Can We Make Meat Out Of Plants?

Can We Make Meat Out Of Plants?

restaurant the other day, and it was hilarious. They didn’t serve water. They were like, and said on the
menu, because of the drought, we’re not serving water. But the menu was
full of beef options. CRAIG: This is Ethan
Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat, a
California-based food company. Do you have any numbers
as far as like how much water is used for beef? It’s anywhere from
1,500 to 2,500 gallons, depending on what source you’re
using in terms of the author or analyst, per pound. Per pound. Per one pound of beef,
it’s– what did you say? 2,500. 2,500 gallons of water. Yeah. The cow is a very docile animal. But they’re a dictator in
terms of how much resources they require and use. And you go over the
natural resources, things like drought
in California, you know, it’s
becoming a subject. Who’s using all
the water, right? So here is a
statement, and I think it’s probably well
understood, but if China does what we’re doing with
meat, we won’t have a climate. OK. That’s a pretty dire statement. I’m going to go to
my happy place now. OK. Every person on this
planet needs to eat. Our entire civilization requires
a regular supply of food to function. But what if the methods we use
to make our burritos and sweet, sweet McNuggets are
unsustainable and detrimental to our future well-being? We order something
off the dollar menu? Maybe. Or we may have to
change the means by which we produce our food. But most of all, we will
have to change the way that we think about food. In this episode, we’re going to
look at the food of the future and see how we’ll feed ourselves
in a rapidly-changing world. In my previous
career I used to work on trying to address
the emissions that come from
transportation, primarily from the burning
of fossil fuels. But it slowly
began to dawn on me that automotive transportation
and transportation in general was a very important contributor
to greenhouse gas emissions. A far greater
contributor is livestock. I happen to know a guy
named Robert Goodland who was a chief environmental
officer at the World Bank. He retired and did an analysis
around lifecycle contribution of livestock to
greenhouse gas emissions. He added them all up and
came to a figure of 51%. He said 51% of greenhouse gas
emissions are due to livestock. Goodland’s estimate
is controversial, because his analysis includes
factors that other reports don’t. But the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
estimated that livestock contributes 18% of the total
greenhouse gas emissions globally. Still, that’s more than
all trains, planes, and automobiles on the Planet. MATT: Well, how? Because they’re farting so much? Well, yes, partly. The report took into
account all aspects of the livestock’s life cycle. That includes clearing
land for pasture and crops for feeding the animals,
chemical fertilizers for the plants, transportation
and management of the animals, and, yes, the
methane the animals themselves produce, farts. That all adds up to an enormous
amount of greenhouse gases. The exact number varies
from report to report. But it’s a very big number. And that made a massive
impression on me. And I begin to focus on that and
look at the incredible changes that come about if we
just simply changed out the three to four
ounces of protein at the center of the plate. If we could shift that protein
from being an animal source protein to a plant
based protein, we could meet all of the
greenhouse gas emission protocols that have
been put in place. So it’s an incredible
opportunity to, without much
infrastructure change, solve the climate problem. So we have to stop eating
meat, or the world will end. That’s what I’m
getting out of this. I think it’s unrealistic
to think that people are going to stop eating meat. So I think the question becomes,
can you create meat directly from plants. Hasn’t this been done before? I mean we’ve got all
kinds of fake meat. Yeah, but they’re
taking it a step further. They’re trying to make a
product directly from plants and make it indistinguishable
from the real thing. Is that even possible? Beyond meat will never be able
to introduce pea protein powder into one end of
a machine extrude a convincing substitute
for seared steak or roasted chicken from the other. So that appeared in a
recent issue of Mother Jones. And we obviously think
it’s completely wrong. I like that you’ve made it
big and put it up on your wall. Yeah. We’re accepting the challenge. Yeah. Cool. So the first thing is finding
the right plant protein, and then finding
the plant protein that’s been separated in a
way that allows us to use it. So we start with yellow peas. Can I pick some of it up? Yeah, go ahead. OK. So it’s a powder
from yellow peas. So we’ve simply taken the pea,
and through an aqueous process separated out protein and
fiber, and then generating that powder, which is basically
a very high concentration of protein. So this is essentially the same
mix of plant based materials. And we’re adding it
into this process that aligns the proteins
in a way that’s similar to their alignment
in an animal’s muscle. And it’s basically heating,
