alternative proteins

alternative proteins

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Los Angeles could soon be the largest U.S. city to sign an international pact to shift to a more plant-based food system. This week, the L.A. City Council voted in support of adopting the Plant Based Treaty, a grassroots campaign that calls for government to promote alternative proteins, and vegetarian diets in a shift away from the meat and dairy industries. If adopted, the treaty could be a boost to the plant-based food industry, which has seen a considerable dip in sales this year, primarily due to the growing uncertainty over the environmental benefits of plant-based proteins and more price-conscious consumers.

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Lead Image by Ian Hurley

In the fall of 2017, Lou Cooperhouse took the stage at the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation conference to talk about what he saw as the trend that would lead to the total transformation of our food supply: alternative proteins.

At the time, Cooperhouse — whose long career in food innovation includes founding and running Rutgers Food Innovation Center, an incubator for startups — was working with multiple companies making plant-based products. (Impossible Foods Inc., of Impossible Burger fame, was a client.) But the real transformative technology, in his view, was the use of cell culturing to make meat from animal cells — products that would have the look, feel, taste and nutritional content of real meat, because that's exactly what they are.

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