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215: Hungry for Alternatives?

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About this episode

This week on O+O: UK Net Zero rollbacks, the rise of global populism and why we should all be hungry for (protein) alternatives. Pull up a chair to the table and tuck in to this week's episode

With the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement that he plans to ‘roll back’ Net Zero commitments, coupled with the disturbing rise of global populist politicians choosing to hack the climate crisis conversation, our hosts Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson, ask: why, and why now, are these leaders choosing to act against the scientific consensus and hit the brakes on progress? Tune in this week to hear the hosts’ lively and insightful analysis on this worrying trend in global politics.

Alternative proteins is the topic of this week’s guest interview.  Bruce Friedrich from the Good Food Institute is interviewed by the unflappable Andy Jarvis from theBezos Earth Fund, using his expertise in this area to dig into this incredibly important and hugely influential issue.  

Bruce, Andy and the hosts unpacked the outsized positive impact that alternative proteins can have not only on tackling the climate crisis, but also our health, animal well-being and nature restoration.  He also issued a stark warning with regards to the huge quantities of antibiotics we feed our animals and the current and future impact on human health:

“The UK government said the threat to the human race from antimicrobial resistance is more certain than the threat from climate change. It's already killing 1.3 million people per year. It's predicted to be killing 10 million people per year by 2050, according to an article in The Lancet last year.  Seventy percent of medically relevant antibiotics are being fed to farm animals. Now, former head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, has said  the end of working antibiotics is the end of modern medicine.” * Yikes.

Music this week comes from Colombian Psychedelic band ‘BALTHVS’ and their track ‘Eclipse Solar’.


* Bruce quotes an article published in Jan 2022 by The Lancet:  Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis. This article in turn quotes the UK’s AMR review’s final paper:Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final report and recommendations (2016) which is the original source of the figures Bruce uses in the quote above. 


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Full Transcript

Christiana: [00:00:00] So folks, just before we get into today's episode, here is a little shout out for an online course called Zen and The Art of Saving the Planet. If that sounds suspiciously like something that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh would have said, it's because it is an online course offered by the monastics of Plum Village and it is actually geared to so many of us. And I put myself right into that basket, so many of us who are really feeling so deeply the anxiety, the uncertainty, the despair of what is happening to our dear home. And so if you want to develop some tools on how do you develop the strength, the capacity, the determination, the love that we need in order to both face the pain and be able to do the important work that we're all doing here is a very interesting and helpful online course. Clay will put the link in the show notes for you. This course, you should know, starts October 15th and it runs for seven weeks. And the Plum Village monastics are making some scholarships available for those who wish to use them. So check it out. Thanks, everyone. Here's the episode.

Tom: [00:01:38] Hello and welcome to Outrage + Optimism. I'm Tom Rivett-Carnac.

Christiana: [00:01:41] I'm Christiana Figueres.

Paul: [00:01:43] And I'm Paul Dickinson.

Tom: [00:01:44] This week we talk about the UK U-turn on net zero and the potential broader implications of that for how the world's governments are dealing with the climate crisis. We speak to Bruce Friedrich and Andy Jarvis about food and the rise of alternative proteins, and we have music from Balthvs. Thanks for being here. So last week we talked about the UN General Assembly and the momentum or lack thereof in certain parts of it, and we recorded that in the middle of the week. Afterwards, something to my mind rather shocking happened and which is, not only did Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the UK, not turn up to the UN General Assembly.

Christiana: [00:02:29] And we know why, because he was very busy doing exactly the opposite.

Tom: [00:02:32] Doing exactly, doing the opposite. So he picked the actual moment that the Secretary General was opening his Climate Ambition Summit to give a speech in the UK in which he rolled back many of the measures designed to enable the UK to meet its net zero 2050 target. Now, this is, to my mind, a naked move of political ambition. The UK is gearing up for a general election at some point in the next 15 months and he has made an analysis that this is going to help him win the election. So, Paul, why don't we go to you first. What was your reaction when we saw this egregious lack of leadership on the international stage?

Paul: [00:03:09] Well, I want to go to Christiana because we know that she's fascinated by the UK and spends half her weekends reading the The Mail on Sunday and The Spectator. But look, this is obviously the craziest thing I've come across in a long time. I've got proof that it's the craziest thing I've come across in a long time. The Green Party co-leader said she felt a bit sick when she heard about Mr Sunak's announcement. It's been welcomed by drum roll, can anyone guess who welcomed Mr Sunak's announcement? 

