Member only
Episode
22

Fake Meat

Jan 31, 2020
Science & Technology
-
15
minutes
Food & drink
Economics
Business
Global warming

The fake meat industry is booming.

Today we take a look at why that is, and ask ourselves whether there will ever be a day that 'real' meat vanishes from our dinner tables altogether.

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[00:00:03] Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:10] I'm Alastair Budge. 

[00:00:13] If this is your first time listening to the show, then welcome. It's great to have you on board and of course, if you are a regular listener, welcome back. It's great to have you too.

[00:00:24] Regular listeners will know by now that the transcript and key vocabulary for the podcast can be found on the website, which is leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:00:34] If you aren't yet a member of Leonardo English and you want to follow along with the transcript and key vocabulary in front of you, then you can become a member over at leonardoenglish.com/subscribe. 

[00:00:46] The promotional price for becoming a member is ending at midnight on the 31st of January, which is actually the day that this podcast is released. So if you want to lock in that price of just nine euros per month, which is under 10 US dollars, then make sure you had to leonardoenglish.com/subscribe before midnight. 

[00:01:09] Membership gives you access to the transcripts and key vocabulary for all of the podcasts plus two new podcasts every week and also comes with a 30 day no questions asked refund policy, so if for any reason you aren't happy or you haven't been able to use it, then you will get a full refund. 

[00:01:30] Okay then. Today, let's talk about fake meat. 

[00:01:34] Let's talk about what it is, why it's important, why people love it, why people hate it, and why it might be landing on your plate pretty soon if it hasn't landed there already. 

[00:01:48] By fake meat, there are two real categories of this, and it's an important differentiation to make.

[00:01:58] Firstly, lab-grown meat, which is real meat, it's animal protein, but it doesn't actually involve the slaughter of an animal. 

[00:02:11] Then secondly we have plant-based meat, which is food that looks, feels and tastes like meat, but actually doesn't have any meat in it. 

[00:02:23] It's made out of plant-based proteins.

[00:02:27] Let's just go into a little bit more detail though as it's useful to understand the difference and to understand how both of these are made. 

[00:02:36] The first fake meat, the lab-grown meat, which is actually just real meat without animals, is grown from animal cells with only a very small need to raise or slaughter animals.

[00:02:50] Basically, no animals need to be harmed during the creation of lab-grown meat. 

[00:02:56] The process is of course, very complicated, but in essence some cells are taken from an animal and from that what's called a 'cell line' can be created, which in turn can be turned into meat all without one animal being killed. 

[00:03:17] So you can get a burger, a chicken nugget, a lamb steak, or in theory, any kind of meat all without one animal being harmed.

[00:03:31] It might sound good in practice, but as the technology is still pretty young, it's very expensive. 

[00:03:39] The first burger that was grown in a lab, which was created by a team in the Netherlands, cost 250,000 euros to make, and even a chicken nugget created by one of the leading companies in Silicon Valley currently costs about $50 to make.

[00:04:01] So there is evidently a lot of work to be done to bring down the cost and make it a viable alternative, even if these companies can get over all of the hurdles, both of regulation, of countries allowing them to sell their lab-grown produce, and any kind of cultural acceptance from people of eating something that they know has been grown in a laboratory. 

[00:04:26] For the meat eaters among you, just ask yourself, would you eat something that has been grown in a laboratory? 

[00:04:34] I say to myself that I would, but I guess if it was sat there on my plate, I wonder whether I really would. 

[00:04:43] So there's obviously still a lot of work to be done to make eating lab-grown meat a normal, acceptable thing to do. 

[00:04:53] The second category, that of plant-based meat is one that is growing very fast and I'd imagine that there's a good chance you may have already eaten some plant-based meat. 

[00:05:09] Plant-based meat is, as the name suggests, food that looks, feels and tastes like meat, but is made from plant-based ingredients.

[00:05:20] Names you may be familiar with include Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which are two of the most well known companies in this space. 

[00:05:33] While 10 or 20 years ago, plant-based meat might have been pretty niche, and the options were few and far between, they were very limited, now things are pretty different.

[00:05:48] Growing up, I remember my cousin Patrick was the only vegan in our family, and I can remember looking at his vegan sausages and not being filled with a huge amount of jealousy. 

