Billionaire businessman and maverick investor Jim Mellon stated that he strongly believes that meat will be replaced with plant-based or cultured meat in the decade. This prediction is the only way that the human race will be able to mitigate the effect of future pandemics such as COVID-19and others Mellon says.
“At the time of [the COVID-19] pandemic, when the virus has come out of agriculture malpractice in the Far East, we need to do something about our food supply. We need to make it cleaner; we need to make it less environmentally damaging; and we need to remove antibiotics and hormones from the food supply, “This is a matter of urgency. At the same time as the pandemic has hit us, demand for animal protein is going through the roof, particularly in countries like China and India. And the world just can’t sustain the level of intensive farming of animals that is currently underway.”Jim Mellon
Mellon strongly believes that cultured meat is the only answer to the negative effects of animal agriculture. Mellon says that these practices are the ones responsible for a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, the pollution of water reservoirs, and the destruction of entire forests for the inefficient use of land; as well as the transmission of lethal zoonotic diseases which result in global pandemics, affecting the lives of millions.
Mellon says it’s time to invest in alternatives to animal meat, he personally believes that cultured meat (also known as cell-based, or lab-grown meat) will be priced equal or even may be less than the true and conventional animal meat in the next five years. Mellon estimates that dairy farming will disappear because of the growing demand for plant-based solutions by consumers.
Mellon’s knowledge of the cultured meat space was acquired in part by his conversations with many of the industry’s early leaders, whom he talked to for the last book, Moo’s Law: An Investor’s Guide to the New Agrarian Revolution. The book helps readers to understand the investment landscape in the cultured meat business, and how it will radically change world agriculture within the next couple of years. The book also explains how our inability to feed the world’s ever-growing population, does not give us any other choice but to grow meat in labs or derive our proteins from plant-based sources to get our protein intake. “Once price parity with conventional meats is reached, there will be no turning back—this is Moo’s Law,” Mellon said.
After pioneering cultured meat company Mosa Meat presented the first lab-grown burger back in 2013, many companies have appeared to help revolutionize the food industry with these new methodologies for food production. As of 2020, more than $300 million have been invested only in this sector, and major food companies such as Nestlé have been slowly but steadily moving in to capitalize on the emerging and fastly growing market.
Trending today, we have from lab-grown sushi to cultured chicken, the main goal of these companies is to scale efficient production and drive down production costs to make it cheaper for consumers and make cultured meat the most financially sensible and available option. Another hurdle to reach is bringing lab-grown meat to obtain regulatory approval. Last year, Singapore granted regulatory approval to GOOD Meat chicken a Californian-based startup Eat Just and become the first country in the world to authorize the sale of lab-grown meat.
Shortly after, avant-garde restaurant 1880 added faux chicken to its menu and become the first eatery in the world to sell cultured meat. GOOD Meat has since partnered with delivery platform Foodpanda to make meals such as Katsu Chicken Curry, Chicken & Rice, and Chicken Caesar Salad made with its cell-based chicken available for delivery in Singapore.
While Singapore is currently the only country where cultured meat can be bought from restaurants and deliveries, in the United States, aquaculture startup Wildtype announced recently that they are planning to open a first-of-its-kind cell-based sushi restaurant in the San Francisco bay area. Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration is organizing a pre-market consultation process to regulate and approve the sales of lab-grown fish and other animals.