‘All Rich Countries Should Move To 100% Synthetic Beef,’ Says Bill Gates

(Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP)

Olivia Ingrassia Contributor
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Bill Gates proposed that the wealthiest countries in the world should do away with beef, and instead adopt synthetic alternatives in order to combat global climate change, in a recent interview with the MIT Technology Review. 

The Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist previewed his new book, ‘How To Avoid A Climate Disaster,’ in the interview, discussing measures that he believes must be taken in order to eliminate greenhouse gases completely and avoid a climate catastrophe.

One of the initiatives he suggested is for rich countries to fully adopt plant-based meat products in an effort to reduce methane emissions

“I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time,” Gates said in the interview. (RELATED: REPORT: Bill Gates Is America’s Top Private Farmland Owner)

However, he maintained that the “poorest 80 countries” will continue to consume meat.

“Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand,” Gates stated. “So for meat in the middle-income-and-above countries, I do think it’s possible. But it’s one of those ones where, wow, you have to track it every year and see, and the politics [are challenging].”

As an investor in both plant-based meat companies, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meats, he conceded that elements of his proposal, such as the elimination of cows, are politically unpopular, but remains optimistic in the progress made by these companies over the past five years. 

“Impossible and Beyond have a road map, a quality road map and a cost road map, that makes them totally competitive. As for scale today, they don’t represent 1% of the meat in the world, but they’re on their way,” Gates said in the interview.

In his new book, Gates also recommends several other initiatives that he hopes many governments will adopt, including high carbon prices, clean electricity and fuel standards, and for governments to quintuple investments in clean tech annually, according to the MIT Technology Review.

Ultimately, while Gates made clear that he is committed to technological innovation as a means to combating the current climate situation, he stressed the importance of the government’s role in helping to avoid disaster.