Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown on replacing animal meat worldwide
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Plant butter is available at stores like Walmart. Kroger to find a store near you visit country. Crock DOT COM SLASH PLANT. Dash Butter. Everybody San from the rich cast on this week's episode. We have impossible food. Ceo Patrick Brown impossible foods makes the impossible burger. That you've seen Patrick is a really interesting guy. He was a professor at Stanford before taking a sabbatical figuring out what the next biggest problem in the world was the deciding to make impossible foods. We talked a lot about where impossible came from where it's going. How they get out of just sort of the fast foods on their end right now to get into grocery stores how they replace Moore meets not just gram beef but other meats like pork and chicken. How can eventually get to something like steak? Then we've got a little weird. We talked about whether they can make a meet. That doesn't exist. Which is something that they're thinking about doing. And we talk about the big dream. Which is not a substitute for me. But replacing it entirely worldwide and what that would actually mean for our climate or a culture super interesting conversation. Patrick is very heavy guy. Here's Patch Brown of impossible. Foods Superintendent Conversation. Check it out Pat Brown. You're the CEO of impossible foods. Welcome to the rich has thank you. How are things in this time of furnace for you? Oh well so far. Things are going pretty smoothly. We're obviously taking public health precautions. Common Health Public Health precautions which basically come down to trying to reduce the number of unique individuals that you come into close contact with per unit time and So we've instituted some stuff at our company and so forth but So far too disruptive. Yeah every every chance. I get to speak to a national scientists about about the virus since impacts. I'm taking so thank you for for leading with that but you guys are not a public company doesn't affected by the turmoil in the markets that are being caused by. That's where thing do you have supply chain issues and things like that Not yet we're we're obviously paying very close attention to that because Mo- we do have a supply chain and I think it's generally pretty robust and so far. No significant part of it is an area that's particularly vulnerable on. Things are changing fast. So we're just keeping a close eye on it and we'll figure it out if we do run into any issues all right. Well let's get off the the the minute to minute. News of the virus and just take one setback. So we've been close attention to the rise of plant-based meets the future food care about a lot. Just give me a little background and impossibly started. You were professor at Stanford. You've done a lot of things you took a break and you found it impossible in two thousand eleven walking up to that moment okay. Well I'll try to keep it as brief as possible so I was a professor and medical school at Stanford. My main role was basically running a a very active research lab OR GRADUATE AND POST. Docs trained and we were doing research. That was had nothing directly to do with food whatsoever. It was it was basically developing tools for Being able to watch the genome works understanding genes and how genes and cells work and Developing tools that To improve you know diagnosis of various human diseases including cancer and all sorts of stuff like that but the common threat is nothing to do with food. And I had a sabbatical and I was fortunate that you know in my role at Stanford and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. I had wide latitude to pick research problems to work on. And so I just give myself myself. A broad mandate to look for the most important and urgent global problem that I could potentially contribute to solving and when I did that investigation. I very quickly realized that. By far by a huge margin the most important problem is the catastrophic impact of The use of animals in the food system it has by far the most environmentally destructive technology on earth. And at the time I would say it was not widely recognized in fact even most environmental organizations hadn't fully gotten their heads around it. Now I would say to Mo- series environmental scientists that look at environmental problems would completely endorse statement that the use of animals and food production is by far the most destructive technology on earth. It's the greatest threat. I would say that argue the greatest threat that our species has ever faced his the catastrophic impact of this technology on the planet so I realized that I felt like Okay Bang. I know what I'm going to work on. I spent some time thinking about what would be the most effective way to solve the problem and after a couple of false starts decided that basically it comes down to. You're not going to change people's Diet you're not GonNa Change People's Food Preference says not at any reasonable time scale. It's been tried a million times never works and that meant that. It's technology problem. The way to solve the problem is to make it a losing proposition to be using the technology to produce food and the way we do that is to compete in the market against the incumbent industry by making products that outperform and all the ways American consumers that outperformed the product today make using animals. And that I realized was actually quite doable. It's a hard problem. It's a hard scientific problem. But it's clearly a solvable scientific problem. And so that's when I dove in basically and Quit my job which I had loved for twenty five years and couldn't have imagined quitting and basically found it impossible foods with the mission of completely replacing animals as a