In a blog post entitled The Future of Food, the computer entrepreneur and philanthropist discussed the rise in meat-eating over the past 20 years and commented on its unsustainability in a world whose population is increasing and resources dwindling.
Gates, who is a vegetarian, wrote: “Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people. Yet we can’t ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.”
He highlighted the work of two companies using vegetable proteins to create “animal products”: Beyond Meat and Hampton Creek Foods.
“Companies like [them] are experimenting with new ways to use heat and pressure to turn plants into foods that look and taste just like meat and eggs,” he wrote.
“I tasted Beyond Meat’s chicken alternative and was impressed. I couldn’t tell the difference between Beyond Meat and real chicken. Beyond Eggs, Hampton Creek Foods’ egg substitute, doesn’t contain the high cholesterol of real eggs. Even spices are getting re-made: a company called Nu-Tek Food Science has found a way to make potassium chloride taste just like salt, with only a fraction of the sodium.”
Gates is not the first foresightful tech entrepreneur to identify the next big thing. Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams announced last year that they were supporting Beyond Meat.
All of which suggests meat-free meat is a boom industry waiting to happen.