to America’s legacy of Manifest Destiny, there’s perhaps no meal more symbolic than a bleeding steak. So who are we now that we’re consuming less red meat?

#animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #beef, #butchers-and-butchering, #cattle, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #diet-and-nutrition, #global-warming, #japan, #meat, #meatpacking-plants-and-slaughterhouses, #united-states, #veganism, #vegetarianism

Will We Soon Be Eating Chicken Grown From Animal Cells?

Here’s an early taste of the laboratory-grown meat that companies are racing to bring to market, and a look at the questions it raises about how we feed ourselves.

#andres-jose-1969, #audio-neutral-immersive, #audio-neutral-informative, #crenn-dominique, #laboratories-and-scientific-equipment, #meat, #poultry, #upside-foods-inc

The Republican Strategy on a Supreme Court Nominee

A reader offers the G.O.P. a suggestion about the hearing. Also: Gerrymandering; masks in school; a defense of meat; hard truths about gambling.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #gambling, #meat, #off-track-betting, #redistricting-and-reapportionment, #republican-party, #supreme-court-us, #united-states-politics-and-government

Building a Better Meatpacking Industry

Instead of breaking up the big meatpacking companies, the Biden administration is supporting the creation of rivals.

#agriculture-and-farming, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #beef, #meat, #meatpacking-plants-and-slaughterhouses

A Moose Hunting Class Is Teaching Students About Food

A small group of Alaskan middle-schoolers get a hands-on lesson in hunting and processing food from the land.

#alaska, #butchers-and-butchering, #education-k-12, #food, #hunting-and-trapping, #meat, #moose

How We Treat Farmed Animals

Readers react to a column by Ezra Klein about the horrors of factory farming. Also: Hospitals and the unvaccinated; unwanted holiday gifts. 

#agriculture-and-farming, #animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #animals, #christmas, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #factory-farming, #gifts, #hospitals, #meat, #vaccination-and-immunization

The 2021 Good Tech Awards

This year, technology companies stepped up on housing and criminal justice — with a dash of whistle-blowers mixed in.

#3-d-devices-and-effects, #3-d-printers, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #criminal-justice, #deepmind-technologies-ltd, #haugen-frances, #meat, #nonprofit-organizations, #philanthropy, #scott-mackenzie, #social-media, #start-ups, #whistle-blowers

Record Beef Prices, but Ranchers Aren’t Cashing In

“You’re feeding America and going broke doing it”: After years of consolidation, four companies dominate the meatpacking industry, while many ranchers are barely hanging on.

#agriculture-department, #american-meat-institute, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #beef, #cattle, #federal-trade-commission, #international-trade-and-world-market, #jbs-sa, #meat, #meatpacking-plants-and-slaughterhouses, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #ranches, #supply-chain

Biden Turns to Antitrust Enforcers to Combat Inflation

A wide-ranging presidential order helped block a railroad merger and tackle supply-chain problems, and it is planting the seeds for bigger actions.

#agriculture-department, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #federal-maritime-commission, #federal-trade-commission, #inflation-economics, #meat, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

As Prices Rise Due to Inflation, Biden Turns to Antitrust Enforcers

A wide-ranging presidential order helped block a railroad merger and tackle supply-chain problems, and it is planting the seeds for bigger actions.

#agriculture-department, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #federal-maritime-commission, #federal-trade-commission, #inflation-economics, #meat, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

A Soup That Tastes Like Being Home for the Holidays

When the architect Michael Chen couldn’t travel to be with his family last Christmas, he learned to make one of his mother’s recipes himself.

#beef, #chen-michael-k, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #food, #meat, #recipes, #soups, #spices, #taiwan

A Harvard Scam and the Best Podcasts of 2021: The Week in Narrated Articles

Five articles from around The Times, narrated just for you.

#cooking-and-cookbooks, #ham, #harvard-university, #immigration-and-emigration, #meat, #nursing-homes, #podcasts, #quarantine-life-and-culture

There Are Better Ways to Build a Burger

How we treat farm animals today will be seen as a defining moral failing of our age.

#agriculture-and-farming, #animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #animals, #content-type-service, #empathy, #factory-farming, #food, #good-food-institute, #innovation, #livestock, #meat, #mercy-for-animals

Your Heart and Diet: A Heart-Healthy Way to Eat

Aim for an overall healthful dietary pattern, the American Heart Association advises, rather than focusing on “good” or “bad” foods.

#american-heart-assn, #diabetes, #diet-and-nutrition, #food, #fruit, #grain, #heart, #labeling-and-labels-product, #meat, #oils-and-fats, #salt, #vegetables

Video of Salt Bae Serving Communist Leader Gold Steak Prompts Anger in Vietnam

A celebrity chef showed the meal in a TikTok video, now removed, that angered people in Vietnam. Facebook said it was investigating why the chef’s hashtag was blocked from its site.

#censorship, #communist-party-of-vietnam, #facebook-inc, #gold, #lam-to, #marx-karl, #meat, #restaurants, #salt-bae-chef, #social-media, #tiktok-bytedance, #vietnam, #youtube-com

Plant-Based Food Companies Face Critics: Environmental Advocates

Some analysts say they cannot determine if plant-based foods are more sustainable than meat because the companies are not transparent about their emissions.

#beyond-meat-inc, #brown-patrick-o-1954, #corporate-social-responsibility, #food, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #impossible-foods-inc, #meat

Can Lab-Grown Burgers Help Stop Climate Change?

Lab-grown meat has been hailed as a solution to humanity’s unsustainable consumption of animal products, but some say the idea is a fantasy.

#agriculture-and-farming, #beef, #beyond-meat-inc, #debatable, #eat-just-inc, #global-warming, #impossible-foods-inc, #meat, #veganism, #vegetarianism

16 Slow Cooker Recipes

These dishes require a little fuss now for a big payoff later.

#chili-food, #content-type-service, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #home-appliances, #instant-pot-co, #meat, #recipes, #soups

Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil Gets a Plus One

Adding fried pepperoni to a classic recipe with garlic and olive oil gives it a bacon-like brawniness and a chile kick.

#content-type-service, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #meat, #pasta

The ‘Hedonistic Altruism’ of Plant-Based Meat

Ethan Brown, the founder and C.E.O. of Beyond Meat, on his moral and environmental priorities.

#animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #beyond-meat-inc, #content-type-personal-profile, #executives-and-management-theory, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #impossible-foods-inc, #meat, #vegetarianism

How one founder aims to bring researchers and food producers together around cultured meat

When Clarisse Beurrier was getting her education in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, she already knew she wanted to make a difference; hence her participation in Effective Altruism Cambridge, an organization dedicated to helping smart and capable people target their philanthropic urges at the problems that will have the biggest actual impact on the world. She’s now a co-founder at Animal Alternative Technologies, a startup aiming to expedite the commercialization of cultured — aka ‘lab-grown’ — meat.

Clarisse joined us for this week’s episode of Found, our interview podcast where we speak to a different founder every week. We talk about what Clarisse learned about the cultured meat and animal protein alternative industry from her work experience at a couple of startups, including HigherSteaks, and how that dovetailed with the work she was doing at school to help her identify a crucial gap between science and industry. We get into everything from convincing big, entrenched industry heavyweights to embrace change, and the challenges of being a firs-time founder right out of school.

We loved our time chatting with Clarisse, and we hope you love yours listening to the episode. And of course, we’d love if you can subscribe to Found in Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Google Podcasts or in your podcast app of choice. Please leave us a review and let us know what you think, or send us direct feedback either on Twitter or via email at found@techcrunch.com, or leave us a voicemail at (510) 936-1618. And please join us again next week for our next featured founder.

#animal-alternatives, #food-tech, #found, #meat, #meat-substitute, #tc

Cutting out carbon emitters with bioengineering at XTC Global Finals on July 22

Bioengineering may soon provide compelling, low-carbon alternatives in industries where even the best methods produce significant emissions. Utilizing natural and engineered biological process has led to low-carbon textiles from Algiknit, cell-cultured premium meats from Orbillion, and fuels captured from waste emissions via LanzaTech — and leaders from those companies will be joining us on stage for the Extreme Tech Challenge Global Finals on July 22.

We’re co-hosting the event, with panels like this one all day and a pitch-off that will feature a number of innovative startups with a sustainability angle.

I’ll be moderating a panel on using bioengineering to create change directly in industries with large carbon footprints: textiles, meat production, and manufacturing.

Algiknit is a startup that is sourcing raw material for fabric from kelp, which is an eco-friendly alternative to textile crop monocultures and artificial materials like acrylic. CEO Aaron Nessa will speak to the challenge of breaking into this established industry and overcoming preconceived notions of what an algae-derived fabric might be like (spoiler: it’s like any other fabric).

Orbillion Bio is one of the new crop of alternative protein companies offering cell-cultured meats (just don’t call them “lab” or “vat” grown) to offset the incredibly wasteful livestock industry. But it’s more than just growing a steak — there are regulatory and market barriers aplenty that CEO Patricia Bubner can speak to as well as the technical challenge.

LanzaTech works with factories to capture emissions as they’re emitted, collecting the useful particles that would otherwise clutter the atmosphere and repurposing them in the form of premium fuels. This is a delicate and complex process that needs to be a partnership, not just a retrofitting operation, so CEO Jennifer Holmgren will speak to their approach convincing the industry to work with them at the ground floor.

It should be a very interesting conversation, so tune in on July 22 to hear these and other industry leaders focused on sustainability discuss how innovation at the startup level can contribute to the fight against climate change. Plus it’s free!

#algiknit, #alternative-protein, #articles, #bioengineering, #biotechnology, #carbon-footprint, #ceo, #cultured-meat, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #jennifer-holmgren, #lanzatech, #manufacturing, #meat, #orbillion-bio, #tc

Beef Prices Are Rising as Bottlenecks Limit Supply

Demand for beef is spiking as people dine out and grill, but the profits aren’t being evenly distributed. Ranchers blame the big meatpacking companies.