[00:06:01] I mean, they were pretty disgusting, and they always came in these sad cardboard boxes. 

[00:06:08] But in a world where people are not only getting more attuned to the environmental impact that eating meat has, but also on the conditions that much of the world's livestock lives in, there has been a huge increase in demand for meat-free products. People want to eat less meat, but they want better tasting stuff than the old tasteless vegan sausages that supermarkets used to sell. 

[00:06:39] And now there are a plethora of options, from burgers that bleed, with beetroot juice, I should say, to a vegan sausage roll that is huge in the UK.

[00:06:50] Just Google Gregg's vegan sausage roll if you don't believe me. 

[00:06:56] And consumers are taking these options in their masses

[00:07:01] In North America, sales of plant-based meat have increased by 37% from 2017 to 2019 and it's a similar story in Europe. 

[00:07:15] Lots of these companies have managed to make meat alternatives that people think do actually taste as good as meat. 

[00:07:23] And so people that had historically refused to reduce their meat intake for taste reasons now don't have that as such a valid reason anymore.

[00:07:36] But it's not all rosy for plant-based meat and like anything there are those who are vehemently against, they're opposed to the development of plant-based meat. 

[00:07:51] Firstly, the farming lobby for livestock producers, the groups that represent the interests of livestock farmers. Understandably, they are against plant-based meat. 

[00:08:03] They say it will result in millions of farming jobs being lost, which is of course, in one sense true.

[00:08:11] If demand for traditional meat goes down, there'll be the need for fewer animals, therefore fewer farmers, and yes, it's sort of a fair argument, but the idea that all of these livestock farmers will be unemployed and not be able to work again, it's pretty mad. 

[00:08:31] You have to assume that the economy is efficient enough that new jobs will be created and these meat farmers will do something else.

[00:08:40] They won't just be sitting on their backsides all day lamenting their days farming cattle

[00:08:47] There is also the criticism, which is a more fair one in my view, that people assume that eating a plant-based meat meal will be healthier than eating the traditional meat version and it's not always the case. Meat-free burgers, for example, contain an average of 0.89 grams of salt per serving, while normal meat ones contain 0.75 grams, so they're better for you in terms of the salt content. 

[00:09:19] Plant-based meat is almost by definition, highly processed and processed food isn't very good for you at all.

[00:09:29] If you think that you can just go on a diet and eat vegan chicken nuggets and Impossible Burgers, well, it's not really a diet at all.

[00:09:39] And from a health point of view, if you're continuing to eat fast food-type stuff, you're no better off eating the vegan options than the traditional options, at least from a nutrition point of view. 

[00:09:51] If you read the ingredients of the Impossible Burger, for example, the one that Burger King launched in partnership with Impossible Foods, it reads more like the ingredients of a chocolate bar or a packet of sweets than something you might think of as a healthy food. 

[00:10:11] And when you also consider all of the sauces that are smothered on the burger, well, it's really not that healthy after all.

[00:10:21] And this also raises the question, why are we so obsessed with meat as an idea? 

[00:10:28] Why are all of these companies rushing to be just a meat alternative as opposed to just good tasty food that is good for us and better for the planet? 

[00:10:41] So why is this, is it purely from a taste point of view?

[00:10:45] Because we think that meat tastes better, and if so, if everything about the taste and texture of meat could be replicated completely, either from a plant-based option or from something that was grown in a laboratory and produced in a way that didn't harm any animals, and that didn't cost any more than current meat, would that be enough for people to ditch meat altogether, to give up meat altogether

[00:11:17] Or is it from a nutritional point of view, do people just think that meat gives them the nutrients that this fake meat won't. 

[00:11:26] And if so, if these nutrients were recreated either by lab-grown meat or plant-based meat, would that be enough for people to switch?

[00:11:37] There are of course, still significant regulatory and cultural hurdles to overcome, but it certainly seems like people are betting that the answer to these questions is yes. 

[00:11:50] Billions of dollars are flooding into startups and companies that are trying to work on both lab-based meat and plant-based food products.

[00:12:01] Beyond Meat, one of the biggest plant-based meat companies in the US is valued at over $6 billion and Impossible Foods is valued at a similar number. Only time will tell how consumer behaviour changes and whether in fifty or a hundred years people will be eating meat altogether

[00:12:23] There are people who say that meat eating will go the way of things like smoking, being less and less culturally acceptable, and then it just fizzles out altogether.