food technology globally by twenty thirty five. That's our mission. The time factor is not arbitrary. And the way we're doing it. As basically focusing on figuring out how to make the absolute best meat fish dairy foods in the world has judged by their consumers competing in the marketplace and Taking down the company industry just has happened to many industries in the past that there were using underperforming. Technologies can happen fast. So you were founded in twenty eleven. It's twenty twenty nine years later you want to completely displace animal-based based production but twenty thirty five. That's fifteen years from now. Feels like you're probably at an inflection. Point is that. Is that about where you are where you're going from proving out the tech to mass producing and commercializing because you just cut wholesale prices by fifteen percent. I saw on some of the products so it feels like you're accelerating into creating demand as well as filling the demand. Well I kind of feel like we're probably going to be at one inflection point after another for a long while because you know. This is a very a very hard problem. Multifaceted starts with the challenge of understanding in molecular terms. These foods better than they've ever been understood so that we can make smart choices in figuring out how to deliberately make better versions with plant based ingredients. And we're still doing that. I mean I we. You know we're growing our team. One of the I would say. Probably the decisive advantage. We have over. The incumbent industry is that we can keep learning and keep getting better at what we do far into the future whereas they haven't fundamentally improve their technology and thousand years and so that's a huge advantage and so we have you know Our ground beef fraud out is doing extremely. It's very successful. We have lots of demand signals that that say that this is going to grow far beyond where we are today but we're not satisfied with it because we're going to keep improving that product until that. There's absolutely no mediator. In the World No sane person in the world who would choose the conversion over it So that's still going on. And we're working on other strategically chosen products to compete further against the beef industry and other industries that are using animals of technology so the RND is still going on. And we'll be I would say you know far into the future it's kind of like when the first mechanized transportation could finally win a race with the horse they didn't say okay we're done now will just keep cranking these things out. No they had. They had this wonderful advantage that they could keep improving on every in every dimension that mattered. And we do too. So that's that's not gonNA stop. We're sort of very early. Stage in our growth trajectory. We still have to grow almost one hundred thousand fold in in scale to fully achieved our mission of replacing animals in the food system. First of all we need to have a grab an ever-greater share of the market for a beef products we need to Launch products that compete in other sectors of that industry. And do that strategically we need to Expand into intellect international markets. We need to broaden our presence in a retail direct to consumer channels and stuff like that. So it's one thing after another basically one very important point which is yes. We did recently reduce our prices. One of the things that I would say is that you know based on the quality of our product and its advantages from health standpoint when we can sell it at a price that undercuts the price of cow-derived beef. That's the critical moment when the wheels come off the beef industry so we're putting a lot of effort into Achieving the economies of scale and efficiencies which are absolutely doable and passing those savings onto customers and consumers. So I am a couple of questions around that specifically but I just want to give people a sense of the process so you were a research scientist you are in the lab came across idea. You decided to use him. Which is the the key element of the impossible burger? How did you go from understanding it? Scientifically to production. What were the steps there? Because that's usually the part that's fuzzed over and a lot of stories that innovation is we had the insight and now we make a lot of it. What were the big challenges in ramping up? Production to the place where now you're servicing dozens of fast company's your Disneyworld. You're all these places. What what what was the ramp up challenge there? Well one after another again. Because you know we're we're doing something unprecedented So basically first of all we had to get a basic understanding liquor understanding of what it takes to make delicious me then. We are in general terms. Then we had to choose what's going to be our first product. We chose raw ground beef for very strategic reasons. It's more than half of the beef sold in the. Us is is as ground beef Thought a quarter of all the beef produced in the. Us can't be sold. Except it's going to be because it's little nasty looking chunks of a cow that no one would wanna look at and beat. The beef industry is by far the most destructive part of the agriculture industry. It occupies about forty percent of the entire servette land area of the United States and Comparable fraction globally with huge impact on on about diversity and so forth because of that. So we chose beat thousand. That was an important choice. Once we had the fundamental general know-how and now we had to do a deeper dive. Had taken what we had learned and figuring out where we could find sustainable scalable by either the supply chain that that's scalable client ingredients. That fit the exacting specifications required to make a product that would deliver. What consumers want building that