cooling, and pressure being applied to create that
reorganization of the material so it takes on that fibrous
texture of animal protein. I won’t take you back there, but
some of the fundamental science is occurring here. What kind of science goes into
this, like chemistry, botany– All the above. All of it. Yep. Everything from biochemistry
through to food science to culinary. It’s a pretty big undertaking. We call this the
Manhattan Beach Project because we’re obviously
close to Manhattan Beach, but more importantly,
because we wanted to connote that sense of
urgency as well as a sense that we’re gathering some
of the brightest scientists in the country to work on what
we feel is a global problem. OK. So cows and chickens
basically eat plants and convert that into meat. But Ethan Brown and
company are taking the animals out of the equation,
and go straight to the plant. Sounds good. Problem solved, right? Not necessarily. We’ve still got to get
over the public’s aversion to meat substitutes, which
might be the biggest hurdle. Yeah, there are a couple
schools of thought. One is let’s just
try to shift people toward whole plant-based foods,
the sort of Michael Palin type analysis, right. Good luck with that. I have kids who are 9 and
10, after the softball game, baseball game, basketball game,
their teams are going to Chuck E. Cheese’s and Pizza
Hut and McDonald’s. We can’t fight
that fight and also try to have the scientific
advancement we want. So our goal is to narrowly
focus on simply replacing the amino acids, fats, minerals,
so that they can continue to eat what they love
but they’re using a plant-based source of meat. Why are people so
attached to meat? It’s just dead pieces of animal. Well, it tastes good. And a lot of fake
meat has a bad rap. So it’s almost like we have to
trick people into eating this. Yeah. Yeah. And we have tricked
people, in some regards. This is Tim Geistlinger,
vice president and head of research and development. So the meat industry
right now is, or the meat analog industry
is almost entirely composed of ready to eat products. So they’re already cooked. You just kind of reheat them. People want to feel
more of a connection. There’s a cultural
component to cooking, right. There’s people in the
kitchen and cooking. There’s all these things that
are celebratory around that. Having something that’s
already just cooked and you throw on
the plate, that’s fine in the presentation. But there’s so much more that
goes into that experience. CRAIG: The key might
be making a raw beef substitute that can cook
just like real ground beef. MATT: Well, if you can make
a fake burger in the same way that you make a real
burger, and it comes out looking and tasting like a
real burger, who’s to say what’s real and what’s not? Tasting is believing,
right, Craig? That was clever. And so we believe
that it will fit into the mainstream
a little more easily and that people will
ultimately accept it. But it has to taste good,
it has to perform well, and it’s got to be affordable. And it’s got to be healthy. All right. These are commercially
available today. And this is called
the beast burger. so this has all the protein
and iron of raw ground beef. But it also has omegas,
it has antioxidants, it has a muscle
recovery blend that’s made from different
nutrients from plants. You’re inventing
meat, basically. Yeah. If you’re going to go to the
trouble of redesigning it, why not improve it a little bit. So did you get to try it? Yep. And because I’m
such a science man, I brought in a control group
of one, fellow youtuber Jonah Green, just so
you wouldn’t think I was brainwashed by some sort
of protein-based compliance serum. What? So Jonah, have you ever
eaten a burger before? Occasionally. You have. More than occasionally. Would you say you’re a
professional burger eater? I’d say I’m pretty close. I asked you to come
here and eat with me. And why did you say yes? Because we’re friends. We’re best friends. We’re best friends We just met today. We’re in the same
graduating class. He’s lying. So what do you expect? What do you expect,
does this look good? It actually, it does
look really good. I’ve never had a burger that’s
not a burger before, so. Have you ever had,
like, a vegan burger? No. No, you haven’t? No, I haven’t had
anything that’s not a beef burger before. Wow. True meat eater here. That’s me. I say we take a bite. All right. Let’s do it. I want this. I want this. Let’s go. Was there any doubt that
I was gonna like this? I mean, come on. It’s really good. It’s great. It’s really good. Yeah. Now I’m gonna eat
the whole thing. So what did it
taste like, Craig? It tasted good, but it didn’t
taste exactly like a burger. But that’s not necessarily
what they’re going for with the beast burger. They are working on
raw beef substitute that will more closely
resemble beef in the future. I did get to try the
chicken, however. ETHAN BROWN: Here, put a little,
put ketchup on it or something. A little ketchup? ETHAN BROWN: Or
whatever you want. I think I want to
do it plain first. ETHAN BROWN: Plain? Go ahead. I want to see how it tastes. Hey, can I get one of those? That’s right. Thanks, man. He’s here to eat. That’s what I’m here for. That’s what they
