Thursday, 08 June 2023 10:37 GMT

Eat Just CEO Touts Qatar As Potential Investor In Food Tech, Infrastructure

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) ayeni olusegun | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Countries like Qatar and Singapore can invest in 'new meat infrastructure' to fulfil domestic demand and increase export as part of a holistic food security drive, said Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder & CEO of Eat Just, which is currently the only company selling cultivated meat though in limited quantities.

Speaking on the closing day of the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha, Tetrick, whose food technology company has a mission to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system, said the world can evolve from the current production model as it is unsustainable and a threat to the environment. Tetrick added that such advancements would largely help feed a growing global population expected to reach nine billion by 2040.

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“It really starts with just understanding how degrading the conventional process of producing animals is to the environment. Producing, slaughtering animals and making meat is responsible for more carbon emissions than all the transportation sources combined,” Tetrick said.

According to Tetrick, to achieve maximum production using Eat Just tech, the cost of production currently needs to be competitive, and production needs to be in larger volumes. He added that this takes a lot of engineering and capital, which is“a big opportunity for places like Qatar” with the halal implications considered especially in this region.

He added that although a facility like this would require significant energy consumption, natural gas or renewable sources are viable alternatives.

“It does allow countries that might not have the land and the resources to have a large infrastructure to produce animals like where we are today (Qatar) and Singapore. It allows them to jump ahead and leapfrog with this technology, and we want to see that happen in our lifetime,” he added.

Alternative meat (no-kill meat), also known as“cultured” or“lab-grown” meat, contains real meat grown from cells derived from living animals. According to Tetrick, the meat produced tastes like chicken or meat, depending on the case.

“Cultivating meat is real meat. It's just made differently. We can make billions of pounds of meat much more efficiently without all the issues. But at the end of the day, it's chicken -- it's not trying to be chicken.” He added that the health risks of cultivated meat are similar to that of conventional meat. Tetrick said cultivated chicken, which his company sells today in Singapore, albeit to about“20 people”, has cholesterol and saturated fat. He, however, added that in the future,“what we would like to do is to make meat that's healthier from our cholesterol and saturated fat perspective.” According to him, cultured meat has other safety benefits, including no risk of zoonotic disease like avian flu, microbiological elements like salmonella, E.coli., and Fecal contamination, which are absent or at irrelevant levels.

“But we're in the very early days of doing this,” he stressed.


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