and so we had a number of false starts one of the earliest false starts was. I thought when I started this that we're going to be able to so early on. We discovered that he has the magic ingredient for me flavor. That's quite unquestionably true. It's a catalyst that is responsible for you know all unique flavors and Aromas or virtually all the unique flavors and aromas that people identify as any kind of meat that meant we had to figure out a way to scale it. Well initially. I thought that the easy way to kill it was legumes. Soybeans have little structures on the roots called root nodules. That are one of the very few plant tissues that have a high concentration of him. They contain a protein called link hemoglobin that firstly identical to the protein. That's in your muscle tissue and makes her muscle tissue better paint anyway. If you cut open a legume root nodule in the middle of the summer. It's bright red inside and something actually even though soybean farmers. I don't think I've ever. They don't make a habit of cutting open the route but it's it's it's really dramatic and I had calculated. There's enough human the root nodules of the US soybean crop to replace all them hime and all the meat consumed in the US. Oh okay no brainer. World's excuse as a source well turned out and I was you know. It's I've been learning all longest process and it was. In retrospect it was kind of a naive idea but it took us the better part of a year or two to fully realize that this was just not going to work from a from a supply chain standpoint which point we switched to producing the him protein in yeast by Genetically Engineering You sell so we could produce by patient and it was actually Nali vastly more scalable and cost effective and food safe because you're not purifying it from dirt but also has a much lower environmental footprint because you know digging up the soil is releases stored carbonates into the atmosphere so anyway that was one of the first Kind of learning experience about by takes to scale Another is that what we're realizing is we're growing exponentially we've been we've grown several fold Many fold in our our sales here by year That's going to happen again. This year without means is what looks like a very robust supply chain for ingredients a very quickly. You have to start a realized that you'd have to look years ahead when there's an agricultural supply chain if you want more of something that comes from agriculture. It's not just that you put an order. Because lot of these things they weren't built to scale exponentially they were built to just kind of Chug along so we have to be thinking about okay. Well in order to have enough of this in two we got to let the seed company isn't no that they need to produce more seeds and then make sure that the farmers who are growing this stuff no that you know the markets will be demanding more and can basically scale up the whole pipeline. That's something that when you're a little company you kind of know theoretically but you don't have to deal with it but at this Carolina were at and where we're looking at in the next couple of years now. Building a really robust scalable supply chain for all our ingredients in a world where the people who have traditionally produces ingredients think a few percent growth a year is a smashing success. You know we need to be able to grow these things exponentially. So that's that's been a learning experience but fortunately we have some of the best people in the world this You know we hired As our President Dennis Woodside who was CEO of Motorola? Yeah Dennis is familiar to us from those days. Yeah he's awesome and so needless to say managing very complex supply chain Under conditions with unpredictable growth in demand and so forth is like you know one of the court challenges of being in that industry So these guys are pros and thinking about this but that's a scaling issue so there's a little tension it but I wanted to get that because of what you said earlier. Which is we need to get you a place where we're lowering prices and scaling more efficiently. So we can take the wheels off the traditional knee base agriculture industry. But you also talked about improving the product in introducing more products in more areas. Where time usually at least in my experience talking to the S- The Standard Consumer Tech Industry. Those things are a little bit of conflict with each other. In order to scale lower prices. You need to achieve some Conham scale. You need to stop changing the product you need to get Marshall Investment on each new one. But if you're changing your improving you have to pay that investment back into the product. So how are you managing that tension? Well here's here's something to think about. Okay so let's when you're making a product that people buy every year or two the turnover is you know on us lower scale and so forth and the amount of inventory you keep until fourth is frost lower. Because it's turning over all the time we do have a planning process for changing product. In fact we have a. We hired another guy. We hired Who came from apple and you know? He's he's another person who's a pro at planning product launches and so forth. He was in charge of the iphone. Ten or something like that launch there but anyway really being systematic about planning all these switchovers and so forth. So yeah. That's a big deal but we've managed so far and we're going to keep managing it. You know the way we succeed is by making our product better and better so we can't just say well now. We oughta manufacturer this even though we've learned how to make it much better and it will be more competitive. We're just GONNA sit on. Those improvements will launch them. You know. We'll we'll make improvements will introduce them in a in a thoughtful way. But we're not gonNA