Fake Meat – a collection nexus

This is a collection nexus for fake meat, lab meat, Heme meat, engineer meat etc.

The comments will contain various references as I find them.

9 thoughts on “Fake Meat – a collection nexus

  1. https://qz.com/1154934/beyond-meat-is-tripling-production-of-its-plant-based-burgers/

    Less than a year after getting its plant-based burgers into the meat sections at mainstream grocery stores, Beyond Meat is ramping up production.

    The Los Angeles-based food company announced this week that it’s raised an additional $55 million in funding, which will allow it to triple the amount of plant-based burger “meat” it makes. An undisclosed amount of that funding came from Tyson Foods, the largest US meat company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Beyond Meat is now tackling the food industry from three different angles and finding success:

    Retail: It has products in over 19,000 grocery stores around America, including Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Target, and Whole Foods Market locations. Beyond Meat’s retail offerings include chicken strips, beef crumbles, and the Beyond Burger, a pea-protein burger patty sold alongside conventional meat burgers.
    Restaurants: The burger patty is also now on the menu at a handful of TGI Fridays restaurants, and is expected to be sold at most of the chain’s locations by sometime in 2018.
    Food Service: Beyond Meat has inked a deal with the food-service giant Sysco, which could help get the Beyond Burger into hotels, small burger restaurants, other restaurant chains, and schools.

    Beyond Meat, backed by tech titan Bill Gates and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, among other investors, is starting to make take some of the overall market share of meat products away from conventional meat producers. According to Food Navigator, sales of meat alternatives rose more than 6% between 2016 and 2017 to around $554 million. With that kind of growth, the race between Beyond Meat and its chief plant-based competitor, Impossible Foods, is heating up.


  2. http://www.motherjones.com/food/2017/06/i-attended-a-college-class-about-fake-meat-it-didnt-disappoint/

    Burgers that bleed. Eggless mayo. Chicken strips without the bird. In the last few years, a handful of California companies have transformed fake meat as we know it—and earned a ton of press.

    But can these Silicon Valley startups take on the multibillion-dollar meat industry? On a recent episode of Mother Jones‘ food politics podcast, Bite, we looked at fake-meat makers that are trying to scale up—and I attended a college class about making meat alternatives. Listen here:

    Impossible Foods has big plans for its wheat, coconut oil, and potato patties—the burgers that bleed. Right now, just 22 restaurants serve them. But last spring, Impossible Foods unveiled its weapon of mass production—a 67,000-square-foot warehouse in Oakland, California. The company’s chief operating officer, David Lee, said the factory will allow Impossible Foods to pump out 4 million burgers every month—that’s 250 times current production.

    “We know our demand is waiting for us,” Lee said. “Not just in fine dining, but in more accessible restaurants around the world.”

    Although these companies may not yet have the financial power of the meat industry, their products appeal to a growing number of eaters concerned about their health and that of the environment. Indeed, in 2015 the World Health Organization declared red meat a probable carcinogen. Animal agriculture across the globe is responsible for a whopping 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

    The increasing interest in fake meat has attracted the attention of major companies. Last fall, meat industry giant Tyson Foods bought a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, a plant-based protein company based in Southern California. Google reportedly tried to buy Impossible Foods for somewhere in the ballpark of $200-$300 million. (Brown refused the offer.)

    For the podcast episode, I visited a class on the business of meat alternatives at the University of California-Berkeley’s Sudartja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, where undergraduates were tasked with inventing new fake meat products. The class was taught by professionals in the emerging field, food scientists, and acclaimed chefs.

    On the day I visited, students reflected on a recent homework assignment to buy and cook fake meat at home. They described the plant-based proteins’ textures and flavors—and overwhelmingly concluded that telling the fake stuff apart from animal protein was easy.

    Vegan chef David Anderson, one of the guest lecturers, warned the students about how tricky it is to make a substance look, cook, and taste just like animal flesh. “It’s like a Rubik’s Cube,” he said. “Once you mess with one ingredient, it throws the whole thing off.”

    To hear more about the class and the pioneers in the field of fake meat, listen to this week’s episode of Bite. Also included: Doctors are changing their beliefs about vegan diets.


  3. https://qz.com/939320/a-startup-says-it-can-now-produce-enough-for-4-million-meatless-burgers-a-month/

    For two years, Impossible Foods founder and CEO Patrick Brown managed to keep a pretty good secret.

    While food industry analysts guessed at when innovative meat-alternative companies would be able to scale their production, Brown and his team quietly continued tinkering away at the taste of their faux-beef product—made of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes, and heme, an iron-containing compound found in plants and meat.

    But Brown has now decided to pull the trigger. In an announcement today, the Bay Area company said it was close to finishing a large-scale production facility in Oakland, California that can produce as much as 1 million lb (454,000 kg) of meatless meat a month. Assuming a patty that’s the same weight as what’s in erstwhile rival McDonald’s famous flagship bun… well, that’s a lot of burgers.
    “We score zero points if a vegan or vegetarian buys our burger.”

