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Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test 466

assertation (1255714) writes "Bill Gates and the founders of Twitter are betting millions that meat lovers will embrace a new plant-based product that mimics the taste of chicken and beef. Meat substitutes have had a hard time making it to the dinner tables of Americans over the years, but the tech giants believe these newest products will pass the "tastes like chicken" test. Gates has met several times with Ethan Brown, whose product, Beyond Meat, is a mash-up of proteins from peas and plants."
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Bill Gates & Twitter Founders Put "Meatless" Meat To the Test

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  • by Gavrielkay ( 1819320 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @02:58PM (#46853901)
    Use the return to classic view link. I hope they track the number of clicks and realize that everyone is bailing on the stupid beta version.
  • why copy meat? (Score:2, Informative)

    by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @03:13PM (#46853987)
    Non-meat dishes, if properly done, have great flavors and textures all their own. And can satisfy the appetite.

    As a long-term vegetarian, the main concession I make are vegetable patties. And that is for their form factor and ease of cook and not for a resemblance to a burger. Companies like Moningstar and traders Joes make patties out of all kinds of vegetables and spices- soy, bean corn, peas, garins, mixtures etc.
  • by Vegan Cyclist ( 1650427 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @04:03PM (#46854285) Homepage
    Compare the amount of livestock to the rest of the wild mammals on the planet, it's quite staggering, and i doubt many would expect the numbers to look like this:

    http://xkcd.com/1338/ [xkcd.com]
  • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @04:53PM (#46854541)

    The same place we do now - from the animals eating the vegetables (in this case people)

    We're already facing an impending fertilizer shortage, phosphorous in particular IIRC. Plants need it to grow, animals then eat the plants and incorporate it into their own flesh and waste, and humans eat the meat and do the same. Net result a continuous flow of valuable soil nutrients into sewage treatment facilities where it gets sequestered. Sooner or later we're going to have to go back to closing the loop.

  • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:02PM (#46854589) Homepage

    http://remineralize.org/ [remineralize.org]
    "Better soil, better food, better planet.... We see a future of thriving farms and gardens producing healthy, nutrient-dense food in great abundance. We see exuberant forests returned to a state of grandeur not seen in centuries, silently sequestering the carbon dioxide that so threatens our planet today. We see a stable climate and a cleaner, healthier environment. We see all of this being possible through the simple and effective process of soil remineralization."

    You are right that much of today's organic industry has become co-dependent on conventional livestock farms to use the manure for fertilizer to make up for what is removed from the soil. And returning human waste back to the soil has not proven that workable in the USA because sewage sludge is often contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs.That is a big difference from the "Farmers Of Forty Centuries" in China with cleaner sewage back then.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

    Also related:
    http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/... [epa.gov]
    http://www.epa.gov/agriculture... [epa.gov]
    http://www.globalecotechnics.c... [globalecotechnics.com]
    http://www.oceanarksint.org/ [oceanarksint.org]

    From: http://remineralize.org/histor... [remineralize.org]
    Benefits of Remineralization
    * Provides slow, natural release of elements and trace minerals.
    * Increases the nutrient intake of plants.
    * Increases yields and gives higher brix reading.
    * Rebalances soil pH.
    * Increases earthworm activity and the growth of microorganisms.
    * Builds humus complex.
    * Prevents soil erosion.
    * Increases the storage capacity of the soil.
    * Increases resistance to insects, disease, frost, and drought.
    * Produces more nutritious crops.
    * Enhances flavor in crops.
    * Decreases dependence on fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
    Soil Remineralization (SR) creates fertile soils by returning minerals to the soil in much the same way that the Earth does: during an Ice Age, glaciers crush rock onto the Earth's soil mantle, and winds blow the dust in the form of loess all over the globe. Volcanoes erupt, spewing forth minerals from deep within the Earth, and rushing rivers form mineral-rich alluvial deposits.
    Within silicate rocks is a broad spectrum of up to one hundred minerals and trace elements necessary for the well-being of all life and the creation of fertile soils. Glacial moraine or mixtures of single rock types can be applied to soils to create a sustainable and superior alternative to the use of ultimately harmful chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
    SR has been shown in scientific studies to achieve fourfold increases in agricultural and forestry (wood volume) yields and to produce both immediate and long-term benefits from a single application.
    Hundreds of thousands of tons of appropriate rock dust for soil and forest regeneration are stockpiled by the gravel and stone industry.

    I hope more people learn about this.

    On the topic of this article on meat alternatives, about seventeen years ago I wrote a letter to a person I had met who was trying to raise fund for some kind of recreational complex in Des Moines, Iowa. His family was a producer of equipment for meat grinding. Inspired by the work of Jon Robbins and "Diet for a New America" and EarthSave back then, I suggested in the letter he consider adapting the technology to make meat substitutes, which I told him was a growing industry. Never heard back from him. See also:
    http://johnrobbins.info/ [johnrobbins.info]

    Glad to see peop

  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @05:27PM (#46854723)

    Try frying it in lard. I bet that will make it better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 27, 2014 @06:13PM (#46854983)

    It might be more environmentally friendly, which it isn't, but there's also the issue of a lot of the substitutes being unhealthy. Soy products have a hormore related to estrogen, but harmful to both men and women. Many of the grains contain things meant to prevent predations that hurt people as well.

    I personally can't eat a lot of the meat substitutes except in small portions and not as a part of my regular diet or I start to get sick.

    Then there's certain vitamins that are really hard to find, if they exist at all in plants.

  • Re:But the price? (Score:5, Informative)

    by crioca ( 1394491 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @07:26PM (#46855329)

    Why is meat so cheap compared to vegetables

    Tens of billions of dollars in farming subsidies every year and the animal feed subsidy is almost as large as all the others combined.


    It's not that meat is so cheap compared to vegetables, it's that you pay the difference in other ways.

  • by Valdrax ( 32670 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @08:05PM (#46855531)

    I find that not eating meat is pretty trivial ...

    Good for you. I'm reminded of a quote from a comic I read when someone expressed shock and incredulity that another character had not seen Star Wars. Her response was simply, "Your life experiences are different from my own." What you are basically saying here is that you don't really like meat all that much and it was no big sacrifice to give it up. That's not the case for everyone.

    I find the switch to a meatless diet extremely hard, and I become just absolutely ravenous when I go more than a few days without it. I've tried three times for all the good reasons that you mention, and I just get a craving that cannot be satisfied by anything else.

    Almost any garden variety restaurant in China can make you a dish that usually can't be distinguished from a meat dish, and if I wish I can make several of them myself.

    As someone who likes meat, I find that statement laughable. If the vegetables in the dish are the most interesting and delicious part to you, then that's probably true for you. However, while I do enjoy many vegetarian Chinese and Indian dishes, I will NEVER confuse them for those with meat. The taste of the meat is not found in the meat itself but also in the sauces.

  • Re:Irrelevant. (Score:5, Informative)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday April 27, 2014 @08:32PM (#46855647)

    Our ancestors didn't eat meat.

    Tell that to the American horse, the [wikipedia.org]Mammoth [wikipedia.org] and a number of other species that our ancestors ate into extinction.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe