Your browser may not be supported by this website. Please upgrade to the latest version provided by your browser vendor.

Insights / Event summary

9 May 2019 / 7 min read

Reinventing Meat

Cows in the Langueiron farm, one of the largest farms of Galicia, Spain. Image: Xurxo Lobato via Getty Images

Watch the event video



Ana Yang, Senior Consulting Fellow, Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy


Simon Billing, Executive Director, Eating Better Alliance
Rosie Wardle, Programme Director, Jeremy Coller Foundation
Joshua Flack, Senior Scientist, MosaMeat
Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer
Tess Kelly, Sustainability Projects Officer, Quorn

Global meat production is projected to double to over 450 million tonnes by 2050 with demand increasing by 4 per cent per year driven by urbanization, income growth and globalization with consumers spending up to $1 trillion on meat every year. Meat production is a major contributor of environmental change and land resource depletion and is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile around 70 per cent of global agricultural land is used for some aspect of livestock production, contributing to land degradation, biodiversity loss and water pollution, as well as poor animal welfare. Unhealthy diets and obesity resulting from overconsumption of meat is also a leading cause of obesity and non-communicable diseases particularly among the poorest people. It’s estimated that consumption of red and processed meat could globally lead to 2.4 million deaths and $285 billion in healthcare costs by 2020.

Yet increasing investment and commercialization of plant-based meat, technological advancements in cultured meat, proposals for a ‘meat tax’ and shifts in consumer behaviour have the potential to disrupt the industry and therefore shift consumption towards healthier and sustainable diets. Can these new ideas, alternatives and business models gain widespread consumer acceptance and help reinvent the future of the meat industry?

Bistro in Vitro Restaurant

Bistro In Vitro is a fictitious restaurant with a menu of in vitro dishes that may one day end up on your plate.The exhibition from Bistro in Vitro provided an exploration of various in vitro meat dishes to spark discussion about what you would eat and what our food future might look like. The imaginative dishes of the future on display included the knitted steak, "crafted deep red meat thread into a steak that is truly pleasing to the eye" and dodo nuggets, "the taste of cutting-edge science, especially served with our sweet honey and mustard dipping sauce".