The burgers he has been tucking into were described by means of Bill Gates as “the destiny of meals” – lab-grown meat culled from the cells of animals.
Mr. Friedrich was on the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conference to speak about how lab-grown meat could feed an ever-increasing population and clear up environmental troubles.
The company Beyond Meat changed into additionally in Vancouver to offer delegates a taste of its plant-based meat alternative.
Beyond Meat, alongside Silicon Valley company Impossible Foods, are already supplying plant-based meat alternatives however there are dozens of corporations experimenting with growing meat merchandise which takes the cells of living animals and ‘grows’ meat from them.
Mr. Friedrich thinks most people will get their first taste of cell-primarily based meat in 2020 but, initially as a minimum, will pay a top rate of around $50 (£38).
The founder of the Good Food Institute, an business enterprise supporting the creation of plant and cell-based meat, has grown to be certainly one of this yr’s TED Fellows.
His assume tank has plowed $2.8m (£2.1m) into 14 projects which can be growing methods to develop meat and scale it as much as mass manufacturing – and hoping to get the fee tag down inside the system.
Cultured meat, or natural meat as it’s miles occasionally called due to its low environmental impact, can transform farming, Mr. Friedrich told the BBC.
“We develop a huge amount of vegetation to feed livestock. For every nine calories we positioned right into a chook we get one calorie out. It is a fantastically inefficient way to create food,” he said.
“And it’s miles anticipated that we need to provide between 70% and 100% greater meat by using 2050.”
The demands of an ever-developing populace, coupled with the environmental effect of in-depth farming, means farmers have to have a look at alternative ways of producing meat, he stated.
“We are not going to exchange human nature so we just must exchange the beef,” said Mr. Friedrich.
‘Not some other veggie burger.’
And this new age of synthetic meat has little to do with vegetarianism.
“We hear vegetarians say that they don’t need to eat these merchandise and we say, in part joking, that we sincerely do not care what vegetarians think about it,” he said.
“This is not but some other veggie burger.”
A natural meat “farm” will appear very exclusive – extra like a brewery than a farm – and might now not require any animals, stated Mr. Friedrich.
“The cells of the animals could be immortalized in cellular banks,” he explained.
“It could require ninety-nine % much less land which means that farmers can flow away from the ‘get big or get out’ idea of farming.
“There would nevertheless be farm sanctuaries where animals may want to live out their lives.”
Traditional crops like millet may see a comeback and farmers could be able to paintings “more in track with the soil.”
This may additionally appear like an idealized view of the destiny to a few, but already meat options are going mass market.
A vegan sausage roll released at UK bakery Greggs in January precipitated a flurry of headlines and a spike in the agency’s profits.
Meanwhile, Burger King is trialing its Impossible Whopper in 59 restaurants inside the US with plans to roll them out throughout the country.
Burger King’s new veggie burger is made via Impossible Foods, which develops plant-based totally products that reflect each the taste and texture of real meat.
Its ‘mystery’ ingredient is heme, an iron-containing molecule that is credited by way of some with giving meat its ‘meaty’ taste.