Tom: [00:03:38] Nigel Farage?

Paul: [00:03:40] Donald Trump himself took an interest in UK politics, and he said that he praised the smart British prime minister railing against the fake climate alarmist that don't have a clue. He claimed the measures could destroy and bankrupt the UK. And Donald Trump thinks we've been saved. Now you notice that the Chair of Ford UK, which is a gigantic car company for anyone who's not familiar with it. She said that this was a disaster and well, she didn't use those exact words. I shall find the exact words. But fundamentally, there's some kind of weird political calculation going on here. I'm going to push to you both, and I want you to disagree with me, but I'm going to push to you both that this is a kind of therapy almost for the prime minister. In March 2023, our prime minister, who happens to be very rich actually, spent what The Guardian newspaper said was tens of thousands of pounds increasing the thickness of the electric cables to his house in his constituency so he could have enough electric power to heat his swimming pool.

Paul: [00:04:47] I think it may be the case that sometimes when people are gigantic carbon consumers and, you know, it tends to be very rich, people actually use an awful lot of carbon. They can't sort of deal with climate change. So rather than going off and seeing a therapist, which is what they ought to do, they decide that the whole thing's not true and they become one of the only nations in the kind of advanced, you know, the OECD or whatever, to roll back a very important regulation, for example, that we are going to ban the sale of internal combustion engine pure internal combustion engine cars from 2030. The only other person I know has ever done this is that slightly crazy prime minister of Australia Abbott, basically political disaster. But obviously he's made some kind of calculation that there's another side of the voter that doesn't think of the fires, that doesn't think of the floods that is going to somehow bond with him. I think my own personal political calculation in my heart says he's going to be destroyed by this.

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Christiana: [00:05:49] Well, so can I ask both Brits?

Tom: [00:05:52] Yeah.

Christiana: [00:05:52] Where is the info? Where is the data coming from that buttresses that conclusion that he reached? Where is, where, where, I don't know, is he doing polling? Is he, you know, what is he reading? Who is he talking to? There's got to be factors that you can point to that would explain that he has reached, and I agree with you Tom, that he has reached the conclusion that he's better off in the election if he stands against climate than if he stands against answering climate, then actually doing doing the climate action that the country is already committed to. So where, please explain, what are the roots of this?

Tom: [00:06:43] Yeah, so there's a few clues to that in what he said. So first of all, not only did, as Paul said, he rolled back measures on internal combustion engines and gas boilers and this transition we're going through. But he also claimed that he was scrapping a tax on meat, a tax on flying, new policies on mandatory car pooling, and also scrapping a government diktat to use seven recycling bins. Now, what makes this incredibly Trumpian is that none of those were ever really proposed.

Christiana: [00:07:11] Yeah, it's all fake.

Tom: [00:07:12] He decided to, it's all fake.  And that speaks to his analysis, right. He has come out and tried to position himself in the culture wars on one side because that's where he sees the benefit here. The people that I talk to inside the Conservative Party machinery tell me, the decision has been made that he can't win the election in the middle ground. So he's doing, he's following that well-worn path of appealing to older conservative voters, trying to drive and get out the vote strategy rather than broaden the pool of people that might vote for you. And therefore, he is appealing to Daily Mail readers, Brexit voters, people who are incensed about the sort of, you know, what they call the woke campaign, new values in society etc. And he's trying to position himself as a sentimental, regressive person who will defend the conservative status quo. Now, that can be a pretty good election winning strategy. And so I hope you're right that he.

Christiana: [00:08:11] If, if the numbers pan out. 

Tom: [00:08:14] If the numbers pan out, yeah.

Christiana: [00:08:15] Yeah, so that's my question. Do the numbers really pan out? Do we not have, well in the UK, are there not actually more young people who are completely incensed about what he has done? They were already incensed with the fact that they felt that what the UK had promised was insufficient and now this rollback, so.

Tom: [00:08:35] Of course.

Christiana: [00:08:37] Does he have the numbers behind him?

Tom: [00:08:39] Well, the bet he's making is that by moving in the way that he has, he will drive massive turnout from those traditional voters because he's concluded those young people aren't going to vote for him anyway. So he's driving for a turnout strategy in the election rather than an appealing to a broader coalition strategy. And I haven't seen the polling numbers, but he must have convinced himself or the pollsters must have convinced himself that that is the route to victory that's open to him. And so I think we can expect to see more insanity from him in the coming months.

