In 2021, the award winning businessman’s company secured $200 million funding led by QIA.
Cultivated meat is the “missing piece of the puzzle” in the current global fight against climate change, Josh Tetrick, chief of food technology company GOOD Meat, said on Thursday.
“When we think of solving issues like climate change, if we only focus on moving to a renewable or less carbon emitting infrastructure, we forget about food, we’re missing a big piece of the puzzle,” Tetrick told the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) in Lusail.
Established in 2011, Eat Just is one of the United States’ fastest-growing egg brands. Its meat products are made from animal cells rather than slaughtered livestock.
Led by a large team of scientists, Tetrick’s firm follows the process of meat cultivation, in which an animal cell is extracted, fed, then placed in vessels where the raw chicken or meat is removed.
Tetrick said that the process is “safer, healthier and more sustainable” than conventional methods used to put meat and poultry on the market.
The entrepreneur said meat cultivation is important in countries that import large quantities of meat, referring to Qatar as an example, while urging the construction of necessary infrastructure for meat cultivation.
“There are tens of billions of animals around the world that are slaughtered everyday for us to eat meat and about a third of our planet is dedicated to plant soy and corn to feed the animals,” he said.
In 2021, the award winning businessman’s company secured $200 million funding led by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Doha’s sovereign wealth fund.
The leading food technology company at the time said the funds would be used to help the company accelerate its production to meet the growing demand for meat alternatives and reach more markets.
“The driving principle for me is why cause any harm when you don’t need to?” Tetrick said in response to a question on whether he is driven by environmental or ethical concerns over livestock.
He added that the primary motivator is food security, pointing to his first investor, Singapore, which granted him approval in 2020 to sell its lab-grown chicken meat.
The deal marked the world’s first regulatory approval for meat that does not come from slaughtered animals.
“It definitely tastes like chicken, because it is chicken[…]cultivated meat is real meat, it’s just made in a different way,” he explained.
With possible health risks among the key questions asked for those wanting to learn about cultivated meat, Tetrick assured that they are the same as those related to conventional meats.
“Cultivated chicken, which we sell today, has cholesterol, cultivated chicken saturated fat[…]now in the future what we would like to do is make meat that is actually healthier from a cholesterol and saturated fat perspective,” he said.