NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden -“Substitutes for Meat”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at substitutes for meat.  Mike, for a long time scientists have talked about developing synthetic meat – that is, meat not from animals but from plants and vegetables.  Promoters argue the substitute meat would be healthier and ultimately cheaper to produce.  Where do we stand today on this “new meat”?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. It is still developing and expanding
  2. Consumption of substitute meat is growing over twice as fast as regular meat
  3. Developers continue to make improvement in flavor, texture, and price
  4. A variety of plants are being used, among them lentils, beans, and legumes
  5. If substitute meat continues to grow and becomes competitive in taste and price, could have big implications for NC
  6. On plus side would expand the market for many of our vegetables
  7. But would shrink the market for our conventional meat – and NC has switched from a crops to a meat agriculture
  8. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension