The start-ups bringing you meatless meats are gaining traction


A number of good food start-ups are attracting funding because investors think they're onto something. Money is pouring into companies taking aim at the animal suffering and environmental damage inherent in the meat industry by producing slaughter-free burgers, chicken, and fish that taste like the real thing because they start with animal cells or plants that replicate the taste, texture, and fat content of meat.

The intended audience is an important one to crack: carnivores.

“Our definition of success is: we score zero points if a vegan or vegetarian buys our burger,” Impossible Food's CEO and founder Patrick Brown told Quartz earlier this year. “The more of a meat lover they are, the more they are our target customer.” 

Investors include Bill Gates and a number of venture capitalists. But food giants General Mills and Tyson Foods are also getting into the game, which suggests they're anticipating consumers getting fed up with factory-farmed meat.  

The money will help these start-ups achieve a critical goal: making cruelty-free options affordable. Memphis Meats, for instance, produced its first "clean meatball" last year. Sticker price? $18,000 per pound. For many of us, the day clean meat becomes a viable option can't come soon enough.

Takeaway: Until clean-meat is broadly available try the Beyond Meat burger and chicken strips.A number of restaurants also now serve the Impossible Burger.

Read more: Meatless meat: the startups ditching animals from meat