Pro poker players are betting on good food

DoubleUpDrive has selected GFI as one of 10 highly effective nonprofits to receive matching funds from their $1,140,000 campaign!! Powered by four data-driven philanthropists – who are also professional poker players – DoubleUpDrive is designed to catalyze giving to high impact organizations. As of right now, $128,820 of available matching funds has already been claimed! Run don’t walk to DoubleUpDrive!
Four aces with multicolored background

Between Giving Tuesday and receiving Animal Charity Evaluator’s “Top Charity” recognition, it has been a big week at GFI. And we’ve got more stellar news!

More? I know. Stick with me.

Poker players for the win

DoubleUpDrive has selected GFI as one of 10 highly effective nonprofits for their $1,140,000 matching campaign. Powered by a consortium of data-driven philanthropistswho are also professional poker playersDoubleUpDrive is designed to catalyze giving to high impact nonprofits.

We are deeply honored to be among these 10 charities. The four donors who are matching gifts put significant effort into making sure they were selecting charities that would do the most possible good with the donations.

This is essentially a (friendly!) competition; when the money is gone, it’s gone!

Cool! What do you mean by “effective” ?

I’m so glad you asked. Basically, “effective” means maximizing resources to do the most possible good in an area of greatest need.

At GFI, we’re focused on transforming conventional animal agriculture because the current system is accelerating many of the world’s most pressing problems: climate change, antibiotic resistance, abuse of animals, abuse of workers’ rights, deforestation, soil degradation and so much more. Basically, the industrialized system of reducing billions of animals to units of meat production uses way more food than it produces, and it comes at a high environmental, ethical, and economic cost. There’s no such thing as cheap meat.

Why fixing the food system is high-impact

1. The problem enormous, and the problem is growing (meat consumption is rising in the United States and globally—especially in developing countries like India and China). However, the vast majority of people eat meat despite how it’s produced, not because of how it’s produced. This is why concentrated animal feeding operations are typically in the middle of nowhere and protected like Ft. Knox. It’s why videos of slaughterhouses and meat processing facilities make people upset.

2. The problem is solvable. With relatively limited resources, innovators have already made huge strides in creating meat that takes the animal out of the equation and therefore is easier on the climate and does not require large-scale antibiotic use (read: plant-based and clean meat). And as consumers’ embrace of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat demonstrates, people are ready for this change.

3. Finally, this problem is neglected. In 2015, only 0.03% of philanthropic dollars in the U.S. were spent addressing the plight of farm animals. Imagine how much faster this progress could happen if we—government, academia, venture capitalists, corporations, philanthropists, and consumers—invested in plant-based and clean meat at the level we invest in conventional animal agriculture?

GFI’s approach to driving change further, faster

Despite the many headlines about how plant-based eating is in vogue, meat consumption per capita is on the rise in the United States and globally. Educating consumers and trying to shift market demand hasn’t moved the needle yet, and we are running short on time.

At GFI, we take a pragmatic, supply-side approach: we’re working with startups, policymakers, investors, meat producers, restaurants, grocery stores, suppliers and more to make better meat choices convenient, crave-worthy, and cost-effective for every single eater.

Consumer research consistently shows that price, taste, and convenience are the most important factors in consumer decision making. We’re accelerating the plant-based and clean mean industries so that these products can reach—and surpass—parity on all three fronts.

By giving to GFI, you join us in building a sustainable and just food system using food innovation and market forces. Hand in hand with our extraordinary family of donors, we can rewrite the future of food.


Mary allen

Mary Allen GFI ALUM

Mary Allen is a science writer, creative strategist, and GFI alum focused on the intersection of sustainability and emerging technology. Find more of her work at