literally asked me to do. They said, hey, come eat food. OK, I’m going to try
this fake chicken. What should I call it? ETHAN BROWN:
Plant-based chicken. Plant-based chicken. ETHAN BROWN: So
there’s the striations. I can literally not
tell the difference. Seriously. ETHAN BROWN: That’s awesome. I’m a skeptical guy,
and I’d tell you. Seriously. ETHAN BROWN: Look at that. Wow. That’s almost
better than chicken. That’s really good. ETHAN BROWN: So it
gives you a number of chews on it before
it disintegrates. Mm-hm. You guys gotta try this. This tastes like
totally like chicken. What do you think? It is really good. Yeah. Can you tell the difference? No. If someone handed this to
me and said it was chicken, I wouldn’t know. It’s better. I think it’s better. ETHAN BROWN: Thank
you guys, very much. That’s really good. I want to take that
sign you have out there and like, tear it down. ETHAN BROWN: Thank you. Yeah. Burn it. Throw it outside. Seriously. I’m having another one. ETHAN BROWN: You know,
I think the future is going to be about consumers
being able to buy protein, not meat and meat alternatives. And so I think if you
walk in a supermarket 10 or 15 years from now, you’ll
see a protein section, not a meat counter. And they’ll be
products like ours, where it’s meat
made from plants, and the sources
of protein will be things like lentil, peas,
camelina, lupin, soy, all these different sources. And then next to it will be
the animal protein equivalent. In this episode, we’re
going to go on a journey through time and
taste and explore how we may grow our
food and what we might be eating in the future. In our next video,
we’ll look at one of the most plentiful sources
of meat on our planet– bugs. Then we’ll turn our
attention to plants and go inside the
farm of the future. And finally, we’ll
visit with Ken Dunn and learn how to turn
our cities into gardens. But first, what
do you guys think? Should we cut down on
our meat consumption? And if so, is creating
a convincing substitute for things like hamburger
and steak the way to do it? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for watching. Be sure to like and subscribe. And you can go to
our patreon page if you want to support the show. Now we’re going to
answer some questions from our previous playlist,
Seeing Isn’t Believing. OK? All right. Sounds good to me. So on our Limits of Perception
video, a number of you asked if people
who had ADD or ADHD would be affected by
the gorilla experiment. Well, we e-mailed Dan Simons,
the guy that we interviewed, and he said that there weren’t
very many studies about that. But we shouldn’t expect much
difference between people with ADHD or not,
because if you’re not focused on the primary
activity– in this case, the bouncing of the
balls– then anybody would notice the
gorilla, ADHD or not. Grimbot2 asked about
Stephen Wiltshire. Stephen Wiltshire
is the guy who can make insanely detailed
drawings of places he’s been just from memory. We asked Dan Simons
about this, too. And he said that Stephen
Wiltshire can’t be taking a photograph of the scene. But what he must be
doing is looking around, glancing at the
scene, scanning around and taking all that together
and forming a single picture. Now, most people can’t
retain all that information. But Stephen Wiltshire must
have just a really, really good memory. GeoJake commented on Are
We Alone in the Universe, and wondered why no
one seems to consider the possibility that
interstellar travel might be impossible. Is it physically impossible? Even at the slow pace of
the Voyager spacecraft, an alien race could
colonize some portion of the galaxy at a time
scale less than the age of the universe. Now, would the
alien civilization survive long enough? Maybe not. That’s a different question. But it is also possible that
aliens are just home-bodies, and they don’t want
to leave their planet. And it would be
really, really hard to travel far into the universe. Cut the aliens some slack, guys. Just — it’s possible In the Is the Universe a
Hologram video, a couple of you asked about the
holographic principle and how it affects the
universe having an edge or not. There is an old Hank
Green mantra, no edge, which I’m sure many
of you are aware of. Well, he himself
in a video has said that we’re not even sure if the
universe has an edge or not. And the holographic
principle isn’t implying that there is an edge. Susskind says there
is a horizon, which is basically as far as
we’ll ever be able to see. What’s interesting about
the holographic principle, though, is that it literally
applies to any 2D surface surrounding a 3D volume. Physicists have discovered that
mathematically the information contained in a 3D volume is
directly proportional to the 2D surface. This is a little hard to
follow, and it has a lot to do with string theory. I recommend going to read
Susskind’s book, The Black Hole War, if you want to learn more. In our next video, we’re
going to respond to comments from this very video. So leave your questions. Make it good. Or not. Whatever. No pressure. [MUSIC PLAYING]

