This may be the first documented instance in which Bill Gates–albeit indirectly–praises plant-based meals.
Since Mr. Gates is a multi-billionaire–with the influence that kind of money can buy–and runs a foundation that tries to solve world health problems, his opinions on this matter may be of interest.
All these companies that are taking the animal products…and coming up with ways of using largely plant-based materials…to make these things that are both cheaper, probably more healthy, less cruelty involved, less greenhouse gas emissions…People can be enthused for any of about five or six different reasons…
Mr. Gates, not unexpectedly, focuses on innovation and science, particularly the advances in producing plant-based meat and milk. Certainly products such as Gardein, Tofurky, and almond milk, and the research and development behind them, play a big role today in the food marketplace, and for many they are a bridge between animal-based meals and plant-based meals; people who grow up on chicken, hot dogs, ice cream, and other animal-based foods tend to want those tastes and textures.
But there are some other points which may be as important, or more so, that Mr. Gates does not mention, at least in this clip:
- There is an evolving realization that our world is finite, that each of our consumption decisions has an impact. This change in mindset may be what precipitates the innovation in plant-based versions of food items that have traditionally been animal-sourced.
- While veggie meats have a role, let’s not forget that there are lots of familiar, tasty, old-fashioned plant-based foods such as PB&J sandwiches, spaghetti with marinara, and bean burritos that don’t require any new inventions or market acceptance, and are typically even more efficient than plant-based meat products.