To combat climate change, Gates has said that all rich countries should switch to synthetic beef produced in a lab.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates acknowledged that it is tough to fight agriculture emissions, especially with regards to livestock. Discussing his new book "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster," he emphasized that "middle-income-and-above countries" can adapt and shift towards synthetic meat. This, he said, would help in reducing methane emissions. Gates said the "poorest 80 countries" would not be interested in shifting to synthetic beef initially, but that the high-income countries should step up.
His advice to countries like the U.S. was that "you can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they're going to make it taste even better over time." Gates wants to reduce 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases produced each year to zero — an effort he calls "bigger than anything humanity has done to date," CBS reported.
Gates is aware that this might be an unpopular approach but says that it is worth a try furnishing the benefits of plant protein. Popular plant-based meat companies Impossible and Beyond Meat "have a quality road map and a cost road map," making them competitive, Gates said. Although they do not even represent 1% of the meat market currently, they are heading towards it, he added.
Synthetic meat is "lab-grown meat" made by harvesting muscle cells in a nutrient serum and encouraging them into muscle-like fibers, BBC's Science Focus explains. Using cellular agriculture, scientists can harvest artificial meat with the same characteristics as the animals or improve lab-grown meat with "healthier fats, vitamins, or vaccines." Synthetic meat is not a vegan product; it is grown from animal cells in a lab.
Gates never asked people to turn vegetarian or vegan and stop eating beef/meat. Rather, he recommended people switch over to synthetic beef to combat climate change.