#agriculture-and-farming, #american-meat-institute, #beef, #cargill-inc, #cattle, #jbs-sa, #livestock, #meat, #meatpacking-plants-and-slaughterhouses, #ranches, #tester-jon, #tyson-foods-inc

Did a Burrito Cost American Runner Shelby Houlihan Her Olympic Dream?

Shelby Houlihan, a medal favorite, will miss the U.S. Olympic trials after she tested positive for a banned steroid. She has blamed a food-truck meal.

#burritos, #court-of-arbitration-for-sport, #doping-sports, #meat, #olympic-games-2020, #pork, #steroids, #tests-drug-use, #world-athletics

JBS Paid $11 Million Ransom to Hackers

The breach was the latest in a string of attacks targeting businesses critical to American infrastructure.

#bribery-and-kickbacks, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #extortion-and-blackmail, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #jbs-sa, #meat, #revil-hacking-group, #shutdowns-institutional

Production Resumes at Some JBS Meat Plants After Cyberattacks

Some JBS beef processing plants were operational, but not at full capacity, union officials said, after a ransomware attack shut nine plants, affecting thousands of workers.

#cyberwarfare-and-defense, #jbs-sa, #meat, #shutdowns-institutional

Ransomware Disrupts Meat Plants in Latest Attack on Critical U.S. Business

Operations at several owned by JBS, which processes one-fifth of the country’s beef, were affected, according to union representatives and Facebook posts meant for employees.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #computer-security, #computers-and-the-internet, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #extortion-and-blackmail, #jbs-sa, #jean-pierre-karine, #meat, #meatpacking-plants-and-slaughterhouses, #poultry, #putin-vladimir-v, #united-food-and-commercial-workers-union

How US Activists Are Trying to Halt the Killing of Kangaroos in Australia

A bill in Congress aims to ban all kangaroo products from Australia, setting up a clash between two very different kinds of people on opposite ends of the earth.

#animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #australia, #indigenous-australians, #international-trade-and-world-market, #kangaroos, #meat, #pacelle-wayne, #people-for-the-ethical-treatment-of-animals, #politics-and-government, #rural-areas, #shoes-and-boots

U.S. Activists Try to Halt an Australian Way of Life: Killing Kangaroos

A bill in Congress aims to ban all kangaroo products from Australia, setting up a clash between two very different kinds of people on opposite ends of the earth.

#animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #australia, #indigenous-australians, #international-trade-and-world-market, #kangaroos, #meat, #pacelle-wayne, #people-for-the-ethical-treatment-of-animals, #politics-and-government, #rural-areas, #shoes-and-boots

Antidepressants Almost Cost This Olympian Her Career

Brenda Martinez, one of the top track and field athletes in the United States, inadvertently tested positive for a banned substance under World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

#antidepressants, #depression-mental, #doping-sports, #martinez-brenda-1987, #meat, #mental-health-and-disorders, #olympic-games-2016, #olympic-games-2020, #steroids, #tests-drug-use, #tygart-travis, #world-anti-doping-agency

Is Going Meatless in Our Future?

Readers explore issues of diet, agriculture, ethics and climate change.

#food, #meat, #vegetarianism

Epicurious Drops Beef Recipes to Fight Climate Change

The popular cooking website will not publish new beef recipes over concerns about climate change. “We think of this decision as not anti-beef but rather pro-planet,” an article said.

#beef, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #epicurious-web-site, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #livestock, #meat, #recipes, #sustainable-living

Biden’s Climate Plan Won’t Outlaw Meat

Republican pundits and politicians are manufacturing red meat for their followers, regardless of truth.

#american-rescue-plan-2021, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #frauds-and-swindling, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #kudlow-lawrence-a, #meat, #republican-party

Investors eat up Orbillion Bio’s plans for lab-grown wagyu beef, elk, and bison

Orbillion Bio’s plans to make high end meats in a lab have investors lining up for a seat at the company’s cap table.

Mere weeks after launching from Y Combinator’s famous accelerator program, the Silicon Valley-based potential purveyor of premium lamb loins, elk steaks, bison burgers and more has managed to haul in $5 million in financing.

The company’s led by Patricia Bubner, Gabrial Levesque Tremblay, and Samet Yidrim, who between them have over thirty years working in bioprocessing and the biopharmaceuticals industry.

A little over a month ago, Orbillion held its first public tasting event where meats mixed with its elk, beef, and sheep were on offer straight from the petri dish to the table.

Investors in the $5 million round include: At One Ventures, which has also backed Finless Foods and Wild Earth; Metaplanet Holdings; the European investment firm k16 ventures; FoundersX Ventures, who are also investors in SpaceX; Prithi Ventures, which backed Mission Barns, Turtle Tree Labs; and angel investors including Jonghoon Lim, the CEO of Hanmi Pharmaceuticals; Kris Corzine; Ethan Perlstein, the CEO of Perlara, the first biotech PBC; and a well-known university endowment. 

“We were immediately struck by Orbillion’s focus on high-end, flavorful, hard-to-find meats like lamb, elk, wagyu beef, and bison, their strong science, business, and engineering backgrounds, and the fact that they are so focused on flavor that they literally have a Master Butcher on their advisory board,” said Ali Rohde, GP at Outset Capital, an early-stage venture fund run by Rohde along with repeat entrepreneurs Kanjun Qiu and Josh Albrecht. “Lab-grown meat is the future, and Orbillion Bio is already paving the way.” 

The company said it would use the cash to bring its first product, a Wagyu beef offering, to pilot production.

#articles, #beef, #ceo, #cultured-meat, #ethan-perlstein, #food-and-drink, #foundersx-ventures, #kanjun-qiu, #meat, #orbillion-bio, #silicon-valley, #spacex, #steak, #tc, #y-combinator

Let’s Launch a Moonshot for Meatless Meat

It wouldn’t actually take that much of an investment for Biden to get us headed in the right direction.

#agriculture-and-farming, #animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #animals, #beyond-meat-inc, #diet-and-nutrition, #factory-farming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #impossible-foods-inc, #livestock-diseases, #meat, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #vegetarianism

Will Budweiser brew eggs and will Post cereal make meat?

Corporations are quickly waking up to the market potential of alternative proteins with the nation’s biggest consumer brands continuing to make investments and create partnerships with startup companies helping consumers transition to healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets.

As Earth Week draws to a close (thankfully) new partnerships announced over the past week show the potential for new technologies to transform old businesses.

Yesterday the New York-based ZX Ventures, the investment and innovation arm of AB InBev, said that it would be partnering with Clara Foods, a developer of protein production technologies including (but not limited to), brewing egg substitutes. That’s right, the makers of Budweiser are hatching a scheme to make other kinds of liquids that are less potable and more poachable.

In that case, the yolk would definitely be on you, future consumer.

“Since day one, Clara has been on a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to animal-free protein, starting with the egg. More than one trillion eggs are consumed globally every year and corporate commitments for cage-free aren’t enough,” said Arturo Elizondo, the chief executive and co-founder of Clara Foods. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the world’s largest fermentation company to work together to enable a kinder, greener, and more delicious future. This partnership is a major step towards realizing our vision.”

Graph showing the increasing size of investments into alternative proteins in 2020. From 2019 to 2020 investments in alternative proteins soared from just over $1 billion to $3 billion led by investments in plant protein products. Image Credit: Good Food Institute

There are market-driven reasons for the partnership. Demand for high quality proteins is expected to jump up to 98% by 2050, according to research cited by the two companies.

“Meeting the increased demand for food requires breakthrough solutions built on collaboration and innovation that spans several industry domains – both old and new. The ancient and natural process of fermentation can be further harnessed to help meet future demands in our global food system,” said Patrick O’Riordan, founder & CEO at BioBrew, ZX Ventures’ new business line trying to apply large-scale fermentation and downstream processing expertise beyond beer. “We look forward to exploring the development of highly-functional, animal-free egg proteins with Clara Foods in a scalable, sustainable and economically viable manner.”

Meanwhile, there’s a meeting of the minds happening in St. Louis where cereal giant Post is investing in Hungry Planet, a startup making meat a range of meat replacements.

Formed from the same Seventh Day Adventist focus on plant-based diet and health as a core of spirituality that launched the Kellogg’s cereal empire, Post has long been a rival to the corn flake king with its grape nuts cereal and other grain-based breakfast offerings.

Now the company has led a $25 million investment in Hungry Planet, which aims to provide meat-based replacements for crab cakes, lamb burgers, chicken, pork, and beef. Additional investors included the Singapore-based environmentally sustainable holding company, Trirec.

Alternative proteins are a big business. Last year, companies developing technologies and businesses to commercialize alternative sources of protein raised over $3 billion, according to the industry tracker, the Good Food Institute.

“Over the past year, the alternative protein industry has demonstrated not only resilience but acceleration, raising significantly more investment capital in 2020 than in prior years,” said GFI director of corporate engagement Caroline Bushnell, in a statement. “These capital infusions and the funding still to come will facilitate much-needed R&D and capacity building to enable these companies to scale and reach more consumers with delicious, affordable, and accessible alternative protein products.”

It’s all part of a push to provide more plant-based alternatives to animal proteins in a bid to halt planetary deforestation and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal husbandry.

“Humanity needs solutions that match the scale and urgency of our problems,” said Elizondo. “

#articles, #brewing, #cellular-agriculture, #clara-foods, #fermentation, #food, #food-and-drink, #food-science, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #kelloggs, #king, #meat, #new-york, #st-louis, #sustainability, #tc, #zx-ventures

I can’t believe it’s not meat! Mycelium meat replacement company aims for summer launch of first products

Meati, a company turning mycelium (the structural fibers of fungi) into healthier meat replacements for consumers, is prepping for a big summer rollout.

Co-founder Tyler Huggins expects to have the first samples of its whole-cut steak and chicken products in select restaurants around the country — along with their first commercial product, a jerky strip.