[00:12:35] But for the moment, meat consumption worldwide continues to grow as more consumers in places like China are getting wealthier and increasing the amount of meat in their diets. 

[00:12:48] So who knows where fake meat will be in 50 years. 

[00:12:52] What we do know though, is that there are some big investors and some very smart money, that is at least betting that it's only the beginning for fake meat.

[00:13:04] Alright then, that is it for today. I hope that this has been interesting and that you now know a little bit more about fake meat than you did 15 minutes ago. 

[00:13:16] As one final reminder, the introductory promotional price for becoming a member of Leonardo English and getting access to all of the transcripts and key vocabulary is coming to an end at midnight on the 31st which is the day that this podcast is coming out.

[00:13:34] So if you want to get the transcripts and key vocabulary for every podcast we've ever done, and every future podcast for just nine euros per month, that's less than $10 per month, then head to leonardoenglish.com/subscribe. 

[00:13:50] The transcripts are just so useful for helping you follow every single thing and not miss one word, plus the key vocabulary means that the hard words or expressions are explained for you, so you don't need to pause and look things up in a dictionary. 

[00:14:07] And again, if you aren't happy at any time within the first 30 days, then you can get a refund for whatever reason.

[00:14:15] I'll also put the link in the show notes. 

[00:14:17] As always, thank you for listening. It has been a pleasure. 

[00:14:22] You've been listening to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:14:27] I'm Alastair Budge and I will catch you in the next episode.


[END OF PODCAST]



Continue learning

Get immediate access to a more interesting way of improving your English
Become a member
Already a member? Login

[00:00:03] Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:10] I'm Alastair Budge. 

[00:00:13] If this is your first time listening to the show, then welcome. It's great to have you on board and of course, if you are a regular listener, welcome back. It's great to have you too.

[00:00:24] Regular listeners will know by now that the transcript and key vocabulary for the podcast can be found on the website, which is leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:00:34] If you aren't yet a member of Leonardo English and you want to follow along with the transcript and key vocabulary in front of you, then you can become a member over at leonardoenglish.com/subscribe. 

[00:00:46] The promotional price for becoming a member is ending at midnight on the 31st of January, which is actually the day that this podcast is released. So if you want to lock in that price of just nine euros per month, which is under 10 US dollars, then make sure you had to leonardoenglish.com/subscribe before midnight. 

[00:01:09] Membership gives you access to the transcripts and key vocabulary for all of the podcasts plus two new podcasts every week and also comes with a 30 day no questions asked refund policy, so if for any reason you aren't happy or you haven't been able to use it, then you will get a full refund. 

[00:01:30] Okay then. Today, let's talk about fake meat. 

[00:01:34] Let's talk about what it is, why it's important, why people love it, why people hate it, and why it might be landing on your plate pretty soon if it hasn't landed there already. 

[00:01:48] By fake meat, there are two real categories of this, and it's an important differentiation to make.

[00:01:58] Firstly, lab-grown meat, which is real meat, it's animal protein, but it doesn't actually involve the slaughter of an animal. 

[00:02:11] Then secondly we have plant-based meat, which is food that looks, feels and tastes like meat, but actually doesn't have any meat in it. 

[00:02:23] It's made out of plant-based proteins.

[00:02:27] Let's just go into a little bit more detail though as it's useful to understand the difference and to understand how both of these are made. 

[00:02:36] The first fake meat, the lab-grown meat, which is actually just real meat without animals, is grown from animal cells with only a very small need to raise or slaughter animals.

[00:02:50] Basically, no animals need to be harmed during the creation of lab-grown meat. 

[00:02:56] The process is of course, very complicated, but in essence some cells are taken from an animal and from that what's called a 'cell line' can be created, which in turn can be turned into meat all without one animal being killed. 

[00:03:17] So you can get a burger, a chicken nugget, a lamb steak, or in theory, any kind of meat all without one animal being harmed.

[00:03:31] It might sound good in practice, but as the technology is still pretty young, it's very expensive. 

[00:03:39] The first burger that was grown in a lab, which was created by a team in the Netherlands, cost 250,000 euros to make, and even a chicken nugget created by one of the leading companies in Silicon Valley currently costs about $50 to make.

