The Economic Perspective: “Meatless Meat”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at meatless meat.  Mike, food scientists have for years tried to develop a plant-based protein that looks and tastes like meat.  Past attempts left much to be desired.  But current versions are being well received.  How could the development of meatless meat that is acceptable to consumers be a game changer?

  • Progress in developing a plant based meat-tasting substitute being motivated by two factors
  • One is commercial – successful companies will earn profits
  • Other is environmental – meat substitutes developed by plants are more environmentally friendly than conventional meat
  • So far, meatless meat is taking a very small part – less than 5% – of the market
  • But if grows, could hurt the conventional meat industry – big in NC with hogs and poultry
  • Look for nutrition issues to be debated, as well as legal right to use the word ‘meat’
  • Will say I predicted this development in my recent book about NC
  • I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.