For Huggins, the product launch is another step on a long road toward broad commercial adoption of functional fungi foods as a better-for-you alternative to traditional meats.

“Use this as a conversation starter. About 2 ounces of this gives you 50% of your protein; 50% of your fiber; and half of your daily zinc. There really is nothing that can compare to this product in terms of nutritionals,” Huggins said. 

And moving from meat to mushrooms is a better option for the planet.

Meati expects to turn on its pilot plant this summer and is joining a movement among mushroom fans that includes milk replacements, from Perfect Day, more meat replacements from Atlast, and leather substitutes from Ecovative and MycoWorks.

“We’re definitely all in this together,” said Huggins of the other mob of mycelium-based tech companies bringing products to market.

However, not all mycelium is created equally, Huggins said. Meati has what Huggins said was a unique way of growing its funguses (not a real word) that “keep it in its most happy state.” That means peak nutritional content and peak growth efficiency, according to the company.

For Huggins, whose parents own a bison ranch and who grew up in cattle country, the goal is not to replace a t-bone or a ribeye, but the cuts of meat and chicken that find their ways into a burrito supreme or other quick serve meat cuts.

Rendering of Meati mushroom meats in a Banh Mi. Image Credit: Meati

“Head to head with that kind of cut, we win,” Huggins said. “I’d rather pick a fight there now and buy ourselves some time. I don’t think we’re going to go super high-end to start.”

That said, the company’s cap table of investors already includes some pretty heady culinary company. Acre Venture Partners (which counts Sam Kass — President Barack Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Executive Director for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, and an Assistant Chef in the White House — among its partnership) is an investor. So is Chicago’s fine dining temple, Alinea.

But Huggins wants Meati to be an everyday type of meat replacement product. “I want to make sure that people think this is an every day protein,” Huggins said.

Meati thinks its future meat replacements will be cost competitive with conventional beef and chicken, but to whet consumers’ appetites, the company is starting with jerky.

“Meati’s delicious jerky,” said Huggins. “It provides this blank canvas. We’ll start with these beef jerky like flavors. But I want to come out of the gate and say that we’re mycelium jerky.”

The company currently has 30 people on staff led by Huggins and fo-founder Justin Whiteley. The two men initially started working on Meati as a battery replacement. Based on their research (Huggins with mycelium and Whiteley with advanced batteries) the two men received a grant for a mycelium-based electrode for lithium ion batteries.

“We were trying to tweak the chemical composition of the mycelium to make a better battery. What we found was that we were making something nutritious and edible,” said Huggins.

Also… the battery companies didn’t want it.

Now, backed by $28 million from Acre, Prelude Ventures, Congruent Ventures and Tao Capital, Meati is ready to go to market. The company also has access to debt capital to build out its vast network of mycelium growing facilities. It’s just raised a $18 million debt round from Trinity and Silicon Valley Bank.

“Two years ago … most companies in this space … there wasn’t this ability to take on debt to put steel in the ground,” said Huggins. “It’s an exciting time to be in food tech given that you can raise VC funding and there’s this ready available market for debt financing. You’ll start seeing faster and more rapid development because of it.”

Meati co-founders Tyler Huggins and Justin Whiteley. Image Credit: Meati

#acre-venture-partners, #barack-obama, #beef, #biology, #chicago, #congruent-ventures, #ecovative-design, #food-and-drink, #food-tech, #jerky, #meat, #michelle-obama, #mycelium, #mycoworks, #prelude-ventures, #president, #silicon-valley-bank, #steel, #tc, #white-house

Beyond Meat opens its first production plant in China

About a year after Beyond Meat debuted in China on Starbucks’s menu, the Californian plant-based protein company opened a production facility near Shanghai to tap the country’s supply chain resources and potentially reduce the carbon footprint of its products.

Situated in Jiaxing, a city 85 km from Shanghai, the plant is Beyond Meat’s first end-to-end manufacturing facility outside the U.S., the Nasdaq-listed company said in an announcement on Wednesday.

Over the past year, competition became steep in China’s alternative protein space with the foray of foreign players like Beyond Meat and Eat Just, as well as a slew of capital injections for domestic startups including Hey Maet and Starfield.

Beyond Meat doesn’t flinch at the rivalry. When asked by TechCrunch to comment on a story about China’s alternative protein scene, a representative of the company said “there are none that Beyond Meat considers their competitors.”

China not only has an enormous, unsaturated market for meat replacements; it’s also a major supplier of plant-based protein. Chinese meat substitute startups enjoy a cost advantage from the outset and don’t lack interest from investors who race to back consumer products that are more reflective of the tastes of the rising middle class.

Having some kind of manufacturing capacity in China is thus almost a prerequisite for any serious foreign player. Tesla has done it before to build Gigafactory in Shanghai to deliver cheaper electric vehicles. Localized production also helps companies advance their sustainability goals as it shortens the supply chain.

In Beyond Meat’s own words, the Jiaxing facility is “expected to significantly increase the speed and scale in which the company can produce and distribute its products within the region while also improving Beyond Meat’s cost structure and sustainability of operations.”