Paul: [00:09:10] He's way behind in the polls Christiana, has been for, you know, since he took over. I mean, he's only been in office for a bit more than a year. I think what's super crazy about this, that's just like la di da crazy, is that this is all the new politics. You know, the old politics was that the Conservative Party was the party of business. So let me just quote from Lisa Brankin, the Chair of Ford UK, a massive manufacturer of cars. How does she feel about this rollback from 2030, which was the law proposed to go to 2035. She said, our business needs three things from the UK government. Number one, ambition. Number two, commitment and number three, consistency. A relaxation of 2030 would undermine all three. If the car industry itself is not behind this rollback, who and why is he doing it for? I happen to be at a conference where there is a nice person who spent a lot of their lives until they retired in a big oil and gas company and they said, oh well, he was just putting it in line with the rest of Europe because it's true, 2030 was a bit earlier than some major other countries in the European continent. But I don't think anyone in any kind of position of leadership can afford to weaken any of us at all by rolling something that's in back.

Tom: [00:10:39] Well Paul, I do agree with you. And, let me just point to something broader, right. So we have seen this week Sweden say they'll miss their 2030 interim goal as well as its 2045 target. Germany's still fragile governing coalition has almost been broken by proposals to ban domestic boilers that run on oil and gas. Centre right politicians in the EU have been pointing to the bureaucratic burden of the block's Green New Deal Climate Law ahead of European Parliament elections in 2024. Emmanuel Macron has said we need a regulatory pause on green measures and as we all know in the US there is enormous complexity around the rolling out of the Inflation Reduction Act and that is also leading to political tensions on both sides. So I agree with you that the economic opportunities of the future are around progressive policies, but this isn't sadly contained just to the UK. So having built on that analysis and we've seen this week, Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times come out and say we now have a populist backlash against climate action, I think we need to take this seriously and think how do we deal with this. It's a climate justice transition issue that we're facing here.

Christiana: [00:11:50] Can you go into that populist pushback? Because I think that's where we have to put our finger on it right. As you say Tom, it's not just the UK. It is contagious. High degree of contagion. And how do we understand that? Why is it being contagious? Why is it popular? Why is it spreading?

Tom: [00:12:12] Paul, go ahead.

Paul: [00:12:14] I was just going to say, no I mean, just a small point, but the populist backlash, I wanted to come in on that one. You know, it's a way to draw heat and flames and smoke and explosions out of politics. So let's just, if I may for a second mention, people who have different gender identity, particularly children, presenting themselves in some degree increasing numbers to social services or the medical community, and a long conversations one can have about that. I'm going to quote Donald Trump on that topic last week. He said, he promises to prohibit child sexual mutilation in all 50 states right. He's actually seeking to try and conflate social responses to child gender issues with basically female genital mutilation, which is a totally different issue. But the populist backlash is about finding some soft part of the underbelly of of our society and sticking a knife in and twisting it.

Tom: [00:13:20] I hear what you're saying, Paul, but I think it goes deeper than that. And I think we need to be a bit careful because I think it does get caught up in this culture war. But it is also true that we in the climate movement have told the world and it is true it's entirely true, that shifting to green energy and solutions to the climate crisis is beneficial economically and, all of the data supports that. However, there are transitional costs. We have to make investments. There are going to be changes in society. There will be winners and losers. People will have trained for jobs that will no longer be available. Some people will need to make investments to change high cost items in their lives, like a car or a boiler. Now, it's true we haven't made the effort to provide the public financing to smooth those transitional things over. But at the moment, we've made a certain amount of reductions in some countries, we're now facing these bigger reductions and the analysis goes that we've said this is good for the economy, but we're now coming up against hard costs and that provides a window for those politicians who want to be cynical to stand up and say, look, these people claim they want to save the world, but they don't care about you. You know, I mean, that famous quote, they're talking about the end of the world, we're talking about the end of the week. And we have allowed these two things to look like they're in contest with each other, right. And that is a very dangerous place for us to be because we should not allow the climate movement to be in the position of advocating long term preservation of the planet over short term interests of people, because we know which one will win and it will be that one that's pandered to by populist politicians that are bound to jump on that opportunity.