100 thoughts on “Can We Make Meat Out Of Plants?”

  1. My girlfriend who is vegetarian tried one of the Beyond Meat products. She said it was pretty gross and wouldn't eat it.

  2. we can grow meat already but still far from consumable so for now this might be pretty good
    I want that fake chicken!

  3. Eating vegan bacon right now! Healthier, better for the planet, better for the animals, and tastes great (although it isn't the Beyond Meat brand)

  4. So if we can imitate current forms of meat, could we invent new types of "meat" which are delicious, but unlike any natural animal product? Like imagine if hypothetically chickens didn't exist, but these people invented the same exact chicken substitute they have now that they showed in this video. Isn't that same idea possible for meat like foods which are not based on any living organism?

    Could processes like this lead to a culinary revolution of new unique food products being invented for the same role meat has existed, at least in the long term? I imagine it would take a lot of work since there is nothing to work from, but I imagine it to be possible.

  5. I really like Beyond products but my little problem is that it's a but costly, especially if you have a family . I hope that soon they will go cheap and sell bigger packages ( Family packages ) for less.

  6. How is this different from the soybean-derived meat, which is available in health food stores?? Only that it is from pea? They're both protein-rich legumes because, obviously, they get fixed nitrogen from rhizobia, and what else?

  7. I tried tofu hotdogs, not tasty. If they can make plant meat taste like livestock meat, I will eat it! Also interested in eating bugs lol.

  8. Isn't cow farts carbon neutral? Grass & leaves suck up co2 from the air and land and the cows fart & poop it back into the environment, rinse & repeat.

    The main driver for the imbalance in the co2 cycle is taking co2 from long term geologic storage and putting in back in play in the environment.

  9. How about lab meat ? That way we don't waste plant resources which should be used as part of the global food supply.

  10. I'm never gonna understand how people can say that meat taste good,yeah when its seasoned correctly and cooked with salt.Theirs a reason why you have to do so much to meat to be able as a human to eat it its because your not suppose to unless its a matter of survival not greed

  11. I LOVE the idea of a "Protein" section. At Kings (Kroger) the meat alternative section said "protein alternative" and I was like, no, that's not the right label, because it IS protein.

  12. The only problem I find with this is taste and cost. Sure going all veggie is great for the world. But when your poor your probably going to pickup the cheaper real meat. vs the expensive fake meat.

  13. This is a question for this thread and the urban ag community at large: There are several PBS (Good Stuff) videos chalked full of information and facts about the future of our food systems…I was wondering if I can use said facts in a crowdfunding platform that I am looking at launching during the next few weeks…are there any copyright concerns that I would need to take into consideration? Your replies are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  14. I can't believe people aren't down for nuclear cargo ships. Cargo ships literally pollute more than almost all of the cars if not more

  15. Thanks for this awesome insight. Personally, I love meat – not for any reason other than flavor. If I could get something cheap and healthy that tastes the same.. sign me up! Especially if eating it means that I'll be helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I have tried many meat substitutes (I am not vegan, I am just an adventurous eater) and never found anything that was even close to real meat texture/flavor, so really excited about what they come up with. I actually think I will make a special trip to see if I can experience it myself, I'll report back if I do!

  16. I think the two most important things are PRICE and TASTE. I sorta doubt that they have made anything that is the same price and tastes just as good.

  17. I have adhd and noticed the gorilla in lecture when I took a 200 level psych course. I was the only one in class that did.

  18. I don't understand this Western fascination with dressing plant protein to look like meat. Just call it what it is and accept that it can be separately tasty. In China they stir fry tofu with ground pork because neither is a substitute for the other.

  19. 'Don't worry, it's not mystery-meat, it's mystery-plants.' doesn't sound very reassuring.
    On something like a McDonald's menu, I think a falafel burger would sell better than a veggie burger or a plant-based-beef burger

  20. As long as it looks and actually tastes like the real thing, sure.
    But I have yet to eat fake meat that tastes like real meat in flavor and/or texture.

  21. I’ve taken to making a vegan “meatloaf” out of lentils. I dice an onion and some mushrooms. Mix it all together with ketchup, mustard and bbq sauce. I cook in in a loaf pan on 375 for about an hour. It’s pretty good. I’m not necessarily vegan, but I’m totally up for making these changes.

  22. I'm disappointed that they didn't explore the pros and cons more: such as Con. Growing these plants would require land and that could result in deforestation. Pro, in comparison livestock have a worse effect since they require land to raise animals on + land to grow the feed (plants) that they are give. So Con + Pro = overall Pro. That sort of reasoning would've been interesting in the wider complex debate about mitigating negative impacts on the environment and ultimately, on ourselves.