The American food-tech giant works hard on localization, selling in China both its flagship burger patties and an imitation minced pork product made specifically for the world’s largest consumer of pork. The soy- and rice-based minced pork could be used in a wide range of Chinese cuisines and is the result of a collaboration between the firm’s Shanghai and Los Angeles teams.

Besides production, the Jiaxing plant will also take on R&D responsibilities to invent new products for the region. Beyond Meat will also be unveiling its first owned manufacturing facility in Europe this year.

“We are committed to investing in China as a region for long-term growth,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat. “We believe this new manufacturing facility will be instrumental in advancing our pricing and sustainability metrics as we seek to provide Chinese consumers with delicious plant-based proteins that are good for both people and planet.”

Beyond Meat products can now be found in Starbucks, KFC, Alibaba’s Hema supermarket and other retail channels across major Chinese cities.

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While other startups develop alt-proteins for meat replacement, Nourish Ingredients focuses on fat

Plant-based meat replacements have commanded a huge amount of investor and consumer attention in the decade or more since new entrants like Beyond Meat first burst onto the scene.

These companies have raised billions of dollars and the industry is now worth at least $20 billion as companies try to bring all the meaty taste of… um… meat… without all of the nasty environmental damage… to supermarket aisles and restaurants around the world.

Switching to a plant-based diet is probably the single most meaningful contribution a person can make to reducing their personal greenhouse gas emissions (without buying an electric vehicle or throwing solar panels on their roof).

The problem that continues to bedevil the industry is that there remains a pretty big chasm between the taste of these meat replacements and actual meat, no matter how many advancements startups notch in making better proteins or new additives like Impossible Foods’ heme. Today, meat replacement companies depend on palm oil and coconut oil for their fats — both inputs that come with their own set of environmental issues.

Enter Nourish Ingredients, which is focusing not on the proteins, but the fats that make tasty meats tasty. Consumers can’t have delicious, delicious bacon without fat, and they can’t have a marvelously marbled steak replacements without it either.

The Canberra, Australia-based company has raised $11 million from Horizons Ventures, the firm backed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing (also a backer of Impossible Foods), and Main Sequence Ventures, an investment firm founded by Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

That organization is actually where the company’s two co-founders James Petrie and Ben Leita met back in 2013 while working as scientists. Petrie, a specialist in crop development, was spearheading the development of omega-3 canola oil, while Leita had a background in chemistry and bioplastics.  

The two had previously worked on a company that was trying to increase oil production in plants, something that the CSRO had been particularly interested in circa 2017. As the market for alternative meats really began to take off, the two entrepreneurs turned their attention to trying to make corollaries for animal fats.

When we were talking to people we realized that these alternative food space was going to need these animal fat like plants,” said Leita. “We could use that skillset for fish oil and out of canola oil.”

Nourish’s innovation was in moving from plants to bacteria. “With the iteration speeds, it feels kind of like we’re cheating,” said Petrie. “You can get the cost of goods pretty damn low.”

Nourish Ingredients uses bacteria or organisms that make significant amounts of triglycerides and lipids. “Examples include Yarrowia. There are examples of that being used for production of tailored oils,” said Petrie. “We can tune these oleaginous organisms to make these animal fats that give us that great taste and experience.”

As both men noted, fats are really important for flavor. They’re a key differentiator in what makes different meats taste different, they said.

“The cow makes cow fat because that’s what the cow does, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best fat for a plant protein,” said Petrie. “We start out with a mimetic. No reason for us to be locked by the original organism. We’re trying to create new experiences. There are new experiences out there to be had.”

The company already counts several customers in both the plant and recombinant protein production space. Now, with 18 employees, the company is producing both genetically modified and non-CRISPR cultivated optimized fats. 

Other startups and established businesses also have technologies that could allow them to enter this new market. Those would be businesses like Geltor, which is currently focused on collagen, or Solazyme, which makes a range of bio-based specialty oils and chemicals.

As active investors in the alternative protein space, we realize that animal-free fats that replicate the taste of traditional meat, poultry and seafood products are the next breakthrough in the industry,” said Phil Morle, partner at Main Sequence Ventures. “Nourish have discovered how to do just that in a way that’s sustainable and incredibly tasty, and we couldn’t be happier to join them at this early stage.” 

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This Y Combinator startup is taking lab grown meat upscale with elk, lamb, and wagyu beef cell lines

Last week a select group of 20 employees and guests gathered at an event space on the San Francisco Bay, and, while looking out at the Bay Bridge dined on a selection of choice elk sausages, wagyu meatloaf, and lamb burgers — all of which were grown from a petrie dish.

The dinner was a coming out party for Orbillion Bio, a new startup pitching today in Y Combinator’s latest demo day, that’s looking to take lab-grown meats from the supermarket to high end, bespoke butcher shops.

Instead of focusing on pork, chicken and beef, Orbillion is going after so-called heritage meats — the aforementioned elk, lamb, and wagyu beef to start.

By focusing on more expensive end products, Orbillion doesn’t have as much pressure to slash costs as dramatically as other companies in the cellular meat market, the thinking goes.

