A pro-vegan TED talk by Good Food Institute Executive Director Bruce Friedrich garnered more than 500,000 views within 24 hours of its launch – now it is creeping closer to 1,000,000, and will potentially hit that target within the week.
In the talk, titled The next global agricultural revolution, Friedrich discusses how industrial animal agriculture is destroying our planet and jeopardizing global health.
He says meat alternatives – including vegan meats and lab cultured options – can curb planetary issues like climate change and antibiotic resistance. But, Friedrich warns, more funding is needed.
“It’s past time to mobilize the resources that are necessary to create the next global agricultural revolution,” Friedrich says in the talk which was filmed in Vancouver last month.
“Climate change and antibiotic resistance are global emergencies. Meat production is exacerbating these emergencies on a global scale. But we are not going to decrease meat consumption unless we give consumers alternatives that cost the same or less, and that taste the same or better,” he said.
“This requires a global solution; what we need to do is produce the meat that people love, but we need to produce it in a whole new way. Plant-based and cell-based meat gives consumers everything they love about meat – the taste, the texture, and so on – but with no need for antibiotics and with a fraction of the adverse impact on the climate.”
‘Need more hands on deck’
While acknowledging the huge investments accrued by plant-based tech startups like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, Friedrich says these industries are still nascent.
“We’re going to need all hands on deck to make these the global meat industry,” he adds. “Governments spend tens of billions of dollars every single year on research and development focused on global health and the environment. They should be putting some of that money into optimizing and perfecting the production of plant-based and cell-based meat.
“We need the present meat industry. We need their economies of scale, their global supply chains, their marketing expertise, and their massive consumer base. We don’t want to disrupt the meat industry; we want to transform it.”