In order to understand the impact—and challenges—of our current food system and its immense reliance on animals, we first need to deeply understand meat (and why people love meat). Meat is often the centre of all important gatherings and celebrations for human beings. Not only is it a nutritious and a good source of nutrients we need to survive, but we’ve also come to appreciate its taste and texture as being the ultimate addition to any plate. Meat carries so many positive memories and associations. It’s been an aspirational ingredient in cultures all over the world, as diet is a signifier of status.
However, in our lifetimes, it’s clear that meat cannot be made the way it is today—if we want a livable planet for our future. It’s fair to say that modern society understands this principle and that meat is taxing on our environment, but we’re not willing to give it up yet. With plant-based foods and meats, our aim needs to be on delivering the best possible experiences for consumers, so they don’t ever feel like they’re sacrificing on the joys of meat.
With this context above, the transition to a more sustainable food system is not as simple as trusting that consumers will—in less than a decade—consider the environmental impacts of their diet. We can create great-tasting foods and work with those in the culinary arts to do so, but the change won’t happen as quick as it needs to if we allow things to keep moving the way they are today.
It is increasingly hard to find anyone who still believes that in hundred years from now, we will continue to rely primarily on animals for our daily protein intake. That said, we can’t wait that long and must push all the boundaries in terms of technology, product performance, scalability, cost, policies, and education to ensure fundamental success for the sector. Over the last decade, we started to see a significant positive influx to this industry with bright talent—including the best scientists, the most talented chefs, the most brilliant visionary leaders—along with long-term capital investment. All that, however, is just the beginning and the challenge is one of the biggest ones that humanity has ever faced.
Cheers to those who can think beyond paradigms and welcome innovation, and cheers to those who can see a future that is not only bright and tasty, but also more sustainable.
Andre Menezes is the co-founder and CEO of Tindle, a Singapore-based startup focused on creating ridiculously – good chicken made from plants. With a background in business and experience in the food industry, Menezes is passionate about developing sustainable food solutions that can help mitigate the environmental impact of animal agrirulfure. Alongside his co-founder, Menezes is committed to making Tindle a leader in the alternative protein market, providing consumers with delicious, healthy and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional meat products.