just Coast Yeah do you think of that? In the context not only of replacing the traditional meat supply. But you've got a lot of competitors now right. There's your traditional one to one competitor that talks about beyond me but Kellogg is out the market. Now saying they're going to do it cargo saying they're going to do it. These are the giants of agriculture and consumer goods. Do you do you worry about them. Do you think they're going to be able to get there with you? Are they pushing you well? This is something that I think. A lot of people understandably are very confused about. We don't think of them as competitors. That's not how we view our business what you need to start out realizing is our mission is not to take out other plant based companies is to take down the animal-based food industry okay. And we don't achieve that by fighting against other plant. Based food producers in fact I would say there are more allies than competitors in my mind. The scale of sales of animal derived meat and traditional animal products. His orders of magnitude greater than all the plant based products combined. Okay so if we if we thought of as well a bunch of we're GONNA fight against a bunch of other small-time operations for dominance in the plant based food industry. I mean that would just be moronic. So that's not at all how we think about it. In fact there's very good case. That could be made that. It will with one caveat which I have to get to the degree that those other companies are success fall. It actually helps us not only our but in our business because it sends a signal to the supply chain. You know the people who are supplying the plant. The ingredients plant based products as well as the market. That this is coming. Okay so in some sense you could say that it is valuable not just mission standpoint but even from from a business standpoint that more and more people are earning the market. The one caveat is that the biggest obstacle you know to adoption of our product is that people think it will suck. That fact was the big reason why we were by we. Strategically launched specifically with some of the most globally recognized hardcore meet chefs in the world. Because the first thing that we needed to do with our sale of our product was the wasn't about the pittance that we made from selling to five restaurants. Something like Pat sent a signal to the world that a plant based product can be good enough as meat that the most uncompromising meet chefs would put on their menu as meat. Okay that that was incredibly important part of our lawn strategy and sort of continues to be for that reason but even to this day the biggest obstacle to trial of our product is that does deeply held notion by mediators that every plant based product. They've ever encountered has been an inadequate substitute for the animal product that they're used to eating and more products come on the market from other companies. That really don't have the know how we have in the tools we have. I would say I'm not going to comment on the quality of those products. But let's say hypothetically if they suck. It is only reinforcing the resistance of mediators to try applying based product. So mostly. It's good that those companies are launching. The problem is that you say that a large majority of them somewhere between fifty percent and honored percent and only served to reinforce the resistance in years. Have trying trying plant based products on like ours which is incredibly delicious and I was in the sense that all those other companies will make something equally delicious. That would actually be better for us so you are in a lot of fast food restaurants now. Are you winning the the head to head battle against beef burgers and all the various fast food establishments here in some of that kind of information? I can do on a company by company basis but I would say that here. Here's what's salient to the Burger. King thing the apostle walker is doing sufficiently well that it meaning fli improved this big companies overall performance in customers sales and so forth. And then Rachel again. I'm not sure what What I can say about this. But in in one of the two chains that the one that does I would say really good job of consumer awareness and so forth Which the chain of twenty five or twenty nine or some numbers stores in California our product. Last time we love was to outselling ground beef from cow full. Stop in those stores. I don't expect that to be true everywhere but one be. I'll say actually. That's quite interesting that we do blend. Consumer tests owned consumer his firearm product. I should say And try moral as blind and then learn about that is made from plants and widened. Savannahs are And we've done this repeatedly a large majority of them say if the product was available in where they shop for meat at prosperity or even at a price premium they would choose it over ground beef from cow and that's around the country and the majority of current mediators have tried our product give that feedback and Also had that are repeat rate among people try to have product is very high. So there's every reason to think that if we were available anyplace where consumers are looking for. Meat had tried on product of very substantial fraction ball ground beef sales would go to where we are now is that very tiny fraction of the population in the. Us has tried our product Lastly looked I think less than half the population even recognize the name. Impossible food much less had a meaningful opinion on that. And so. That's A. That's something that that we have to work on and then we have to make sure that our PAS available people shop so we're only in a tiny tiny fashion of US retail stores and still tiny fraction of of good service operations so in order for us to really get the exposure on pagination. We need you know we actually have to be on the menu restaurant or in the case in the grocery store. So there's a lot of potential there this overcast is brought to you by Ziprecruiter. Hiring used to be hard multiple job sites stacks resumes confusing review process. But today hiring can be easy because you only have to go to one place to get it done ziprecruiter dot com slash verge. It's so effective. That four out of five employers who post recruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. Here's ziprecruiter finds candidates. 