a16z Podcast: Old Food, New Tech — ‘Clean Meat’

You’ve heard the numbers or some statistic like this: By the year 2050, we’ll need to feed 9.7 billion humans on the planet. Our current production and meat-making methods — growing crops to feed to animals to turn them into food — can’t keep up … not to mention it’s not very good for the environment.

Yet meat is at the center of the plate for most meals, for most people. So how do we go from where we are to where we need to be? Especially since food is fundamentally an emotional experience! You can’t browbeat consumers into doing the “right” thing by selling on the rational benefits. You have to make them taste it … and crave it.

In this episode of the a16z Podcast (continuing our annual Thanksgiving and ongoing food x tech series) Uma Valeti, CEO of Memphis Meats; David Lee, COO of Impossible Foods; and Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of The Good Food Institute discuss — in conversation with a16z partner Kyle Russell — different methods of making meatless meats or “clean meats”. More broadly, we’re beginning to see a new era of food, and with it, radical transparency around understanding where our food comes from and how it’s made … something most people currently don’t know (or don’t want to know). From making to marketing, what will it take to turn the world’s oldest food production tradition into an entirely new one? Could a personalized, local “meat brewery” be the future of food?