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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

CEO of Impossible Foods Criticizes Meat Industry


Dr. Patrick O. Brown strongly criticized the conventional meat industry on the grounds of sustainability.  He described meat production as “the most destructive technology on earth by far.”  This is clear hyperbole since the used of coal to generate electrical power is far more injurious to the environment than beef production. According to the EPA all cattle including dairy animals are responsible for two percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Our transport infrastructure comprising aircraft, trains and road vehicles burn hydrocarbon fuels.  Even much vaunted electric autos derive their power in the U.S. in large measure from coal-fired power plants.


Brown who has earned both MD and PHD degrees and is a distinguished geneticist in his own right, should be more responsible and scientifically accurate in his public statements.  Although his products have been accepted as alternatives to beef over the short term, his strident condemnation suggests either a degree of concern for the future of his industry and company or an expression of his environmental zealotry.  Despite the inordinate and adulatory publicity extended to Impossible Foods and competitor Beyond Meat, their actual share of the protein market is small and the claimed double-digit growth rate is off a very small base.  Impossible Foods is currently privately held and Beyond Meat is enjoying a market honeymoon after a meteoric rise from the IPO price.  The Company trades at a nose-bleed P/E and neither Impossible Foods nor Beyond Meat have really experienced competition from multinationals such as Cargill and Nestle in addition to numerous me-too companies including Maple Leaf Foods.


Dr. Brown may be an extremely capable entrepreneur but he sounds eerily familiar to Josh Tetrick who promised to displace hens in producing eggs over ten years ago.  Since then (unfortunately for margins!) hen numbers have increased and consumers are enjoying nutritious eggs and egg products at exceptionally low prices.

Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane