When it comes to revolutionizing animal consumption around the world without sacrificing flavor, Better Meat Co.’s Paul Shapiro literally wrote the book on it.
In this Town Haul Rewind, host Amy Koonin Taylor is joined by author, activist, and CEO Paul Shapiro to talk about the use of unique technology that will shape how future generations eat. With environmental sustainability at the forefront of everything he does, Shapiro is a true industry influencer with inspiring advice for all.
On his epiphany to eat more sustainably to save the planet:
PAUL SHAPIRO: “It became clear to me that we take up a lot of land, a lot of water, a lot of other resources to raise animals for food. That is when I decided that perhaps shifting toward plant-based diets could be a really effective environmental remedy in that we could use a tiny fraction of the resources that we currently use to feed ourselves. That path led me down the food technology path to figure out how we can replicate the meat experience for people without having to raise animals for food. I essentially gave up on expecting that people were just going to be happy to eat bean and rice burritos and lentil soup, which I love. I think those are great foods, but it seems like a lot of people want meat, including environmentalists like us. So we need to find ways to generate that meat experience for people without animals.”
On Better Meat Co.’s unique production process:
PAUL SHAPIRO: “At the Better Meat Co, what we do is utilize fermentation to transform common agricultural ingredients like potatoes and other common ag products within less than one day into meat-like food. How do we do it? We’re essentially subjecting these potatoes to a fermentation that converts the carbohydrates into proteins and creates a meat-like texture in this food, such that when you eat it, it really does taste like a steak or a burger or a chicken nugget, or however we manipulate it post-harvest. This process takes less than one day because if you think about the size of the organism typically controls how rapidly they replicate. And so we are able to run fermentations in which our microflora are replicating at such rapid rates, feasting on these potatoes that they create meat-like products within hours. It’s a very efficient process that takes almost no resources when you compare it to raising, let’s say cattle for beef, and creating products that really do taste like meat.”
On how clean career choices can directly impact our planet:
PAUL SHAPIRO: “It’s an incredible time to be in this space because the investor demand is white-hot, so a lot of these companies are hiring. I would recommend it if you want to pursue a career in alternative protein, even if you’re not a food technologist, maybe you’re not a scientist, maybe you’re an accountant or an HR person, and these companies need those roles too. There are lots of ways to help advance this community and this movement of alternative protein from investing in a company, to starting a company, to joining a company, the space needs bright, motivated people to help move it forward. I’d welcome people to get involved and if you go to the website cleanmeat.com, there’s actually a page called clean jobs on there where you can see what positions are open at many of the companies that I profile in my book and look at what positions they’re hiring right now.”
On what success means to him:
PAUL SHAPIRO: “We have to actively do good and reduce suffering and increase happiness in the world to make the world a better place because we were born. Otherwise, it won’t have been. For me, if I could think that the world had less suffering and more happiness in it because I had been born because of how I had chosen to live my life, that would be the ultimate success.”
Amy Koonin Taylor is Marketing Content and Media Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.