    And Brown intends to be aggressive. “We’ll probably be within an hour’s drive of most of the US population by the end of the year,” he told Quartz, but declined to say which restaurant chains have agreed to incorporate Impossible Foods burger into their menus. “We’re dead serious about our mission. That means any food product that currently is produced using animals, we intend to create a product that can compete.”

    The new facility is not only a milestone for Impossible Foods, but also an inflection point for the fledgling industry that produces meat alternatives. In constructing an operation that can churn out that much non-meat meat, Impossible Foods has upped the ante for its closest rivals, sending a signal that it’s ready to enter the market with full force, with a focus on supplying its product to fast casual restaurants and chains.

    The new space will allow Impossible Foods to produce 250 times more product than it’s currently making, enough to service 1,000 restaurants.
    The future is coming

    Brown and his team will have plenty of competition. In restaurants alone, more than 5 billion lb of ground beef are consumed every year. And then there’s the other meat-alternative companies that have charged into the space. Beyond Meat is another high-profile faux-beef company that’s looking to make inroads into the retail market, and Memphis Meats announced last week it created the world’s first meatless chicken tenders made from self-reproducing cells.

    Until now, Impossible Foods has slowly entered the market by popping up in high-profile restaurants in New York City and San Francisco. The goal, though, is to get in front of the most devout meat lovers. In fact, that’s part of Brown’s metric for success. Forget the people obsessed with vegetables.

    “Our definition of success is: we score zero points if a vegan or vegetarian buys our burger,” Brown says. “The more of a meat lover they are, the more they are our target customer.”

    The company’s market research has shown that even the most devoted American meat eaters will never stop wanting it—but they would be interested in a product that tastes just as good and is also made of plants, Brown says. In other words, a product that comes from an animal is not part of the intrinsic value of a burger. It’s more about how delicious, nutritious, and affordable that product is.

    As for getting in front of people, Impossible Foods’ scale-up comes just in time for baseball season, which begins April 3. The company’s product will be served at Public House in AT&T Park in San Francisco, as well as KronnerBurger and Vina Enoteca starting this week. It will also soon be on the menu at Bareburger locations along the East Coast.

    Chef Rocco Scordella, of Vina Enoteca, says he’s been cooking for Impossible Foods’ private events for months, and that he’s looking forward to adding the beef alternative to his menu—initially as burger sliders, with plans to expand upon it.

    “I use it in many different ways,” Scordella says. “I make burgers, I make meatballs, we make bolognese sauce with it.” And he’s optimistic about what he’s working with. “It’s the future of food, personally,” he adds.


  4. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tastes-like-chicken-lab-grown-clean-meat-wins-taste-testers-approval-2017-03-15

    A Bay Area food-technology startup says it has successfully developed the world’s first chicken strip grown from self-reproducing cells without so much as ruffling a feather.

    And it pretty much tastes like chicken, according to people who were offered samples Tuesday in San Francisco, before a planned big reveal on Wednesday by Memphis Meats Inc.

    Scientists, startups and animal-welfare activists believe the new product could help to revolutionize the roughly $200 billion U.S. meat industry. Their goal: Replace billions of cattle, hogs and chickens with animal meat they say can be grown more efficiently and humanely in stainless steel bioreactor tanks.

    Startups including Memphis Meats and Mosa Meat, based in the Netherlands, have been pursuing the concept. They call it “clean meat,” a spin on “clean energy,” and they argue the technique would help the food industry avoid the costs of grain, water and waste-disposal associated with livestock. Scientists from those companies have already produced beef, grown from bovine cells and made into a burger and a meatball. Until now, chicken hasn’t been produced using the method.

    Bay Area startup Memphis Meats says it has developed the world’s first chicken strip grown from self-reproducing cells. Photo/Video: Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

    On Tuesday, Memphis Meats invited a handful of taste-testers to a San Francisco kitchen and cooked and served their chicken strip, along with a piece of duck prepared à l’orange style. Some who sampled the strip — breaded, deep fried and spongier than a whole chicken breast — said it nearly nailed the flavor of the traditional variety. Their verdict: They would eat it again.


  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/17/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-meat

    Patrick Brown founded Impossible Foods with the goal of supplanting the meat industry. He believes America’s 230 million omnivores can be made to trade their hamburgers and steaks for a plant-based equivalent, scienced into being.

    That vision may yet be a long way off — even Brown admits as much. But next week the concept will get an important early test: Impossible Foods is opening its first large-scale facility in Oakland.

    The Oakland plant, which will begin to produce burgers this summer, is the first concrete sign that Impossible Foods and flagship offering are anything more than utopic moonshots. The plant will prove whether or not the concept can scale, which has implications for public health and the environment.

    [Stop eating so much meat, top U.S. nutritional panel says]

    It also has consequences for the emerging clean-meat industry, of which Impossible Foods is an early (and highly visible) player. Unlike Boca or Morningstar before them, which sought to corner the vegetarian market, these companies aim to appeal to hardcore meat-eaters by creating a meaty plant-based product. Beyond Meat, a popular vegetarian brand, has dipped a toe in those mainstream waters with its beet-juice “bleeding” Beyond Burger. And earlier this week, the start-up Memphis Meats announced that it had successfully created a lab-grown chicken strip — at a whopping price per pound of $9,000.
    The future of meat?

