Bill Gates On Plant-Based Meat Alternatives: 'You Can Get Used To The Taste Difference'

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Mega-billionaire and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates wrote a new book titled "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" with a section devoted to addressing challenges associated with carbon-heavy food production.

Alt-Meat Investor: Gates, a well-known advocate of plant-based food and alternative meat solutions, owns stakes in multiple companies in the space either personally or through his Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Some of the names he directly or indirectly invested in include Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ: BYND) and a handful of private companies including Impossible Foods.

Gates said in an interview with MIT Technology Review that there are many innovative companies in the forefront of producing more food with less energy input.

"There are advances in seeds, including seeds that do what legumes do: that is, they're able to [convert nitrogen in the soil into compounds that plants can use] biologically," Gates said. "But the ability to improve photosynthesis and to improve nitrogen fixation is one of the most underinvested things."

Related Link: Impossible Foods Wants To 'Completely Replace Animals,' President Says After Price Cut Announcement

Market Share: The largest plant-based meat makers today — Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods — hold a market share of less than 1% of the world's meat supply, Gates said. But there is certainly a path to growth, in part based on a very "unpopular" approach of telling people: "You can't have cows anymore" and governments can "use regulation to totally shift the demand."

"I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef," Gates said. "You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they're going to make it taste even better over time."

(Photo: Greg Rubenstein via Flickr)

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