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So so people often setting loving too critical thing for our existing. You know ground beef product team and I guess if you had to rank the things that we learned in our innovations that would still be on the top list but obviously that alone isn't me. It doesn't tell the problem. There's every every me from every animal contains human and in every case it's an important part of the flavor chemistry but they all taste different. And and the Texans are also different even from ground product ground ground beef and mafia and so forth. So what are the differences? Well okay concentration of lower pork. There are other differences in the flavor. Chemistry the chemistry is insane. Fundamentally it's all the same chemistry in different meads but the proportions of different molecules that participate in that. Chemistry vary from species to species particularly the in the fats. So that's a that's a difference. Then the texture is different. The people described part of Newton lead from animal in a million years. So I'm not the expert fossil. Be People who who who who are experts on you know the century experience but basically has sort of springer texture and more fatty outfielder and so forth. So they're a bunch of things that we needed to do differently for park or those. Just levers you pull and sort of production to get there is there. Is there a big chain needs to make? How does that actually work? What's the sort of mechanics of saying we're going to go after pork? No well it really depends on the on the product and I would say the chances are substantial enough that we can't just swap it in but on the other hand one of the things that we did early on because of the we knew to achieve our mission we need to have a production process. That was simple enough. Didn't require any highly customized equipment. You know basically be good. Plunge in food production equipment that was already produced enough scale and then like I say ingredients that were scale and so forth so the production process. uses equipment that sufficiently already widely available that for example most of our ground beef product production is is is being done by co-manufacture again. It's using equipment. That's mostly the same equipment that they use to produce ground beef from a cow so they're not the biggest producers of Conrad Ground Beef for the fast food market and our process was deliberately designed to be adaptable to existing scaled food production equipment so that that would be an obstacle to our few tar ability to scale. So when you decide we're going to go into the pork market. What were what were the steps before launch. What did he have to do well? We haven't watched that product commercially yet. That's that's something pending for later in the year. We did kind of a sneak preview at a CIS just to kind of show the world that this is coming. Get your orders in now. But what are the steps in launching it raw? Before we launch a product we first of all developing prototyping lab scale. Then we do test runs pilot scale then. We have to make sure that anytime. We make a change in ingredients or process or something like that. We have to make sure it doesn't affect shelf life so that's a long lifetime because obviously was shelf life to be many months which means it takes many months to make sure that you have many months shelf lives and then we have to make sure that the scaling principles that worked for ground beef worked for down part in terms of the physical forces in. There's when you go when you scale manufacturing of stuff there are complicated scaling rules that engineers know about and so forth. But you can't take it for granted so we do. Then we scale up to production scale. Make sure that that works. We do a lot of consumer testing to make sure that the product from the sensory perspective for consumers is delivering tar standards and so forth. So one thing. I want to ask you about that with the pork in particular. I feel like this wasn't as controversial on the B side but I've heard a lot of pork producers. Say Well you shouldn't be able to call the sport right in like now. The dairy industry is saying we shouldn't call nut milks milk. I know you're kind of passionate about this but the idea from the traditional agricultural suppliers that we shouldn't call plant based replacements for meet. Various kinds of meat is more prevalent than it. I think it used to be. How are you feeling about that? Well okay the reason. They feel threatened and weren't complaining before it is that for a mediator until impossible foods basically came along the products that were based products around. The market were sufficiently inferior from the perspective of meteors. That they were not meaningful threat. In fact I would just say that there was no such thing. Nothing that deserved to be called plant based meat was on the market. There were plant based products that were Veggie burgers and stuff like that but they were not legitimate pint base meet in the sense that A blinded consumer would recognize them as meat and and not only recognize them as meat but recognize him as a very delicious version of the mead. Once that happened the incumbent industry realized that there was an existential threat on their