Meat the Future (2020)

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  • Imagine a world where real meat is produced sustainably without the need to breed, raise and slaughter animals. This is no longer science fiction, it's now within reach. At the forefront of this urgent frontier is Mayo Clinic trained cardiologist Dr. Uma Valeti, the co-founder and CEO of Upside Foods (previously Memphis Meats), the leading start-up of the "cultivated" meat revolution. From the world's first meatball which cost $18,000 per pound to the first chicken fillet and duck a l'orange for half the cost, the film follows Valeti and his team over five years as the cost of production plummets, and consumers' eye the imminent birth of this timely industry. Exploring a game-changing solution, Meat the Future is narrated by Jane Goodall and features music by Moby.
  • A profile of Silicon Valley based Upside Foods (formally Memphis Meats), which grows meat from meat cells, and the emerging clean meat industry is profiled. From a product perspective, the task for the company is to make something that resembles what consumers know meat to be, get away from the possible perception that what it is is akin to "Frankenmeat" (i.e. that it is not "real" meat) and sold at what is comparable to conventionally raised meat from animals, the several hundreds of thousands of dollars per pound of product cost in 2016 which may partly be rectified by scale of production. The social goals of the company include increased animal welfare in not having animals killed for human consumption, environmental protection and addressing issues around climate change as mass animal farming can be damaging in both respects, and increasing food security and meeting demand as the desire to consume meat globally is only increasing. The process to obtain investors in this unproven market is shown. And the views of traditional meat producers and the government, who must ultimately set the regulatory framework for this, a product that does not yet exist on the commercial market, are also presented. Within this profile is that of Uma Valeti, the company co-founder and CEO, a former cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, that individual profile which includes his motivation to move from a stable career to this high risk one.