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Alternative Proteins: A Sustainable and Ethical Way to Feed the World’s Population and Care for Our Planet

Tempeh Burgers

Conventional meat production is a significant contributor to some of the world’s most pressing problems, including climate change, global food insecurity, antibiotic resistance, animal cruelty, and pandemic risk. Yet despite growing awareness about the impact of industrial animal agriculture, global meat consumption is as high as it’s ever been, and consumption is projected to nearly double worldwide by 2050. If we do nothing, the growing demand for meat will create lasting and alarming consequences for our planet and all who call it home.

If we can’t change the demand for meat, we must change how it is made. And we know how: Alternative proteins are a better way to feed the world

Industry alone will not meet this challenge at the scale or speed we need. The Good Food Institute (GFI) is a global network of six organizations accelerating the transformation of the food system by identifying solutions and mobilizing resources to make alternative proteins the default way meat is made.

Meat can be cultivated directly from animal cells or created from plants. Compared to conventional meat production, alternative proteins emit up to 90% fewer greenhouse gasses, require up to 95% less land, spare the lives of countless animals, and do not contribute to antibiotic resistance or pandemic risk. 

Each of our independent and closely mission-aligned organizations is strategically based in the most critical economies for alternative protein advancement. In the United States, India, Israel, Brazil, Asia-Pacific (Singapore), and Europe (London and Brussels), our teams are mobilizing the international community to use markets and technology to replace inhumane and unsustainable practices with ones that are better for animals, for the climate and biodiversity, for food security, for global health.

We’re identifying and advancing high-impact and achievable solutions by focusing on three programmatic priorities: 

Influencing policy and securing government funding / GFI’s policy teams ensure that alternative proteins are a part of the policy discussion around climate change mitigation and global health. In every region where we have a presence, GFI advocates for government funding and incentives to transition to alternative proteins and are paving the way for the approval of novel proteins such as cultivated meat. 

Cultivating a strong scientific ecosystem / GFI’s science and technology teams map out the most neglected areas that will allow alternative proteins to compete with the products of conventional agriculture on taste and price. We meet these challenges by developing open-access research and resources, educating and connecting the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs, and funding research that accelerates alternative protein development globally. 

Ensuring industry prioritizes alternative proteins / GFI’s corporate teams are creating a transformation of our global meat supply. We work to replicate past market transformations – such as the automobile industry’s shift to electric and hybrid vehicles – by showing companies of all sizes, from startups to multinational corporations, how alternatives to animal products can be profitable while meeting environmental, social, and governance goals.

We are deeply grateful to Alicia for her generous support and for her commitment to building a more sustainable and ethical world. The very real threats of climate change, animal cruelty, global food insecurity, antibiotic resistance, and pandemics require us to imagine a different future of food. Alternative proteins are the solution that will more securely and sustainably feed the world. GFI’s global community of scientists, policy experts, and corporate specialists is ready to help bring the change we know is possible.

Learn more about our work at

P.S. While not yet approved for sale in the U.S., I would pick these options any day of the week over a conventional beef burger. But in my own home, I always try to eat clean, avoid GMOs, and focus on plant proteins like beans and tofu — whole foods that are healthier for our bodies. But the goal of this type of food tech is to replace conventional meat and give people an alternative to cruel and unsustainable meat. You can also check out my burger taste test if you’re looking to grab a meaty-tasting burger. 



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