Billionaire Bill Gates has called on the U.S. and other wealthy countries to give up eating beef entirely and switch to synthetic alternatives due to climate change.
‘I don’t think the poorest 80 countries will be eating synthetic meat. I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef,’ Gates the MIT Technology Review in an interview on Monday.
‘You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the people or use regulation to totally shift the demand,’ Gates mused.
The Microsoft founder, 65, was promoting his new book, How To Avoid A Climate Disaster, which presents a range of dramatic proposals that Gates says are needed to prevent global calamity.
Billionaire Bill Gates has called on the U.S. and other wealthy countries to give up eating beef entirely and switch to synthetic alternatives due to climate change
Beef cattle production employs more than 726,000 people across America. Above, a calf is seen on a farm in Hinton, Iowa last May
Cows and other ruminants produce methane as they digest grasses. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 28 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, and methane emissions have risen 9 percent since 2000, according to researchers from the Global Carbon Project.
Gates was promoting his new climate change book, released on Tuesday
Gates in the interview touted plant-based meat alternatives such as Impossible Meats and Beyond Meat, saying they ‘have a road map, a quality road map and a cost road map, that makes them totally competitive.’
‘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],’ he added.
However, plant-based synthetic ‘meat’ still accounts for less than 1 percent of the market.
In a separate interview with the New York Times published on Monday, Gates was asked if he still eats regular burgers himself, and admitted ‘I sometimes eat the real thing still.’
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.
The tech billionaire has quietly bought up 242,000 acres of farmland in 18 states – and 268,984 of multi-use land in 19 states in total, making him the biggest agricultural landowner in the US, though far short of the biggest overall landowner in the country
In 2018, a ‘Louisiana investor’, later revealed to be Gates, paid $171 million for a large swath of farmland in the Horse Heaven Hill, making it one of the largest real estate transactions in recent memory
Last month, Bill 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.
The tech mogul, who is the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of $121billion, according to Forbes, has quietly built up a massive agriculture portfolio.
His largest holdings include 69,071 acres in Louisiana , 47,927 acres in Arkansas, 25,750 acres in Arizona, 20,588 acres in Nebraska and 16,097 in Washington state.
It is unclear why Gates, better known as a self-confessed computing ‘nerd’, has invested in farmland so heavily, and details of the land are scarce, as revealed in The Land Report.
The acquisitions are held directly, as well as through Gates’ personal investment entity, Cascade Investments.