[00:04:01] So there is evidently a lot of work to be done to bring down the cost and make it a viable alternative, even if these companies can get over all of the hurdles, both of regulation, of countries allowing them to sell their lab-grown produce, and any kind of cultural acceptance from people of eating something that they know has been grown in a laboratory. 

[00:04:26] For the meat eaters among you, just ask yourself, would you eat something that has been grown in a laboratory? 

[00:04:34] I say to myself that I would, but I guess if it was sat there on my plate, I wonder whether I really would. 

[00:04:43] So there's obviously still a lot of work to be done to make eating lab-grown meat a normal, acceptable thing to do. 

[00:04:53] The second category, that of plant-based meat is one that is growing very fast and I'd imagine that there's a good chance you may have already eaten some plant-based meat. 

[00:05:09] Plant-based meat is, as the name suggests, food that looks, feels and tastes like meat, but is made from plant-based ingredients.

[00:05:20] Names you may be familiar with include Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which are two of the most well known companies in this space. 

[00:05:33] While 10 or 20 years ago, plant-based meat might have been pretty niche, and the options were few and far between, they were very limited, now things are pretty different.

[00:05:48] Growing up, I remember my cousin Patrick was the only vegan in our family, and I can remember looking at his vegan sausages and not being filled with a huge amount of jealousy. 

[00:06:01] I mean, they were pretty disgusting, and they always came in these sad cardboard boxes. 

[00:06:08] But in a world where people are not only getting more attuned to the environmental impact that eating meat has, but also on the conditions that much of the world's livestock lives in, there has been a huge increase in demand for meat-free products. People want to eat less meat, but they want better tasting stuff than the old tasteless vegan sausages that supermarkets used to sell. 

[00:06:39] And now there are a plethora of options, from burgers that bleed, with beetroot juice, I should say, to a vegan sausage roll that is huge in the UK.

[00:06:50] Just Google Gregg's vegan sausage roll if you don't believe me. 

[00:06:56] And consumers are taking these options in their masses

[00:07:01] In North America, sales of plant-based meat have increased by 37% from 2017 to 2019 and it's a similar story in Europe. 

[00:07:15] Lots of these companies have managed to make meat alternatives that people think do actually taste as good as meat. 

[00:07:23] And so people that had historically refused to reduce their meat intake for taste reasons now don't have that as such a valid reason anymore.

[00:07:36] But it's not all rosy for plant-based meat and like anything there are those who are vehemently against, they're opposed to the development of plant-based meat. 

[00:07:51] Firstly, the farming lobby for livestock producers, the groups that represent the interests of livestock farmers. Understandably, they are against plant-based meat. 

[00:08:03] They say it will result in millions of farming jobs being lost, which is of course, in one sense true.

[00:08:11] If demand for traditional meat goes down, there'll be the need for fewer animals, therefore fewer farmers, and yes, it's sort of a fair argument, but the idea that all of these livestock farmers will be unemployed and not be able to work again, it's pretty mad. 

[00:08:31] You have to assume that the economy is efficient enough that new jobs will be created and these meat farmers will do something else.

[00:08:40] They won't just be sitting on their backsides all day lamenting their days farming cattle

[00:08:47] There is also the criticism, which is a more fair one in my view, that people assume that eating a plant-based meat meal will be healthier than eating the traditional meat version and it's not always the case. Meat-free burgers, for example, contain an average of 0.89 grams of salt per serving, while normal meat ones contain 0.75 grams, so they're better for you in terms of the salt content. 

[00:09:19] Plant-based meat is almost by definition, highly processed and processed food isn't very good for you at all.

[00:09:29] If you think that you can just go on a diet and eat vegan chicken nuggets and Impossible Burgers, well, it's not really a diet at all.

[00:09:39] And from a health point of view, if you're continuing to eat fast food-type stuff, you're no better off eating the vegan options than the traditional options, at least from a nutrition point of view. 

[00:09:51] If you read the ingredients of the Impossible Burger, for example, the one that Burger King launched in partnership with Impossible Foods, it reads more like the ingredients of a chocolate bar or a packet of sweets than something you might think of as a healthy food. 

[00:10:11] And when you also consider all of the sauces that are smothered on the burger, well, it's really not that healthy after all.