Christiana: [00:14:53] I want to ask you both a question. Without disagreeing with either of you, this is an and also question. Is it also possible that because climate change has become so much more of a topic, so much more of a kitchen table conversation, so much more evident in the media, especially during this summer from hell. Is it possible that there are some leaders that are looking at the new, quote unquote, popularity of climate change issues as an opportunity to hijack climate change because it's already on the kitchen table? So therefore, I'm going to hijack that and I'm going to use it to my own political intent. Whether that means that then we attach fake data to it etc etc. Whatever needs to be done. But is there a hijacking, an opportunistic move here to use climate change as the dividing force for what is actually domestic issues, which climate is not a domestic issue? How we address climate, yes. But that climate exists is not domestic. But is there a hijacking here and a very unfair hijacking? Because this year climate has actually been in the news so much. And it is, has become a mainstream topic.

Christiana: [00:16:39] Question mark, question mark.

Paul: [00:16:39] I think you're, I think you're exactly right, Christiana. And a lot of modern politics is just about be famous, be in the news, and then people will vote for you because you're somebody and not nobody.

Tom: [00:16:52] I agree with your analysis, Christiana, but I think that makes it a more acute problem rather than a less acute problem.

Christiana: [00:16:57] Totally. 

Paul: [00:16:58] Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Tom: [00:16:58] And I actually think that means that, and I would flag something here that I think is a collective failure of those of us who care about this issue, which is we're now at a moment of profound consequence in terms of moving forward and the issues on the political table, we are seeing a back and forth around data and around culture and around analysis. And we have not yet found a way to organize ourselves and we've talked about this before on this podcast, organize the climate movement to mount serious strategic defences of our wins. I mean, we're now seeing the wins of decades being thrown into question, targets being rolled back, and where are we? I mean, who is putting serious money in either the UK. I mean, it is happening here and there. I'm not saying nobody is. And we're grateful for those who are doing this, but there should be a lot more of a concerted effort to change this narrative towards demonstrating the opportunities that lie here and how we get to them and how we make this transitional program. But we're just ceding the ground and we're watching this narrative drift away from us. It's heart-breaking.

Christiana: [00:17:55] We're seeing, I mean, to just take that analogy further, we're seeding the ground. We're seeing the sprouts come up, and then there's this huge wind that blows in the direction that is completely contrary.

Tom: [00:18:10] Oh yeah, I meant ceding, as in giving up the ground, as in you, yeah yeah. I prefer your understanding.

Christiana: [00:18:14] Ah ok, I'm talking about the other seeding, because we're seeding the ground, we're seeing the sprouts come up and then there's this wind that blows it in completely different direction.

Tom: [00:18:26] Right. 

Paul: [00:18:28] I think, I think your analysis Christiana, that Sunak has acted because climate change is so high up the agenda is really, really true. And as Tom says, it's really frightening. If we're in a sort of a war where no one can really sort of focus on complex issues and everything is simplified into just pure noise, that scares me.

Tom: [00:18:53] I think this is a really rich area for exploration because I think as climate gets more and more folded into the heart of international geopolitics and as it gets folded into domestic politics, and we're not making the effort to bring domestic populations with us for a progressive global agenda, it's a moment of such vulnerability, and we should dig into it more. And we should get people like Gideon Rachman and Michael Froman from the Council on Foreign Relations onto the podcast to kind of talk about how we navigate this moment of vulnerability.

Paul: [00:19:19] I'd love to get the perspective of opposition leader who, you know, hopes and expects to become Prime Minister, Keir Starmer. I'd love to get him on the podcast to see how he responds because it's one thing for the head of the Conservative Party to say to do this thing. It's the question about how the opposition responds that completes the the Democratic picture.

Tom: [00:19:38] Right, well I saw a bit of David Lammy last week, including at various dinners, and I won't disclose anything. But all I will say is, I really hope he's foreign secretary next.

Paul: [00:19:46] Good.

Tom: [00:19:46] So listen, so we we have a slightly longer amazing interview today. So that's probably, unless either of you have anything else you want to add at this point, we'll probably just leave it on that slightly disquieting and alarming note for listeners to ruminate on before we come back in future. And we will instead introduce our interview. Now, Christiana, do you want, this was your idea, so you should introduce the nature of this interview.

