A meat-free world might be possible by 2035, says Impossible Foods founder

Are we at the cusp of a change of the millennium?
Ameya Paleja

Patrick O. Brown, the founder and CEO of the meat-alternative company, Impossible Foods is confident that a meat-free world can be achieved by 2035, Freethink reported

Founded in 2011, Impossible Foods believes that changing the dietary habits of individuals can have a greater impact on arresting climate change than switching to an electric vehicle or putting up solar panels on the roof. It is therefore on a mission to produce plant-based alternatives to meat consumers that they can use without compromising on the food flavors.

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Why target meat? 

Estimates suggest that animals raised for slaughter now outnumber those in the wild by a ratio of 15:1. Put together, the meat and dairy industry accounts for close to 15 percent of global emissions and is one of the largest contributors. 

Switching to plant-based meats not only helps reduce emissions but also conserves land and water. Impossible Foods estimates that their plant-based burger uses 87 percent less water and 96 percent less land when compared to a burger sourced from an animal. It also reduces emissions by as much as 89 percent. 

Impossible Foods is not alone. Beyond Meat is another such company that believes in a future of plant-based meats, and aims to offer consumers the same taste and texture but with different ingredients. Earlier this year, KFC began offering plant-based meat alternatives across 4,000 outlets in the U.S., making it even more accessible for consumers. 

Taste first, environment consciousness later

For all its advantages and the hype surrounding these products, Brown is well aware that for the consumers of meat, the taste is paramount. That is why the company is focusing on delivering taste and health through its offerings rather than trying to stoke environmental consciousness in its customers. 

The company is confident that once the taste is perfected, consumers will switch to plant-based meats and a meat-free world is very much possible by 2035. As Freethink reported, even the world's largest meat producers have begun offering meat alternatives to their customers, so a major shift in meat consumption is definitely coming.

Helping Brown's cause is also the advances in meat printing technologies that are able to reproduce not only the looks but also the behavior of real meat. These might still be expensive and not ready to be adopted by major chains, but when made at scale, they will become more pocket friendly. 

What's next?

If Brown's prediction does come true, it also presents a major problem for the industry. Having replicated different types of meats and different cuts to perfection, the industry will reach stagnation in terms of innovation. 

Brown and Impossible Foods have that sorted out. Once the animals have been replaced, the company will begin testing new types of meats with flavors and textures, we have never known.

It might just change the way we eat and what we call food.  

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