Billionaire Bill Gates has called on the U.S. and other wealthy countries to give up eating beef entirely and instead adopt synthetic alternatives in order to combat global climate change, in a recent interview with the MIT Technology Review.
The Microsoft founder, 65, was promoting his new book, ‘How To Avoid A Climate Disaster,’ in the interview, he details dramatic measures that he believes are needed to prevent a climate catastrophe.
“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.
However, he maintained that the “poorest 80 countries” will continue to consume meat.
In our interview with @BillGates about his new book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” he says we'll be lucky to prevent 2˚ C of warming, that trees are overblown as a solution and that rich nations should all switch to synthetic beef. https://t.co/hhRqKCZu01
— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) February 16, 2021
“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].”
Last month, Gates was revealed to be the largest private owner of agricultural land in America, after quietly buying up 242,000 acres of farmland in 18 states. According to the Daily Caller, he is an investor in two plant-based meat companies, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meats. He admits 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 the closing chapters of his new book, he lays out ways nations could accelerate a reduction in emissions, including high carbon prices, clean electricity standards, clean fuel standards, and for governments to quintuple their annual investments in clean tech, which would add up to $35 billion in the U.S., according to the MIT Technology Review.
According to the Daily Mail, Beef cattle production employs more than 726,000 people across America. Texas has the most beef cows in the U.S., followed by Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.