Christiana: [00:20:08] So this is a different, a different episode and a different guest because the original plan, not that we ever stick to any of our plans, but the original plan was that the three of us would co-host as usual and that we would have two guests. But then we realized five is a bit more of a party than, than is digestible for anyone. And furthermore, we realized the topic that we want to go into, which is alternative proteins, is a very specialized topic that shouldn't be specialized and should be generalized and mainstreamed. But even for us, it still is a notch above our technical and scientific understanding. And we had the the fortune of having two people who are experts in their own right. So in the very last minute, we had the idea to step into the background, still be there with them, but step into the background and let Andy Jarvis from the Bezos Earth Fund to, who was one of our guests, interview Bruce Friedrich from GFI and let them have a conversation that we just popped in and out of. So this is and, we gave Andy about three seconds, three seconds warning.

Tom: [00:21:29] Good on Andy, he was just like, yeah sure, whatever. He really jumped into it, it's impressive. And so good to have someone from the Good Food Institute, Bruce obviously the President and CEO. So the Good Food Institute is a global network of non-profit, science focused think tanks with more than 200 full time team members across multiple different countries. And it works on alternative protein policy, science and corporate engagement to accelerate the production of plant based and cultivated meat to bolster global protein supply and protect the environment and prevent food insecurity.

Paul: [00:22:00] And pay attention to the stats here because alternative proteins are not some fringe thing here. This is like, you know, renewable energy, electric vehicles, alternative proteins. This is huge.

Tom: [00:22:11] So we stuck around and helpfully chipped in here and there, as you will hear. But Andy kept us all to time and kept his focus. This is a great conversation. I think you'll enjoy it.

Paul: [00:22:21] Pure chaos.

Tom: [00:22:28] Bruce Friedrich, what a pleasure to have you on Outrage + Optimism. We have long been huge admirers of your work. 

Paul: [00:22:34] Huge admirers.

Tom: [00:22:34] I love your TED Talks and so many other things you do. And so we're thrilled to finally have you on. Welcome to the podcast.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:22:38] Thank you very much Tom. Sorry.

Tom: [00:22:40] Now, no no, you're good, you're good. Now we're excited to have you here. And we have a confession to make, me and my fellow co-hosts, and that is that when it comes to the food issue, we're very good at admiring the problem. We know that we need to.

Christiana: [00:22:52] No, we're also very good at eating Tom, you know, fess up.

Tom: [00:22:55] Well, especially post Climate Week, honestly, the number of dinners I had, I feel like I put a few pounds on. But that's not what we're talking about here. We know that between now and the middle of the century, we need to massively increase food production with the projected population rises. We also know we need to massively reduce the emissions, free up land and that these challenges present, for brilliant minds like yours, huge opportunities. But for many other people, they are insurmountable challenges and the three of us actually don't feel that well versed in these issues, so, we have here.

Paul: [00:23:23] Except we know, except we know, this is as big as renewable energy. This is as big as electric vehicles. This is as big as it can be, which is why we have to take this particular topic so fantastically seriously.

Tom: [00:23:37] Because we want to do it justice.

Christiana: [00:23:38] And, turn to another expert instead of the three of us.

Tom: [00:23:42] You already see how.

Paul: [00:23:44] Who are just making it up every week, as everybody knows actually.

Tom: [00:23:46] I hope our guest host already sees how this is going to go, given that I can't get through the introduction. Andy Jarvis, Director of Food Systems at the Bezos Earth Fund, is a brilliant thinker on this issue, one of the world experts. And we've invited you here because we think you're great. And also to conduct this interview. Now the three of us aren't going anywhere, we want to stay here and learn, but we're going to invite you to take over the interview with Bruce and to ask him the questions that we wouldn't have thought of. So, Andy, over to you.

Andy Jarvis: [00:24:12] Thanks so much. Well, what a pleasure to see the inner workings of Outrage + Optimism. So what a pleasure to be talking to Bruce on this. And I always love to start these kinds of interviews with a high ball question. So, Bruce, what's your favourite vegetable?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:24:28] That's a, that is a great question Andy, and I will just say I am such a huge fan of Outrage + Optimism. I am delighted to be here. It's super humbling to have Andy interviewing me. I could easily imagine it going in the other direction. We spent a lot of time together over the last few months and I've spent a lot of that time listening to Andy and honing my thinking on the basis of our conversations and listening to him in terms of how he frames these issues and thinks about them. So hopefully this will be more dialogue than interview, but favourite vegetable.

Tom: [00:25:04] Are you, oh yeah? I thought you were avoiding the question about favourite vegetable, but sorry, carry on.

