Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, confirmed the plant-based revolution is coming.
Replacing livestock with growing and harvesting plants will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, he stated. The meat industry, particularly cattle producers, emit significant greenhouse gases.
He named the number one “game-changing” trend of the future as the consumption of plant-based proteins instead of meat.
At the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Los Angles Schmidt spoke to a room packed with thousands of investors and business executives.
The replacement of meat with plant proteins would also lower the cost of foods in developing countries where food is sometimes scarce. Delivering a pound of meat to the grocery store (raising, slaughtering, and shipping) is a very inefficient and costly process relative to delivering a pound of many protein-based plants. In short, our growing population can be fed more efficiently and less expensively on plant-based proteins.
Schmidt said the world is now ready to better produce synthetic food from plants with the help of computers and data crunching. Technology is able to help researchers and scientists identify the best plant combinations for both palatability and enhanced nutrition.
Google attempted to purchase the plant-protein based startup Impossible Foods for $300 million in July 2015, but the offer was rejected. Impossible Foods are working on producing a meatless burger that is indistinguishable from a meat patty. Their stated mission is to “give people the great taste and nutritional benefits of foods that come from animals without the negative health and environmental impact”.