    Plant-based and clean meat companies are attracting big investments. This chart shows the current equity funding, according to Crunchbase, for six of them.

    But few of these companies have proved that they can commercialize yet, and even those that have, like the Beyond Burger, still only sell at Whole Foods. With this new facility, a spokesperson for Impossible Foods said, the company’s production capacity will increase 250-fold — allowing it to supply 1,000 restaurants by the end of this year.

    “The mission of the company is to making the existing method for producing meat obsolete,” said Brown on the phone from California, several weeks before the factory’s ribbon-cutting. “That means we need to be competitive everywhere. And soon we will be.”

    Proclamations like this one have earned Brown and his six-year-old company constant attention almost since its founding. A former biochemistry professor at Stanford, Brown became interested in industrial meat production after learning that it’s a major contributor to climate change: livestock account for nearly 15 percent of all greenhouse gasses, according to the United Nations.

    Brown became convinced that, given enough time and resources, science could essentially solve that problem by engineering plant-based “meats” that look and taste like the original artifact. Since 2011, he has received more than $180 million in investments from the likes of Bill Gates and Google Ventures to pursue the project.

    His first offering is the Impossible Burger: a patty composed largely of wheat and potato proteins that — thanks to a iron-containing molecule called heme — looks, handles and (reportedly!) tastes quite a lot like ground beef. The burger has caught the eye of several high-end chefs, including New York’s David Chang and San Francisco’s Traci Des Jardins, who have put the burger on their respective menus for roughly $15 apiece.

    David Chang’s take on the Impossible Burger, which he serves at two of his Momofuku restaurants. (Impossible Foods)

    But even as the burger earned rave reviews from curious patrons, its central tenet has remained unproven. Namely, Brown still has to show that he can churn out burgers en masse — and that red-blooded meat-eaters will buy them.

    That could prove difficult in two respects, say analysts and advocates who know the industry. First, Brown and his team will need to optimize their supply chain and manufacturing process to bring the price of the Impossible Burger on par with conventional beef.

    Some of that will happen naturally, said Bruce Friedrich, the executive director of the Good Food Institute: all food startups, regardless of what they make, benefit from economies of scale as they standardize and mechanize the way they make their food. Prices will also come down once Impossible Foods has a reliable distribution network. And the company has another advantage, as well: Compared to conventional livestock slaughter, its methods are inherently more efficient.

    But sourcing has still provided challenges — such as the question of heme. The iron-containing molecule is what makes the Impossible Burger taste like meat. Brown initially extracted it from the root nodules of soybeans, but that process, at scale, costs a fortune and releases a lot of greenhouse gasses. Impossible Foods eventually skirted the issue by engineering yeast that produce heme, meaning that the company no longer needs to extract the molecule from soybeans. It can be produced in vats.

    [The surprisingly heated political battle raging over the word ‘milk’]

    It’s also not the only uncertainty that faces Impossible Foods. The company’s biggest challenge may be getting it to catch on not only with the coastal Whole Foodies who have flocked to Manhattan or Los Angeles to try it thus far, but with average and middle-income Americans. Brown is adamant that his product is not designed to appeal to vegetarians; he’s after the old-school meat-eater, who is motivated largely by price, taste and convenience.

    John Coupland, a professor of food science at Penn State and the president of the Institute of Food Technologists, believes this type of consumer might prove difficult to convince, even if plant-based meats are priced on par with their conventional equivalents. Some focus-groups and studies have suggested that consumers aren’t entirely comfortable with the idea of meat that doesn’t technically have any animal in it.

    “So much is going to play out in psychology, more even than in chemistry,” Coupland said. “Meat is an incredibly gendered thing to eat. How is that going to play out? Are you picking the light beer by having this stuff? It’s too early to tell if it’s really going to take off.”

    The components of an Impossible Burger (Impossible Foods)

    We may find out very shortly. While Impossible Foods is not releasing any details on the new plant’s exact capacity, cost or headcount until after the March 22 launch, it’s already clear that the facility represents a significant ramp-up from what the company has produced thus far.

    By the end of the year, Brown said, the burger will be in multiple restaurants, including some chains like Bareburger, which debuted the Impossible Burger at its flagship location in February. Those restaurants won’t all be coastal hotspots, Brown added — they’re pursuing deals in the heartland, as well. Brown has also reportedly been in talks with McDonald’s, though the company doesn’t have that capacity yet.

    Such a coup could move the whole industry much closer to dinner tables across America. And other plant-based and clean meat companies are watching the experiences of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat closely, Friedrich said. Their success or failure in scaling could inform the whole market.

    “This is brand-new for the plant-based meat industry,” he said. “It’s lifting the whole sector and inspiring other entrepreneurs and food scientists to get involved with it.”


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