[00:10:21] And this also raises the question, why are we so obsessed with meat as an idea? 

[00:10:28] Why are all of these companies rushing to be just a meat alternative as opposed to just good tasty food that is good for us and better for the planet? 

[00:10:41] So why is this, is it purely from a taste point of view?

[00:10:45] Because we think that meat tastes better, and if so, if everything about the taste and texture of meat could be replicated completely, either from a plant-based option or from something that was grown in a laboratory and produced in a way that didn't harm any animals, and that didn't cost any more than current meat, would that be enough for people to ditch meat altogether, to give up meat altogether

[00:11:17] Or is it from a nutritional point of view, do people just think that meat gives them the nutrients that this fake meat won't. 

[00:11:26] And if so, if these nutrients were recreated either by lab-grown meat or plant-based meat, would that be enough for people to switch?

[00:11:37] There are of course, still significant regulatory and cultural hurdles to overcome, but it certainly seems like people are betting that the answer to these questions is yes. 

[00:11:50] Billions of dollars are flooding into startups and companies that are trying to work on both lab-based meat and plant-based food products.

[00:12:01] Beyond Meat, one of the biggest plant-based meat companies in the US is valued at over $6 billion and Impossible Foods is valued at a similar number. Only time will tell how consumer behaviour changes and whether in fifty or a hundred years people will be eating meat altogether

[00:12:23] There are people who say that meat eating will go the way of things like smoking, being less and less culturally acceptable, and then it just fizzles out altogether.

[00:12:35] But for the moment, meat consumption worldwide continues to grow as more consumers in places like China are getting wealthier and increasing the amount of meat in their diets. 

[00:12:48] So who knows where fake meat will be in 50 years. 

[00:12:52] What we do know though, is that there are some big investors and some very smart money, that is at least betting that it's only the beginning for fake meat.

[00:13:04] Alright then, that is it for today. I hope that this has been interesting and that you now know a little bit more about fake meat than you did 15 minutes ago. 

[00:13:16] As one final reminder, the introductory promotional price for becoming a member of Leonardo English and getting access to all of the transcripts and key vocabulary is coming to an end at midnight on the 31st which is the day that this podcast is coming out.

[00:13:34] So if you want to get the transcripts and key vocabulary for every podcast we've ever done, and every future podcast for just nine euros per month, that's less than $10 per month, then head to leonardoenglish.com/subscribe. 

[00:13:50] The transcripts are just so useful for helping you follow every single thing and not miss one word, plus the key vocabulary means that the hard words or expressions are explained for you, so you don't need to pause and look things up in a dictionary. 

[00:14:07] And again, if you aren't happy at any time within the first 30 days, then you can get a refund for whatever reason.

[00:14:15] I'll also put the link in the show notes. 

[00:14:17] As always, thank you for listening. It has been a pleasure. 

[00:14:22] You've been listening to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:14:27] I'm Alastair Budge and I will catch you in the next episode.


[END OF PODCAST]



[00:00:03] Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:00:10] I'm Alastair Budge. 

[00:00:13] If this is your first time listening to the show, then welcome. It's great to have you on board and of course, if you are a regular listener, welcome back. It's great to have you too.

[00:00:24] Regular listeners will know by now that the transcript and key vocabulary for the podcast can be found on the website, which is leonardoenglish.com. 

[00:00:34] If you aren't yet a member of Leonardo English and you want to follow along with the transcript and key vocabulary in front of you, then you can become a member over at leonardoenglish.com/subscribe. 

[00:00:46] The promotional price for becoming a member is ending at midnight on the 31st of January, which is actually the day that this podcast is released. So if you want to lock in that price of just nine euros per month, which is under 10 US dollars, then make sure you had to leonardoenglish.com/subscribe before midnight. 

[00:01:09] Membership gives you access to the transcripts and key vocabulary for all of the podcasts plus two new podcasts every week and also comes with a 30 day no questions asked refund policy, so if for any reason you aren't happy or you haven't been able to use it, then you will get a full refund. 

[00:01:30] Okay then. Today, let's talk about fake meat. 

[00:01:34] Let's talk about what it is, why it's important, why people love it, why people hate it, and why it might be landing on your plate pretty soon if it hasn't landed there already. 

[00:01:48] By fake meat, there are two real categories of this, and it's an important differentiation to make.