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:09] He's got there, he's got there.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:25:09] No no, I love all vegetables equally. I don't want to offend, I don't want to offend any vegetables.

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:17] Come on though, come on, answer the question Bruce, come on. I am the interviewer here.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:25:21] All right. Apologies to George Herbert Walker Bush. I'm going to go with broccoli.

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:25] Yeah, how noble.

Christiana: [00:25:27] We were just talking about broccoli just before you came on the show. So I think, Andy, that all of us have to respond to that very good question. Tom.

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:35] Please do.

Tom: [00:25:36] Do you know, I'm a huge fan of aubergines or eggplants in the US. Not a popular choice, but I'm a big fan, yeah.

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:43] 100% with Tom on that.

Tom: [00:25:45] There you go.  

Paul: [00:25:46] Uncooked carrots.

Christiana: [00:25:46] Okay. I will go with spinach. And Paul goes with. 

Paul: [00:25:51] Uncooked carrots.

Christiana: [00:25:53] Okay. There we go.

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:54] Very healthy. You're all, you're all. 

Christiana: [00:25:56] And Andy, what is yours?

Andy Jarvis: [00:25:58] I'm with Tom on the, on the eggplant aubergine front. Can we make this a standard thing in Outrage + Optimism that you always ask this on any food related conversation? It should be a good conversation starter.

Tom: [00:26:09] I like it. Very good.

Andy Jarvis: [00:26:10] Let's dig into it. All right, Bruce. So this is where the interview really starts, right. So tell us, what is this thing that you call alternative protein?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:26:21] Well, alternative proteins, it's a term of art. It describes foods that are produced to provide the exact same sensory experience and nutrition. So tastes the same or better. Equal or better nutrition profile of animal meat, dairy and eggs. But either using plants to bio mimic the precise experience or using cell cultivation. So taking a small sampling of cells and just like you would take a seed or a small cutting of a plant and bathe the seed or the plant in nutrients and the cell, the plant would grow. You can do the same thing with a small sampling of animal cells, and it requires a fraction of the land, causes a fraction of the direct emissions. Some pretty big co-benefits include, in terms of decreased pandemic risk and no need for antimicrobials in the production. So basically it's what renewable energy is to fossil fuels, what electric vehicles are to gas powered cars, alternative proteins are to conventionally produced meat, dairy and eggs.

Andy Jarvis: [00:27:31] So you're making meat products, animal sourced foods from plants, from vegetables, including some of our favourites. So we've understood what alternative proteins are. But what for kind of listeners, what's what are examples? What are what are people interacting with on a day by day basis that could be classified as alternative proteins?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:27:52] Well, the closest approximations that we probably have are the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger. But people oftentimes get a little bit confused about the theory of alternative proteins. If you tell them it's a veggie burger or veggie nuggets. So at least at GFI, our focus is not convincing people to pay more for products that they don't like as much. So up until Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat came along, the idea of vegetarian meats was basically, let's take the soy protein that's left over from the soy oil industry. Let's take the wheat protein that's left over after we make bread and pasta. Let's cram those proteins together and let's force vegetarians to eat it. That was essentially the theory of plant based meats. And then Pat Brown, Ethan Brown, no relation, come along. And basically they say, look, plants are made up of fats, proteins, minerals and water. Meat is also made up of fats, proteins, minerals and water. We should be able to hire plant biologists, tissue engineers, other scientists and figure out how to bio mimic the precise meat experience with plants. And that was not something that anybody had ever thought of before. The idea of plant based meat was really for vegetarians and flexitarians.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:29:13] And these guys come along and they say, hey, just like renewable energy can replace fossil fuels, it can have the exact same use case and appeal to the exact same people, not just Ed Begley Jr, but everybody. The same thing is true here. If we can figure out how to replicate the exact taste experience, the palate experience because it's so much more efficient, we should be able to compete on price as it scales up. Same with EVs and renewable energy, and we should be able to have a stronger nutrition profile because you can have less fat, less saturated fat, some fiber, some complex carbohydrates. You should be able to compete on price, taste and nutrition. And then a little bit later, along comes people who are looking at the idea of growing actual animal meat, but in essentially cultivators instead of on animals. And there the idea is pretty simple. Let's take the, what we have done for therapeutics. Let's use food grade ingredients and food grade production systems. Let's scale that up. And again, because it requires a fraction of the land and a fraction of the inputs, we should be able to have the exact same product, but less expensive because it's more efficient.

