Speedy NEWS

“Artificial Meat”(Beyond Meat)is Preventing Food Shortage, Food Waste, and Global Warming

This is an advertising poster for Kentucky Fried Chicken (USA) “New Fried Chicken” using “artificial meat” (currently a product of Beyond Meat) made from vegetable protein and soybeans. Sales will begin on July 20th (tomorrow). I wonder if this will become available in Japan.

This menu option seems to be in response to lack of exercise due to the coronavirus outbreak and for health-conscious customers.

What made this a reality was “Agritech” (agriculture x technology) and “Foodtech.”
Combining agriculture and IT, it became possible to tweak the genome of ingredients to improve efficiency.
There are a wide range of fields such as cell agriculture (cell culture-based agriculture) and vertical agriculture (high-rise buildings and agriculture that uses slopes). With the spread of vegans (vegetarians) the artificial meat market is gaining more entry, mainly from venture and large food companies.

The worlds artificial meat market went from 80 billion yen in 2017 to 120 billion yen in 2020. Although it’s still small in scale, there was a burger restaurant in Roppongi that I went to the other day that had artificial meat options.

There are 3 factors behind the trend of artificial meat using soybeans (I think also known as ”alternative meat”, “cultured meat”, “fake meat”) which are food shortage due to population increase, food loss, food crisis due to global warming.

These issues are also important issues in the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations from the viewpoint that compared to livestock, grains can overwhelmingly reduce water consumption.

Beef breeding has a particularly high environmental load, and cattle generate a large amount of greenhouse gases (methane gas). Australia has become a greenhouse gas emitter due to thriving cattle. Isn’t that crazy?

The amount of feed required to produce 1 kg of beef is about 11 kg, and the amount of water required is 20,000 liters, which is 20,000 times as much. Beef has a high environmental load. The same goes for pork and chicken.

For this reason, westerners are decreasing the amount of meat they consume, and more thoroughly, the amount of vegetarians and vegans are increasing. Let’s all be more conscious!

Beyond Meat is a US food technology company that manufactures and develops plant-derived meat. Its HQ is located in El Segundo, California.