[00:01:58] Firstly, lab-grown meat, which is real meat, it's animal protein, but it doesn't actually involve the slaughter of an animal. 

[00:02:11] Then secondly we have plant-based meat, which is food that looks, feels and tastes like meat, but actually doesn't have any meat in it. 

[00:02:23] It's made out of plant-based proteins.

[00:02:27] Let's just go into a little bit more detail though as it's useful to understand the difference and to understand how both of these are made. 

[00:02:36] The first fake meat, the lab-grown meat, which is actually just real meat without animals, is grown from animal cells with only a very small need to raise or slaughter animals.

[00:02:50] Basically, no animals need to be harmed during the creation of lab-grown meat. 

[00:02:56] The process is of course, very complicated, but in essence some cells are taken from an animal and from that what's called a 'cell line' can be created, which in turn can be turned into meat all without one animal being killed. 

[00:03:17] So you can get a burger, a chicken nugget, a lamb steak, or in theory, any kind of meat all without one animal being harmed.

[00:03:31] It might sound good in practice, but as the technology is still pretty young, it's very expensive. 

[00:03:39] The first burger that was grown in a lab, which was created by a team in the Netherlands, cost 250,000 euros to make, and even a chicken nugget created by one of the leading companies in Silicon Valley currently costs about $50 to make.

[00:04:01] So there is evidently a lot of work to be done to bring down the cost and make it a viable alternative, even if these companies can get over all of the hurdles, both of regulation, of countries allowing them to sell their lab-grown produce, and any kind of cultural acceptance from people of eating something that they know has been grown in a laboratory. 

[00:04:26] For the meat eaters among you, just ask yourself, would you eat something that has been grown in a laboratory? 

[00:04:34] I say to myself that I would, but I guess if it was sat there on my plate, I wonder whether I really would. 

[00:04:43] So there's obviously still a lot of work to be done to make eating lab-grown meat a normal, acceptable thing to do. 

[00:04:53] The second category, that of plant-based meat is one that is growing very fast and I'd imagine that there's a good chance you may have already eaten some plant-based meat. 

[00:05:09] Plant-based meat is, as the name suggests, food that looks, feels and tastes like meat, but is made from plant-based ingredients.

[00:05:20] Names you may be familiar with include Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which are two of the most well known companies in this space. 

[00:05:33] While 10 or 20 years ago, plant-based meat might have been pretty niche, and the options were few and far between, they were very limited, now things are pretty different.

[00:05:48] Growing up, I remember my cousin Patrick was the only vegan in our family, and I can remember looking at his vegan sausages and not being filled with a huge amount of jealousy. 

[00:06:01] I mean, they were pretty disgusting, and they always came in these sad cardboard boxes. 

[00:06:08] But in a world where people are not only getting more attuned to the environmental impact that eating meat has, but also on the conditions that much of the world's livestock lives in, there has been a huge increase in demand for meat-free products. People want to eat less meat, but they want better tasting stuff than the old tasteless vegan sausages that supermarkets used to sell. 

[00:06:39] And now there are a plethora of options, from burgers that bleed, with beetroot juice, I should say, to a vegan sausage roll that is huge in the UK.

[00:06:50] Just Google Gregg's vegan sausage roll if you don't believe me. 

[00:06:56] And consumers are taking these options in their masses

[00:07:01] In North America, sales of plant-based meat have increased by 37% from 2017 to 2019 and it's a similar story in Europe. 

[00:07:15] Lots of these companies have managed to make meat alternatives that people think do actually taste as good as meat. 

[00:07:23] And so people that had historically refused to reduce their meat intake for taste reasons now don't have that as such a valid reason anymore.

[00:07:36] But it's not all rosy for plant-based meat and like anything there are those who are vehemently against, they're opposed to the development of plant-based meat. 

[00:07:51] Firstly, the farming lobby for livestock producers, the groups that represent the interests of livestock farmers. Understandably, they are against plant-based meat. 

[00:08:03] They say it will result in millions of farming jobs being lost, which is of course, in one sense true.

[00:08:11] If demand for traditional meat goes down, there'll be the need for fewer animals, therefore fewer farmers, and yes, it's sort of a fair argument, but the idea that all of these livestock farmers will be unemployed and not be able to work again, it's pretty mad. 