But there’s more to the technology than its bourgie beef, elite elk, and luscious lamb meat.

“Orbillion uses a unique accelerated development process producing thousands of tiny tissue samples, constantly iterating to find the best tissue and media combinations,” according to Holly Jacobus, whose firm, Joyance Partners, is an early investor in Orbillion. “This is much less expensive and more efficient than traditional methods and will enable them to respond quickly to the impressive demand they’re already experiencing.”

The company runs its multiple cell lines through a system of small bioreactors. Orbillion couples that with a high throughput screening and machine learning software system to build out a database of optimized tissue and media combinations. “The key to making lab grown meat work scalably is choosing the right cells cultured in the most efficient way possible,” Jacobus wrote.

Co-founded by a deeply technical and highly experienced team of executives that’s led by Patricia Bubner, a former researcher at the German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim. Joining Bubner is Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, a former director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, who was a post-doc at Berkeley with Bubner and serves as the company’s chief technology officer. Rounding out the senior leadership is Samet Yildirim, the chief operating officer at Orbillion and a veteran executive of Boehringer Ingelheim (he actually served as Bubner’s boss).

Orbillion Bio co-founders Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay, CTO, Patricia Bubner, CEO, and Samet Yildirim, COO. Image Credit: Orbillion Bio

For Bubner, the focus on heritage meats is as much a function of her background growing up in rural Austria as it is about economics. A longtime, self-described foodie and a nerd, Bubner went into chemistry because she ultimately wanted to apply science to the food business. And she wants Orbillion to make not just meat, but the most delicious meats.

It’s an aim that fits with how many other companies have approached the market when they’re looking to commercialize a novel technology. Higher end products, or products with unique flavor profiles that are unique to the production technologies available are more likely to be commercially viable sooner than those competing with commodity products. Why focus on angus beef when you focus on a much more delicious breed of animal?

For Bubner, it’s not just about making a pork replacement, it’s about making the tastiest pork replacement.

“I’m just fascinated and can see the future in us being able to further change the way we produce food to be more efficient,” she said. “We’re at this inflection point. I’m a nerd, i’m a foodie and I really wanted to use my skills to make a change. I wanted to be part of that group of people that can really have an impact on the way we eat. For me there’s no doubt that a large percentage of our food will be from alternative proteins — plant based, fermentation, and lab-grown meat.”

Joining Boehringer Ingelheim was a way for Bubner to become grounded in the world of big bioprocessing. It was preparation for her foray into lab grown meat, she said.

“We are a product company. Our goal is to make the most flavorful steaks. Our first product will not be whole cuts of steak. The first product is going to be a Wagyu beef product that we plan on putting out in 2023,” Bubner said. “It’s a product that’s going to be based on more of a minced product. Think Wagyu sashimi.”

To get to market, Bubner sees the need not just for a new approach to cultivating choice meats, but a new way of growing other inputs as well, from the tissue scaffolding needed to make larger cuts that resemble traditional cuts of meat, or the fats that will need to be combined with the meat cells to give flavor.

That means there are still opportunities for companies like Future Fields, Matrix Meats, and Turtle Tree Scientific to provide inputs that are integrated into the final, branded product.

Bubner’s also thinking about the supply chain beyond her immediate potential partners in the manufacturing process. “Part of my family were farmers and construction workers and the others were civil engineers and architects. I hold farmers in high respect… and think the people who grow the food and breed the animals don’t get recognition for the work that they do.”

She envisions working in concert with farmers and breeders in a kind of licensing arrangement, potentially, where the owners of the animals that produce the cell lines can share in the rewards of their popularization and wider commercial production.

That also helps in the mission of curbing the emissions associated with big agribusiness and breeding and raising livestock on a massive scale. If you only need a few animals to make the meat, you don’t have the same environmental footprint for the farms.

“We need to make sure that we don’t make the mistakes that we did in the past that we only breed animals for yield and not for flavor,” said Bubner. 

Even though the company is still in its earliest days, it already has one letter of intent, with one of San Francisco’s most famous butchers. Guy Crims, also known as “Guy the Butcher” has signed a letter of intent to stock Orbillion Bio’s lab grown Wagyu in his butcher shop, Bubner said. “He’s very much a proponent of lab-grown meat.”

Now that the company has its initial technology proven, Orbillion is looking to scale rapidly. It will take roughly $3.5 million for the company to get a pilot plant up and running by the end of 2022 and that’s in addition to the small $1.4 million seed round the company has raised from Joyant and firms like VentureSoukh.

“The way i see an integrated model working later on is to have the farmers be the breeders of animals for cultivated meat. That can reduce the number of cows on the planet to a couple of hundred thousand,” Bubner said of her ultimate goal. “There’s a lot of talking about if you do lab grown meat you want to put me out of business. It’s not like we’re going to abolish animal agriculture tomorrow.”

Image Credit: Getty Images

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Eat Just (the alt-protein company formerly known as Hampton Creek) has raised another $200 million

Eat Just, the purveyor of eggless eggs and mayonnaise and the first government-approved vendor of lab-grown chicken, has raised $200 million in a new round of funding, the company said.

The funding was led by the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the state of Qatar, with additional participation from Charlesbank Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of the estate of Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

Since its launch in 2011 as Hampton Creek, the company has raised more than $650 million all to build out capacity for its egg replacement products and its new line of lab-grown meat.

“We are very excited to work with our investors to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system. Their knowledge and experience partnering with companies that are transforming numerous industries were fundamental in our decision to partner with them,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, in a statement.

Eat Just’s evolution hasn’t been without controversy. In 2017, the company and its chief executive withstood a failed coup, which forced the firing of several executives. The company also saw its entire board resign in the aftermath of those firings, only to replace them with a new slate of directors months later.

In the aftermath, Hampton Creek rebranded and refocused. These days the company’s products fall into two somewhat related categories. There’re the plant-based egg replacement products and eggless mayonnaise and the lab grown chicken products that are meant to replace poultry farmed chicken meat.

Since the egg side of Eat Just’s chicken and egg business definitely came first, it’s worth noting that the company’s products are sold in more than 20,000 retail outlets and 1,000 foodservice locations. since it began selling the product, the company has moved more than 100 million eggs to roughly one million U.S. households.

The company’s eggs are also on offer in Dicos, a fast food chain in China, and it’s got a deal to put out a sous vide egg replacement product with Cuisine Solutions. The eggs are also available in Peet’s Coffee locations around the country and Eat Just has expanded its eggless distribution platform into Canada.

Then there’s the company’s GOOD Meat product. That was available for a short time in Singapore. The company expects to slash production costs and expand its commercial operations while working on other kinds of meats as well, according to a statement.

It’s a long way from where the Eat Just started, when it raised its first millions from Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund.

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Bill Gates wants Western countries to eat “synthetic meat”; Meatable has raised $47 million to make it

In a recent interview discussing Bill Gates’ recent book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster“, the Microsoft and Breakthrough Energy founder (and the world’s third wealthiest man) advocated for citizens of the richest countries in the world to switch to diets consisting entirely of what he called synthetic meat in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Gates’ call is being met by startups and public companies hailing from everywhere from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv, London to Los Angeles, and Berkeley to… um… Chicago.

Indeed, two of the best funded companies in the lab-grown meat market hail from The Netherlands, where Mosa Meat is being challenged by a newer upstart, Meatable, which just announced $47 million in new financing.

The company aims to have its first product approved by European regulators by 2023 and notching commercial sales by 2025.

Meatable has a long road ahead of it, because, as Gates acknowledged in his interview with MIT Technology Review (ed. note: I’m available for a call, too, Bill), “the people like Memphis Meats who do it at a cellular level—I don’t know that that will ever be economical.”

Beyond the economics, there’s also the open question of whether consumers will be willing to make the switch to lab grown meat. Some companies, like the San Francisco-based Just Foods and Tel Aviv’s Supermeat are already selling chicken patties and nuggets made from cultured cells at select restaurants.

These products don’t get at the full potential for cellular technology according to Daan Luining, Meatable’s chief technology officer. “We have seen the nugget and the chicken burger, but we’re working on whole muscle tissue,” Luining said.

The sheer number of entrants in the category — and the capital they’ve raised — points to the opportunity for several winners if companies can walk the tightrope balancing cost at scale and quality replacements for free range food.

“The mission of the company is to be a global leader in providing proteins for the planet. Pork and beef and regularly eaten cuts have on environmental and land management,” Luining said. “The technology that we are using allows us to go into different species. First we’re focused on the animals that have the biggest impact on climate change and planetary health.”

For Meatable right now, price remains an issue. The company is currently producing meat at roughly $10,000 per pound, but, unlike its competitors, the company said it is producing whole meat. That’s including the fat and connective tissue that makes meat… well… meat.

Now with 35 employees and new financing, the company is trying to shift from research and development into a food production company. Strategic investors like DSM, one of the largest food biotech companies in Europe should help. So should angel investors like Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, the executive chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; and Dr. Rick Klausner, the former executive director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a founder of Juno Therapeutics, GRAIL, and Mindstrong Health, after leaving Illumina where he served as chief medical officer.

Institutional investors in the company’s latest round include Google Ventures founder Bill Maris’ new fund, Section 32,  and existing investors like: BlueYard Capital, Agronomics, Humboldt, and Taavet Hinrikus. 

The company’s first commercial offering will likely be a lab-grown pork product, but with expanded facilities in Delft, the location of one of the top universities in The Netherlands, a beef product may not be far behind.

“[Meatable has] a great team and game-changing technology that can address the challenges around the global food insecurity issues our planet is facing,” said Klausner. “They have all the right ingredients to become the leading choice for sustainably and efficiently produced meat.”


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How to Make Ham

A holiday ham, made at home, is within reach. You just need a bit of time, some wood smoke and a shoulder ham or pork loin.

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The Unlikely Issue Upending France: Meatless School Lunches

The Green party mayor of Lyon, a gastronomic capital, introduced no-meat menus in schools. Let the anguish begin.

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