Smart Travel Lab
Foie gras is going clean
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Bill Gates and Richard Branson are betting lab-grown meat will be the food of the future
- Investors like Tyson and Cargill could put 'clean meat' on grocery shelves within three years.
- Traditional meat production is ecologically devastating, and a growing world population could make farm-raised animal meat unfeasible by 2050.
- Billionaires, including Bill Gates, say there is no way to produce enough meat traditionally to feed the world population of the future.
- For lab-grown meat start-ups, going after $50-per-pound foie gras makes as much sense as grocery-store staples like burgers and chicken nuggets.
- Clean meat was invented and first developed in The Netherlands
In addition to more conventional products, JUST (formerly Hampton Creek) is experimenting with foie gras. Animal rights activists have fought foie gras production for years, because the luxury food requires producers to force-feed ducks with a pipe so they eat enough to enlarge the liver. (The duck livers must be 10 times larger than normal.)
Foie gras costs an estimated $50 per pound. Because the meat is so expensive, it is a good industry for clean-meat companies to start disrupting. "That is something we're looking at," Tetrick said.
It doesn't cost JUST any more to make gourmet foods than it does to make chicken nuggets. The company's high prices won't make as much of a difference if it's competing with a food that's already very expensive.
So we might be eating foie gras in the future without having to worry about what people at the table next to us think.