Kurt Schmidinger, founder of Future Food, an internet-oriented initiative based out of Austria takes us on a lively discussion of the foods we eat and the future of our diets. Future Food’s mission is largely comprised of distributing information about the many alternatives to animal-derived products, and supporting the research and development of in vitro meat, also known as lab-grown, or clean meat.

Schmidinger discusses his organic path, from a geophysics background to food science, toward the development of Future Food’s premise. From an environmental standpoint, the harvesting of meat for food is a major contributor to the destruction of rain forests, pollution, water waste, and climate change. He’ll explain how the confluence of animal welfare, human health, and environmental preservation makes our future food perhaps one of the most important issues we face globally.

The food scientist discusses how the most logical path to moving consumers toward a plant-based, or synthetic-based, diet is through the offering of alternative food choices, as opposed to using ethics or reason as a springboard for change. He’ll provide insight into the methods used to harvest animal cells that ultimately lead to consumer meats, and the challenges food companies face in their quest to bring costs down, and on par with traditional meat products. From a cautionary perspective, Schmidinger details the dangers of industrial livestock farming as it pertains to antibiotics, and how resistance to antibiotics could pose serious risks to human health.

Schmidinger provides an overview of the benefits to human health that may be coming with future foods. He’ll detail how clean meat could be low in cholesterol and saturated fats, but high in the health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need.

Hungry venture capitalists are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into food companies’ coffers for research and development, and the race is on to deliver alternative meat products that pass the taste, texture, and cost tests. And while it is only his best guess, the food technologist estimates that alternative meats may be gracing dinner tables in as little as five years.

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