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·         Are consumers ready for so-called ‘clean meats?’

·         Students Sink Their Teeth Into the Search for a Meat Alternative



Are consumers ready for so-called ‘clean meats?’

Experts believe traditional meat won’t lose market share


Dan Orlando, Supermarket News

Oct 09, 2017


To get a hamburger patty or steak, you need a cow, right? Maybe not.


This summer, Bill Gates and Richard Branson headlined a $17 million Series A round to back Memphis Meats, a “clean meat” company that has already produced beef, chicken and duck directly from animal cells — no cow needed.


The process bypasses the need to breed, raise and slaughter animals.


In a release, the San Francisco-based company said that it “plans to use the funds to continue developing delicious products, to accelerate its work in scaling up clean meat production, and to reduce production costs to levels comparable to — and ultimately below — conventional meat costs.”


Despite the financial and technological advances, the traditional meat world does not appear to be nervous about the eventual growing of “clean meat.”


Rather, it’s more troubled by its branding.


“Obviously, it’s a marketing term and that would be our main concern with the product,” said Hannah Thompson-Weeman, vice president of communications at Animal Agriculture Alliance. “Using that terminology somehow implies that conventionally raised meat from animals is somehow dirty. Obviously, that’s not the case. Our food supply is the safest it’s ever been.


“There’s a global demand for protein that’s increasing every day as the middle class gets bigger in other countries,” Thompson-Weeman continued. “The first thing that they add to their diet is more protein [which is] frequently from animal products. So having other options in the marketplace that help us meet that demand, there’s no issue with that. It’s another option for consumers out there.”


Thompson-Weeman said that Tyson Foods and Cargill investing in the meat alternative space shows that the traditional industry is “isn’t really threatened by these products,” but rather sees them as another option for consumers.


“We definitely don’t see it [so-called clean meat] displacing conventionally raised meat anytime soon,” she said.


Senior editor at Beef Magazine Burt Rutherford agrees...





Students Sink Their Teeth Into the Search for a Meat Alternative


By Glen Martin, California Magazine/Berkeley Alumni

Oct 9, 2017


That Wagyu porterhouse makes any carnivore salivate, but tasty as many people find it, there’s no doubt that meat exacts a price both on human health and the environment.  A number of studies confirm links between red meat consumption and disease, including extensive research in Britain and Germany concluding that vegetarians are 40 percent less likely to develop cancer than carnivores. And industrial meat production affects the planet in a variety of unpleasant ways, from massive atmospheric carbon emissions to widespread contamination of waterways. 


And yet, U.S. meat production remains a $1 trillion enterprise; it’s not going to disappear anytime soon. But any number of meat eaters might be induced to consume less animal protein—and improve both their own and the planet’s health— if they had a good alternative to In-n-Out animal-style burgers or that succulent rack of baby backs from the local rib shack. Trouble is, “meat alternatives” are long on the alternative part and short on desirable meaty characteristics. They mostly run to rubbery pucks of indeterminate vegetable material or “sausages” that burn but don’t brown and emit off-putting aromas reminiscent of an active compost pile. They simply don’t make it in the taste, aroma, and appearance departments.


Some start-ups have produced “guilt-free” real meat cultured from domestic animal cell lines, but it’s unclear if consumers are comfortable with the idea of test tube hamburgers, and the process is expensive—far too pricey at the current stage of development to be anything other than a boutique curiosity for the well-heeled and gastro-curious.


The first step in weaning people off pork roasts and rib steaks in a wholesale fashion is giving them something they want to eat, something that may not taste like meat, but satisfies like meat. Judging from the products that are out there, however, that seems easier proposed than done. So the faculty at UC Berkeley’s  Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology decided to unleash some brilliant undergrads at the problem, launching a Challenge Lab on alternative meat products...


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