Food scientists follow-up: Plant-based meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy have made great advances

A few months after their cover story on clean meat, The Institute of Food Technologists has run a cover story about plant-based meat, eggs, and dairy!
Silhouette of cow with hexagon and dna shapes on top

In their first issue of 2018, The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) featured a cover story by GFI’s Dr. Liz Specht, “Is the Future of Meat Animal-Free?” (with cover art by GFI’s Rose Convery).

In that article, Dr. Specht examined clean meat’s state of the art and speculated on its future: “Many of the existing start-up companies anticipate that their first product will arrive on the market somewhere in the time frame of three to five years and that it will be introduced at a premium price point — perhaps even through high-end restaurants.”

Now, just a few months later, IFT’s Food Technology magazine has another cover story related to GFI — this time about plant-based meat, eggs, and dairy. This article quotes GFI’s Director of Corporate Engagement Alison Rabschnuk to make the fundamental case:

“Growing and feeding our crops to animals is inherently inefficient,” insists Alison Rabschnuk, the director of corporate engagement at the Good Food Institute, noting that beef cattle use the vast majority of their food for day-to-day metabolism and for developing blood, bone, and brains, as opposed to meat that humans will actually consume. Other environmental concerns include greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution from animal waste run-off, enormous water and energy usage, and deforestation in developing countries for the raising of livestock.

The article also gives Alison the last word:

Plant-based animal protein alternatives will continue to grow in acceptance as their production increases and more people try these products, observes the Good Food Institute’s Rabschnuk. “People who are eating plant-based foods today know how great the best ones taste,” she says. “This is important because the vast majority of people make their food choices based on taste, price, and convenience. As companies are able to produce plant-based products at scale, price and convenience will also improve.”

As Rabschnuk points out, “Animal meat is as good as it can get. But plant-based meat will continue to get better and diversify.”

These two cover stories in quick succession show just how quickly plant-based and clean meat have moved into the forefront of food science. When GFI scientists attended IFT’s annual conference in 2016, hardly anyone had heard of clean meat! By 2017, however, IFT put plant-based and clean meat prominently on the agenda, led by presentations from The Good Food Institute’s senior scientists. We are looking forward to IFT 2018!