Andy Jarvis: [00:30:28] So, I mean we can, I'd love to dig into some of these impacts that we can have with alternative proteins, but you described some examples there, isn't like tofu, the original gangster alternative protein.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:30:40] Well, as we think about alternative proteins, we would put tofu into another bucket, the bucket of diet change. So at least at GFI we have one bucket which is no diet change. If you love meat, keep eating meat. And I mean, the reason we need this is that we've been trying to convince people to eat tofu and beans for more than 50 years. The book that got me to convert to vegetarianism 'Diet for a Small Planet' is more than 50 years old. So just like, yes, we should absolutely have more energy efficient everything from light bulbs to buildings, but we also need renewable energy. And yes, we should absolutely have more walkable cities. We should have better public transit. We should subsidize public transit. We should encourage people to walk and ride bikes. Behavior change. But we also need electric vehicles. Here, yeah, let's absolutely  sing the praises of meat reduction or vegetarianism. Let's absolutely, beans are absolutely how. But that's a diet change bucket. This is in the yes people are going to eat meat. The predictions are anywhere from 50% more meat in 2050 to a lot more than that. The latest systemic number that I saw was 70% more meat in 2050.

Christiana: [00:31:54] Globally, globally. Not per person, right? Globally Bruce?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:31:57] Yes, that's a global number. But I mean, the IPCC says unless meat consumption goes down, we're not going to meet 1.5. We probably won't meet 2.0. So this is for the people who really want to continue to eat meat. And even in developed economies, it's just plateauing, maybe going up a little bit. The five highest years for per capita meat consumption in the US are the most recent five. So alternative proteins is basically, let's give people what they love about meat. Let's have the same nutrition. The same taste, everything else, but at a lower price because it's so much more efficient. Basically the same theory as renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Andy Jarvis: [00:32:41] Yeah.

Tom: [00:32:41] Can I ask a quick question. Sorry, just a very quick question just occurred to me. Sorry Andy, is that as we've seen alternatives to fossil fuels emerge, the fossil fuel company has dug in, they've spread misinformation, They've tried to prevent this transition. Is the same happening with meat. The meat industry is doing the same thing?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:32:56] I mean, our pitch to the meat industry, if you look at something like digital photography, our pitch to the meat industry, is do you want to be Kodak or do you want to be Canon? That's our pitch to the meat industry. And the meat industry is, is they are not producing. 

Paul: [00:33:12] Canon please. 

Bruce Friedrich: [00:33:15] Exactly, they are not producing meat this way because there's something in their business model that requires that they produce meat this way. They're producing meat this way because it is so far the most efficient and profitable way to make meat. So the Good Food Institute, we had a conference last week in San Francisco. We had two of the six largest meat companies as sponsors. We had Cargill sponsor the conference and the Thai company CP Foods. We also had ADM as a sponsor and all of the five biggest meat companies in the world, both of the biggest food companies in the world. All of them are putting significant resources into this, and it makes sense for them if they can make even more money. If this can be even more profitable, why wouldn't they. And so far, that seems to be where they're at. So we do think the transition can happen somewhat seamlessly.

Christiana: [00:34:03] But it is a completely different technology. Poor Andy. It's a completely different technology, but they're willing to do that?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:34:10] Yeah, I mean, they don't mostly own the farms. They don't mostly own the abattoirs. This is, you know, it cuts multiple, right now you're growing massive amounts of crops. You're sending them to a feed mill, you're operating a feed mill, you're sending the feed to the farm. You're operating the farm. You're sending the animals to the slaughterhouse, you're operating the slaughterhouse. So in addition to the fact that you don't need to grow according to WRI, nine calories into a chicken to get one calorie back out, 40 calories into a cow to get one calorie back out, multiple extra stages of production. So for the same reason, it's a massive adverse climate impact, for the same reason it contributes to food insecurity, all of this inefficiency for those same reasons, there's just a lot of profitability in consolidating these processes into one factory for plant based meat, a couple factories for cultivated meat. So you have lots of lots of savings. And for the companies real profitability to making this switch if we can make it work.

