The focus on electric cars and solar power has not achieved global climate action targets. With greenhouse gas emissions from animal farming far exceeding those of transport, the leverage point was never really going to be with planes or trains.
In 2024, once coronavirus was finally brought under control, the EU and United States could pay attention to global warming again, and they threw their full weight behind cultured protein. Instead of defending animal farmers, lobbyists busted their chops to draw attention to the health and environmental benefits of a non-animal diet.
The idea of eating animals as food has simply lost its social license, in the west at least. And the idea that clearing forests and destroying wetlands for traditional crops is a good thing, is fading fast. Why turn vast areas of nature into sterile corn and wheat fields, when you can produce genetically superior – and healthier – alternatives indoors? With far less waste and resource depletion to boot.
It’s not like people quit cold turkey, but every year the sales of engineered protein began eating more and more of slaughtered protein’s market share. With extreme weather making it increasingly difficult to deliver on time and within budget, farmers just kept losing to the lab technicians and food factories.
Not all consumers prefer ‘fake’ food, but the price point has forced them to make the switch. A ‘real’ burger patty is now a guilty luxury, if you can find one. As for the sheep and cattle farmers? Like chicken and pig farmers, they’ve switched from raising animals for slaughter to high-tech precision fermentation. That’s how you produce Smart Nutrition™ – the new food.
In the words of More Than Milk’s CEO, Valerie Bouchard: “We can count our chickens now, because they’ve hatched: It tastes the same, it smells the same, it looks the same and it feels the same. Lab-grown protein is bringing home the bacon and it might just save us. And the world.”