  23. It's all nice and well, but I wonder how do all of these substitutes compare in terms of nutritional value? I'm not talking just about protein (though I doubt they will do anything for my glycine requirement), but what about other things? Bioavailable zinc, calcium and iron? Vitamins D and B12? DHA, EPA (and please don't bull** me with that ALA conversion, because conversion rates are pathetic and I'm NOT going to eat 3kg of flaxseed a day just to meet daily requirements). I mean, as long as they're trying to replace fast food then whatever, it can't get any worse, but I doubt they'll be able make a decent replacement for my salmon or bone broth.
    And meat production isn't that damaging if we don't lock animals in cages and feed them shit. Some people are actually using pasturing animals to restore soil that got depleted by intense farming.

  24. After watching your video, we got excited and for many weeks scanned grocery store isles for the Beyond Burger. Unfortunately, there were none in stock. But, one day, we noticed it on the menu of Veggie Grill, and we ordered it. It tastes super realistic, and we're glad to have known about it. Since then, we've also purchased the Beyond Burger Crumble from the frozen section (it tastes great in pasta sauce).

    Your channel is great, and it helps inform the public about important and interesting advances. Thank you!

  25. Rich will always eat meat like salmon and beef etc so why should middle class if not poor bear the burden of all humans foot prints?

  26. Just because they can make one protein look like a another protein does not necessarily mean it is that protein. Studies have shown that the descendents of people who have only eaten plant-based proteins are smaller, weaker and more susceptible to joint problems than people who eat meat proteins. This means just because you can flavor color and shape it like the other protein it still will not be a substitute and most certainly not a replacement for the other protein. At the same time the average United States citizen eats far more neat than is healthy for a *balanced diet*.

  27. GRRRRR with the misinformation. COWS DO NOT FART, much. They actually belch it out, as its made mostly in the stomach, not the intestines like in us. For the love of fuck, its simple research, and you misinform your audience so they can perpetuate it.

  28. I immediately thought of this episode when I found out that Beyond Meat burgers will be offered at A&W across Canada.

  29. Plant s meat is great 👍🏻 fantastic fabulous idea 💡 save animal 🦓 our plants 🌱 energy I love 💕 is great 👍🏻

  30. I'd really rather have a lentil Burger or a spicy black bean burger. I like the variety in plant proteins and and actually tasting them. And made up into a burger with tomato and lettuce and Mustard Pickle and ketchup I don't see any need for this. Plus I'm from a beef raising family. Admittedly I eat a lot less beef than the average carnivore. A majority of my protein 4 to 5 days a week comes from plants

  31. I'm all for making convincing meat like products from plants but could you please cut down on the sodium. Seems like the solution to the taste problems seems to be to crank up the chemicals.

  32. Coming from a meat eating family, country and upbringing. Becoming vegan (gradually) is not so hard as you think it is people! Not using plastics and reducing my carbon footprint is wwaaaaay harder. And I've been going through all this while living in China.

  33. Totally Agree look foward to try to eat this food plant meat would be the end of killing animales and protect the planet I am a meat eater but as long is safe and healthy won't be a problem for me to quit eating animal meat

  34. Stop calling it meat! Meat comes from animals. Calling a plant-based product meat is like calling water "fire"

  35. 71% of all greenhouse gases are produced by these 100 companies. Look Below.

  36. Not a vegan myself, but I think you should try developing this further. And consider the nutrient content if you want this to replace meat. Besides getting the iron and protein content of meat you should also focus on adequate vitamin A content, because that has really bad bioavailability in plant foods. And of course the obvious ones vitamin D and B12. Possibly some other nutrients too.

    If you can make something from plants that's practically identical to meat, (taste, texture and nutrition) then I may consider replacing it. Otherwise i stick to real meat.

  37. I'm having vegan protein shakes until I can get the meatless chicken.

    I so want this to be big. Healthy, tasty, and saves the world.

    Count me in. (And affordable, I don't have $100 to spend on chicken sandwich)

  38. I think we should be making substitute veggies out of meat. We'd all certainly be much healthier eating carrots made out of beef liver; we could get our Vitamin A directly and more efficiently w/o having to go through the slow, inefficient and wasteful conversion of beta carotene into Vitamin A. I could really enjoy a salad of beef spinach, chicken kale, and pork tomatoes, with a dressing made out of sheep fat.

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