doorstep which we are and and we're coming through so that's why I think that there's been this huge uptick in Angst and sort of lobbying information from the industry. But here's the thing about naming. When digital cameras came along right it was common sense to still call them cameras. They didn't call him something new. It was just a better version of the perform. The same function only did a better job of it. As the previous technology we have done a lot of consumer research that basically tells us something incredibly important for this whole story which is that meat lovers. Viner's loving author meet. They're not going to be persuaded to eliminate it from their diet or even by large reduce consumption. There are going to keep eating it. They like it because it's delicious. They like it because a good source of protein in iron accessible affordable familiar blah blah blah blah blah. They don't like the way it's made and that's true across the board. It's virtually unanimous vote. Mediators is not part of the value proposition that your meat comes from the carcass of a dead animal. Okay with all the backstory to how it was produced with all the same sanitation problems in the mid system with all the public health issues and welfare issues. The environmental catastrophe meat lovers do not love that. Okay they they love their meat in spite of the way it's made not because of the way it's made well that means is that meat to meet consumer is defined by the sensory pleasures the nutritional value the cooking. Behavior that familiarity affordability. And the way it's made is something that they try to think about as little as possible. Okay so what that means. Is that for us to call our product. Mead who's actually just reflecting consumer perceptions I e if there's a food that tastes like meat that delivers the nutritional value of meat that has the versatility and and performance of meat than to a consumer. It's easily slots in his knee just like a digital camera slots in to the place previously occupied by film camera so we have no qualms about calling it meet because it is neat. It's just meet made a better way and frankly you know if it comes down to it. We're not worried about the whole naming issue. We could call. It can want as long as consumers you could find. It will be fine but it's much better For the consumers as long as we're us for us to put it in your salad alongside meat because the consumers that have the most to gain from it are people who are currently shopping for animal basement and like I said our research has shown US something. I it's incredibly important to understand. Which is that almost all meat lovers around the country and globally would prefer that there may be made without using animals and directly from plants. They would prefer that as long as it delivered the deliciousness. The protein iron the things that they value if you if you deliver that meat lovers would prefer to be made from plants and Corey of. That is that we would be doing ourselves a disservice. If we didn't boldly advertise that this product is made from plants. We want consumers. It's an are absolutely in our interest to make it perfectly clear to consumers that this product does not come from the corpse of a cow right. So you're not causing any confusion there. We don't want to cause confusion because it would cost us because we know that meat lovers would prefer that there may be made directly from plant as long as it delivers deliciousness. So this kind of this is a big of a question but go with me on it right now. You're in the business of Substitutes you're substituting for ground beef. You're a better product. Do you think it's better for the environment? You think it tastes just as good doing it with pork. You could make a novel meet right. Is that something you've thought about making something completely different than any other meat? That's currently on the market. Of course is that something right now you just want to take over substitutes and then make something new. It's something that's been on our mind. And obviously in the course of learning about the Flavor Chemistry and textures beat and so forth. We know quite a lot about the the difference between pork and beef and other meats from animals ser so to speak where you set the knobs with respect the flavored chemistry we can navigate that whole space we can create things that would be unmistakably. Leave Music Flavor and texture. But unlike anything that you've had before in that category because after all the choices of meat that are available in the world today are basically a historical artifact of the species that people were able to domesticate. You know ten thousand years ago. And they weren't chosen because they were the most delicious animals on Earth. They were chosen because they were capable of being domesticated. And that's what you get so yes. There's a lot of possibility for creating. Let's say flavors that would deliver a as meat butter on like anything on the market? Why haven't we done that because it gets back to our mission a sale to US has value from mission standpoint? Only if it comes at the expense of the sale of an animal drive product. Okay and the best way for us to kind of right now with our current state of you know a lot of people don't even know about us. Barely learning buys the simplest thing to do to make the maximize the chance that are sale cost of sale to the animal drive. Meat Industry is to very deliberately occupy the same niche. So that if you're shopping for meat you know we send a very clear signal that if you if you're thinking about buying ground beef you can buy this and get the same experience and so forth if you're thinking about buying a walker and that's what you have a craving for you can buy it impossible oppor- and you'll get that experience you want so