For Bill Gates, the future necessarily passes through synthetic meat

Pour Bill Gates, le futur passe forcément par la viande de synthèse

At a time when the third IPCC report urges us to change our lifestyles, Bill Gates has a clear idea of ​​what the future of our food should be. To succeed in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, the founder of Microsoft advocates innovation and the switch to synthetic meat.

On February 14, 2021, in an interview granted to the MIT Technology Reviewthe billionaire confided on the occasion of the release of his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. His book focuses on the technological innovations needed to reduce emissions in key sectors such as steel, cement and agriculture in the United States. On a personal note, the entrepreneur has invested heavily in Beyond Meat, Carbon Engineering, Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats and Pivot Bio.

Synthetic meat: the future of our food?

To reduce GHG emissions related to livestock, Bill Gates recommends using less fertilizer. He explains that the company Pivot Bio, of which he is the main investor, has developed a fertilizer from seeds capable of converting soil nitrogen into compounds useful for plant growth.

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Once ingested by livestock, this fertilizer would reduce the methane emissions produced by the animals by 20%.

“Unfortunately, these bacteria, which produce methane in the digestive system of cattle, are needed to break down grass. I don’t know if there will be a natural approach. I’m afraid synthetic protein will have to be used at least for beef.”

Synthetic meat represents only 1% of meat in the world, recalls Bill Gates. But, for the time being, the agricultural world is not about to abandon livestock farming. The idea of ​​replacing animal husbandry with innovation in the field of synthetic meat is still very unpopular today because of “the cultural love of the burger”.

However, the billionaire does not budge: “I think all rich countries should switch to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the difference in taste, and it is claimed that the taste will get even better over time,” says the boss of Microsoft.

Innovation above all

For Bill Gates, it takes “a far-reaching government policy”. Among other proposals, he recommends a high carbon tax, at 300 dollars per tonne, standards to make electricity clean, significant subsidies allocated to research and development (R&D) in the energy sector.

Considerable technological innovations would therefore be needed to stem global warming. In all, just for the United States, these investments in clean energy desired by Bill Gates would represent 35 billion dollars. Just that.

Optimistic, the billionaire believes in change. Created last June, its initiative entitled Catalyst wanted to stimulate the development of new energy solutions to fight against climate change. The project focused in particular on accelerating the development of green hydrogen. Several organizations, public and private, including the European Investment Bank and the US Department of Energy, have invested in it. In total, more than $1 billion has been awarded in the form of grants, actions and pledges.