Argument

Green Eggs and Ham

The co-founders of Memphis Meats on building a more sustainable food system.

Memphis Meats co-founders Uma Valeti, center, and Nicholas Genovese, right, with chef Derek Sarno during the unveiling of 
cell-based poultry products in March 2017. (Memphis Meats)
Memphis Meats co-founders Uma Valeti, center, and Nicholas Genovese, right, with chef Derek Sarno during the unveiling of cell-based poultry products in March 2017. (Memphis Meats)

The world population will reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, and conventional meat production will struggle to scale to that level. Some analysts even predict that humanity will need to give up meat in order to feed the world. But meat is central to culinary traditions across the globe, and we want to find a way to keep its place on the plate without paying massive ecological costs. Memphis Meats was born from the belief that humanity needs creative new ways to sustainably scale food production to feed future generations.

Our approach is simple: Our products are not vegan or vegetarian—we grow real meat from the cellular level up in clean conditions to yield high-quality meat. We envision significant benefits for animals, human health, and the planet; for instance, at scale we expect our process to require up to 90 percent less land and water, and to produce up to 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, than conventionally produced meat.

We are currently working to reduce production costs and increase scale so that we can bring our products to consumers. Our diverse coalition of partners and supporters includes animal welfare and environmental advocates, leading food and meat companies, and top financial investors. We believe that by bringing healthy, wholesome products to the table, we can build a more sustainable food system and world.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Foreign Policy magazine.

Uma Valeti is co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats. @UmaValeti

Nicholas Genovese is co-founder and chief science officer at Memphis Meats. @GenoveseNJ

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