Review of the book Clean Meat: How Growing Meat without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World by Paul Shapiro rating *****
Back in 1993, just as the Internet was about to take off, I downplayed the coming digital revolution as nothing more than a glorified user forum. When Amazon first appeared on the scene, I couldn’t see that it would one day dominate online sales. I missed the boat on those opportunities. I don’t plan to miss the Clean Meat revolution.
Over the years, I have chronicled the many problems associated with the industrialized food industry. I’ve taken many steps to protect myself: I try to buy only organic; I look for free-range and 100% grass-fed animals for my meat, eggs, and milk; I buy wild-caught salmon. But other than substituting Impossible Meat in my burrito bowls, I just can’t give up eating meat.
I am well aware of the harmful effects of today’s meat industry:
- The use of growth hormones
- The inhumane treatment of animals
- The problems associated with corn and soy products as animal feed
- The adverse effects on climate change
- The unsanitary conditions in factory slaughterhouses
The solution to many of these problems is to grow meat from the cells of animals. Author Paul Shapiro covers the topic with a complete overview of the advantages, the obstacles, the technical challenges, and the promise of this nascent industry.
Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have proved that there is a market for meat alternatives. Clean meat, on the other hand, has the potential to be revolutionary. I firmly believe that clean meat alternatives will do to the current industrialized food industry and fashion industry what the automobile did to the horse and buggy industry. As the author points out with examples of other industry disruptors, such as when kerosene supplanted whale oil, when you offer something better and at a lower cost, consumers will always choose the latter.
The potential that this industry has is enormous. Imagine a time in the not too distant future when every kitchen will have a 3D meat printer that can churn out beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, or whatever meat your stomach desires. The leather you’ll buy for your shoes, belts, and coats will be grown in a lab. Dairy products will not come from a cow but made in an industrial size milk brewery.
As of this writing, none of the companies working in this arena have gone public. There are no ETFs with a collection of clean meat companies. But when that happens, I plan to be first in line with my investment dollars. I’m not going to miss this opportunity and neither should you.