in order to maximize the that part of our mission. Which is that. Our sales come the expense of the incumbent industry right now. It makes sense for us to make products that are easily recognizable as a one for one replacement for animal drive proxy but in the future. I think there's a lot of ways in which I think we can have a lot more fun than create diversity of flavors textures until fourth. But we don't want our sale. We don't want sales to be supplementary to existing Meat Sales. We want them to be at the expense of existing needs l. So that's the best idea. How close are you to making a rib eye? Steak to make short rib things like that. Which are traditionally harder for the plant pace vendors to make? Well I would say no when he's done it so traditionally harder as public understatement. It's definitely something we're working on. I would say in general when he talked about. How close are you? You don't know how close you are until you get there and then you can say how close you were. But you know it's a work. In progress there is still a lot of development underway. And there's no doubt in my mind that it's coming but we're we're not ready to put a date on the calendar. All right let me pull it out of the weeds a little bit. You've set a date fifteen years of the future for the big goal which is replacing domestic meat production. Where are you twenty five years from now? Oh that's a very interesting question. Let me get a bit into the full impact of the incumbent industry because it frames how we think about what happens next. Okay so I'll just say. The use of animals in the food system is not only a a major contributor ongoing greenhouse gas emissions. Every time you see smoke coming from the Amazon that's a direct reflection of the demand for me. You know that's a sad but it's by far for all practical purposes almost the only driver of absolute collapse in global biodiversity that we're in the late stages of right now so you may or may not know It's surprisingly not well known but There's been ongoing study for fifty years that Worldwildlife on the Zoloft cited London academic institutions have been doing where they take a census of off about ten thousand different animal species wild animal species around the world that are chosen to be kind of a representative sample of biodiversity. And what they reported in the past couple of years that the total number of living wild animals on earth is less than half considerably less than half what it was forty five years ago. Okay in fact it's about sixty percent less across the board. There's less than half as many mammals less than half as many birds left less than half as many reptiles less than half as many living amphibians fish across the board and the slopes just continuing down. And it's almost entirely due to the use of food system. It's overfishing for fish. Hunting is a very small factor. But you know small but significant factor for a transitional animals but overwhelmingly. It's habitat destruction degradation. Exactly what you're seeing right now In the Amazon and that's what's responsible for this catastrophic collapse gold biodiversity and it is probably more dangerous to our future than climate change right now because we depend on that biodiversity to maintain the ecosystems that make our planet livable. Okay and I don't mean little in the sense that you get to see giraffes I mean little in the sense that it functions in in all the ways that it supports life on earth. So that's something that people should be aware of the second thing about the land footprint of animal agriculture. Is that the best way in the world to do something that nobody's even talking about. They ought to be talking about but the more even hope on this is to turn back the clock on climate change to actually reduce atmospheric C O two levels. And there's a very well-proven documented way to do this. That's in our hands right now. Which is that if you could snap your fingers and the Hammill. Agriculture System vaporize right now atmospheric two levels would immediately start coming down because the land that's being used to support a meat production grazing end and feed crops is depleted of plant biomass relative. To what had been present. There are hundreds of years ago. Okay all you have to do is just walk anywhere. You see cattle grazing and then walk away from that place and see what the native plants looks like and it's vastly reduced same as true for feed crops which are annual crops in its bare dirt half the year. There's a vast deficit in biomass on that land. And if you get rid of the Animal. Agriculture system just the recovery of the native biomass land will carbon out of the atmosphere by photosynthesis. Faster than we're currently emitting so. That's a huge opportunity and I would say huge opportunity cost of our use of animals for food. So what does that mean for Our Future? After fifteen years when we have basically made it a viable business to be selling meat and fish mammals so the total of Orlando are required to meet. The world's proteins using plants is about half a percent. Okay meet the world's I should say to replace all the protein all meet in the world to about half a percent of course land area this year soybean crop on on point eight percent is land. Area has more than fifty percent access protein over all the meat consumed globally. Do you understand that? There's more protein in this year's crop by fifty percent then all the meat consumed globally. And it's going on twenty eight percent of land area so what that means is that you get rid of Animal Eric Culture. And it's not like oh now you have to grow plants on there and I had no. You actually have to grow fewer plants. You have to grow fewer crops because we use them so inefficiently produce animals. The value of agricultural land will