The future of food...
I'm currently working on a book that chronicles the race to develop lab-grown, cell-cultured meat and the high-dollar push to get it to market. These are the burgers, steaks, chicken fingers, and fish filets that just years ago were figments of the imagination. Now these foodie inventions are within reach. The project will include vegan power brokers, high-tech meat, fetal bovine serum, and plenty of food industry squabbling. It will be told through the lens of Silicon Valley's one and only food unicorn, JUST, and its iconoclastic CEO Josh Tetrick.
What's the big idea?
Thanks to a well-organized network of entrepreneurs, scientists, and activists, the world of food has hit an inflection point. The timing was ripe. The effects of global climate change have been felt and seen for years through drought, intense forest fires, shrinking icebergs, and rising sea levels. There are reams of undeniable evidence showing humans are partially to blame for the enormous amount of greenhouse gas—namely carbon dioxide—that’s trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and is warming the planet. Estimates show animal agriculture, including sprawling factory farms for cows, pigs, and chickens, are responsible for at least 14% of those emissions. That poses a serious dilemma for the planet, which has a population that’s expected to balloon to nearly 10 billion people by 2050, meaning food production will have to increase by about 70%. So how do we curb climate change, feed a growing population, and maintain the status quo? We can’t. It isn’t feasible.
The book is being published by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Tentatively titled The End of Meat, it is set to hit shelves in the summer of 2020.