[00:08:31] You have to assume that the economy is efficient enough that new jobs will be created and these meat farmers will do something else.

[00:08:40] They won't just be sitting on their backsides all day lamenting their days farming cattle

[00:08:47] There is also the criticism, which is a more fair one in my view, that people assume that eating a plant-based meat meal will be healthier than eating the traditional meat version and it's not always the case. Meat-free burgers, for example, contain an average of 0.89 grams of salt per serving, while normal meat ones contain 0.75 grams, so they're better for you in terms of the salt content. 

[00:09:19] Plant-based meat is almost by definition, highly processed and processed food isn't very good for you at all.

[00:09:29] If you think that you can just go on a diet and eat vegan chicken nuggets and Impossible Burgers, well, it's not really a diet at all.

[00:09:39] And from a health point of view, if you're continuing to eat fast food-type stuff, you're no better off eating the vegan options than the traditional options, at least from a nutrition point of view. 

[00:09:51] If you read the ingredients of the Impossible Burger, for example, the one that Burger King launched in partnership with Impossible Foods, it reads more like the ingredients of a chocolate bar or a packet of sweets than something you might think of as a healthy food. 

[00:10:11] And when you also consider all of the sauces that are smothered on the burger, well, it's really not that healthy after all.

[00:10:21] And this also raises the question, why are we so obsessed with meat as an idea? 

[00:10:28] Why are all of these companies rushing to be just a meat alternative as opposed to just good tasty food that is good for us and better for the planet? 

[00:10:41] So why is this, is it purely from a taste point of view?

[00:10:45] Because we think that meat tastes better, and if so, if everything about the taste and texture of meat could be replicated completely, either from a plant-based option or from something that was grown in a laboratory and produced in a way that didn't harm any animals, and that didn't cost any more than current meat, would that be enough for people to ditch meat altogether, to give up meat altogether

[00:11:17] Or is it from a nutritional point of view, do people just think that meat gives them the nutrients that this fake meat won't. 

[00:11:26] And if so, if these nutrients were recreated either by lab-grown meat or plant-based meat, would that be enough for people to switch?

[00:11:37] There are of course, still significant regulatory and cultural hurdles to overcome, but it certainly seems like people are betting that the answer to these questions is yes. 

[00:11:50] Billions of dollars are flooding into startups and companies that are trying to work on both lab-based meat and plant-based food products.

[00:12:01] Beyond Meat, one of the biggest plant-based meat companies in the US is valued at over $6 billion and Impossible Foods is valued at a similar number. Only time will tell how consumer behaviour changes and whether in fifty or a hundred years people will be eating meat altogether

[00:12:23] There are people who say that meat eating will go the way of things like smoking, being less and less culturally acceptable, and then it just fizzles out altogether.

[00:12:35] But for the moment, meat consumption worldwide continues to grow as more consumers in places like China are getting wealthier and increasing the amount of meat in their diets. 

[00:12:48] So who knows where fake meat will be in 50 years. 

[00:12:52] What we do know though, is that there are some big investors and some very smart money, that is at least betting that it's only the beginning for fake meat.

[00:13:04] Alright then, that is it for today. I hope that this has been interesting and that you now know a little bit more about fake meat than you did 15 minutes ago. 

[00:13:16] As one final reminder, the introductory promotional price for becoming a member of Leonardo English and getting access to all of the transcripts and key vocabulary is coming to an end at midnight on the 31st which is the day that this podcast is coming out.

[00:13:34] So if you want to get the transcripts and key vocabulary for every podcast we've ever done, and every future podcast for just nine euros per month, that's less than $10 per month, then head to leonardoenglish.com/subscribe. 

[00:13:50] The transcripts are just so useful for helping you follow every single thing and not miss one word, plus the key vocabulary means that the hard words or expressions are explained for you, so you don't need to pause and look things up in a dictionary. 

[00:14:07] And again, if you aren't happy at any time within the first 30 days, then you can get a refund for whatever reason.

[00:14:15] I'll also put the link in the show notes. 

[00:14:17] As always, thank you for listening. It has been a pleasure. 

[00:14:22] You've been listening to the English Learning for Curious Minds podcast by Leonardo English. 

[00:14:27] I'm Alastair Budge and I will catch you in the next episode.


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