collapse. Okay that's a good thing because what it means is there's no economic incentive. There's nothing there's no economic purpose to messing with that land and just left to its own devices. The ecosystems could start to recover but we WANNA do is actually be looking ahead to that and what are the opportunities to to you were. How can we use this opportunity presented by the removal of animal agriculture from this huge fraction of surface to best effect to restore biodiversity and and also polk carbonized atmosphere and? That's actually something you know. We're actively thinking about and I think that that's I would say in general if you can do something good for the world. There's a business proposition for making it. Sustainable. And so we're looking. We're looking into that and it's not because we want to be that we have to figure out a way to create economic incentives to use that opportunity in a way that's best for the future of the planet. So that's something that we're thinking of. I guess another thing is that point will be inventing all sorts of new flavors and textures of of meat and dairy products and so forth. And and you can live out your fantasy of eating source burger. Finally it's hard not to think I mean we started out by talking about the current a virus. But there's viruses are entering the human population through these markets in China where they're selling extremely strange forms of wildlife people. That seems like you could. You could lie and right into that if you wanted to. Yeah I think that you know. The problem is some of these things. There's not like a you know. A fluid global market in civic steaks. Or something like that. So it's hard for us to really have a near term impact on that but actually that's all straight so. I said the biggest impact of US families from food is habitat destruction degradation. There's a fraction of it. That's due to hunting and it's exactly that in terms of the impact on biodiversity is that there are a lot of Species whose numbers plummeted. Because they're they're sold in these markets and so forth Pangolins other one. You always hear about but fortunately China has banned the sale of wild animals for food affected. That will be But that'd be awesome if that takes so bad the last question I ask every. Ceo that comes on the show. is very small but I think very illuminating. It is. When do you work? When do you actually sit down and do your email and produce is an individual versus. Going TO MEETINGS. Talking to people like me on podcasts. When do you when do you work? How'd you manage that time I see okay? Well I would say I work in the morning before my meeting start. I work whenever I have. The infrequent breaks in my schedule increasingly infrequent. I should say and then I work when I get home and I work on the weekends and I would say pretty much between the things that I do. That are not actually directed work music and stuff like had and basically you know trying to go for run every day I would say probably and then you know brushing my teeth and showing food mouth and stuff like that. I would say probably ninety percent of my negotiable time waking hours either thinking about studying doing research avowed or writing about doing things basically related to our business completely all in all this. I feel like you know when I committed to doing this. I just felt like it's pretty much true apartment just keeping myself from going completely insane by running into other kind of survival things. The best use of any minute of my life is doing whatever I can do. That moves us forward and because of that. I don't feel like it's an all burden I love it. I felt it gets an opportunity. It's not turnkey I mean. Sometimes you know there's Shitload of craziness going on. I'll be worn out by and so forth but I really the stuff I'm doing I feel like it's exactly what I want to be doing that minute. So it's a very large fraction of any interstitial time. I'm doing something. There's a lot of aspects of this business where you know you just have to deal with stuff immediately comes up and it means there's a limited extent to which you can actually carve out those times. It really protect them. I have a great assistant who is like wrong. Classic doing that Vote Yeah. She's right behind. Timely there speaking of which being increasingly obvious that your time with us has run out so pat. Thank you so much for joining us. We'll talk to you soon. Okay tell me about that. All right my thanks to Patrick Brown. Co impossible foods. That was great conversation. I'm very interested in Brontosaurus Burger. That's something I want. We'll be back next week with the interview. Show on Tuesday chatshow Friday. We're GONNA keep powering through this work from home situation. Let me know how it sounding. We're continuously trying to make it sound better even though we're not in the studio so let me know how that's going. Let me know. He want me to talk to L. Tell you this podcast sense right now. Everyone's kind of available so let me know. I'm inch I'm interested in it. It's easier to book people than you might think right now because people have the time so I'm reckless. Love your feedback. We'll talk to you soon. If there was a spreadable Cookeville Bay Kabul plant faced butter. That was better for your body and the planet. What would you make with butter? Cookies Butter Pie. That's the thing by the way whatever it is country crock plant butter makes it happen and bakes delicious country Crock. Plant butter is so tasty. Even butter lovers love it. You can use it as a one to one substitute for dairy butter. All of your favorite recipes and enjoy it knowing it has twenty five percent less saturated fat than regular old dairy butter to try it for yourself. Use The store locator at country CROCK DOT com slash plant dash butter today.