Andy Jarvis: [00:35:06] So I'm going to be fired as an interviewer on my first attempt at Outrage + Optimism because I didn't actually ask you where you where you work. And I know one of the things you were inspired by your history to create the Good Food Institute. You mentioned it a couple of times. I've got a sticker of yours which I think is fantastic. It says, I'm building a world where alternative proteins are no longer alternatives. So what led you to create the Good Food Institute and what are you trying to achieve with it?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:35:37] Yeah, so GFI is basically a science think tank, so we have a just north of 200 full time team members around the world. GFI is actually a consortium of NGOs. We have six, so we have GFI in the US, but we also have India, Israel, Brazil, Asia Pacific based out of Singapore and Europe operating in Brussels and London. And basically we're trying to do for alternative proteins what the environmental movement has been doing so successfully with electric vehicles and renewable energy. We're trying to figure out can we and how quickly can we create meat from plants, cultivate actual animal meat from cells. So primarily it's scientific questions focused on taste, nutrition and price. We're trying to create the most robust scientific and innovation ecosystem possible. And so that's our focus and our global battle cry is that just like governments are funding the transition to clean energy globally for all the reasons that were laid out in the introduction, Government should be putting resources into the science of alternative proteins and they should be putting resources into manufacturing and infrastructure scale up. So building on a report from the ClimateWorks Foundation and the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office put together by McKinsey economists, our global goal is government should put $4.4 billion per year into the science of alternative proteins, and they should put $5.7 billion into IRA type programs to incentivize manufacturing and infrastructure.

Andy Jarvis: [00:37:23] And what are they putting in right now? Don't laugh.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:37:29] Well, they're putting in almost.

Andy Jarvis: [00:37:30] Is it that bad?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:37:32] It is so far that bad. But we've only just started raising the issue. So it's way south of that. I mean, you know, it's just one example on cultivated meat governments have put in probably south of $80 million in all of time and sometimes people will talk about the private sector. So Bill Gates has invested in cultivated meat. So people think it's handled. In all of time, less than $3 billion has gone into cultivated meat across roughly 100 companies. That is less than one EV battery factory for all of time for every company and less than 100 million of that has been investment that's not focused on specific companies. So a lot of room for funding. But I will say up until 3 or 4 years ago, it was zero since 2005 and now it's, you know, probably about $100 million last year into R&D and something a little bit north of that for manufacturing and infrastructure build out. But we've gone from zero to, you know, some hundreds of millions of dollars in fairly short timeframe. And our hope is that the entire environmental movement will add this to their food strategy such that we can really put this on radars as an essential, absolutely essential tool in our tool kit as we're working on climate change mitigation.

Paul: [00:39:01] Bruce, can I ask a tiny question. You know, the US and China are leading on climate change technologies. Can little old Europe possibly lead on food technologies? I mean, we're kind of not so much the UK, but we're a food continent, you know, is this the kind of, you know, could the European government investment actually put us in a leadership position, allow the French and the Spanish and the Italian cuisine of the future to emerge at hyperspeed?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:39:26] Yeah. I mean, we've seen some excellent progress in the UK. So alternative proteins are a part of the UK's national foods.

Paul: [00:39:33] I'm at a conference where Quorn is here and they said that your conference in San Francisco was absolutely brilliant. So congratulations.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:39:39] Oh, wonderful. I'm delighted to hear that. Yeah. Quorn is absolutely the OG of biomass fermentation. Very excited about their move into B2B as well. But yes, the reason I mean, at GFI, we only have two factors. So I mentioned the six places where we where we operate. Our rubric is just two things. Does the government fund significant amounts of science and is there a scientific ecosystem that is robust and can accept this funding. And we take like one of the things that we're so excited about, about alternative proteins is science anywhere can lead to progress everywhere. So we're not in Israel and Singapore because we care what people eat in Israel and Singapore. We're in Israel and Singapore because they have world class scientific institutions and governments that care about food security. So those are the two global leaders on alternative proteins so far. But Europe absolutely could be and should be. The European Commission is really focused on climate change obligation, also really focused on things like antimicrobial resistance. If we're going to have 70% more meat by 2050, like right now, more than 60% of medically relevant antibiotics are fed to farm animals. You're making progress on that in Europe, there's no progress being made in the US, China, Brazil, the rest of the world. And superbugs don't know national boundaries. So for a lot of reasons.

Paul: [00:41:02] Are you saying our medicines are going to stop working, right? You go to the doctor and they can't give you anything.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:41:06] Yeah. The UK government said the threat to the human race from antimicrobial resistance is more certain than the threat from climate change. It's already killing 1.3 million people per year. It's predicted to be killing 10 million people per year by 2050, according to an article in The Lancet last year. So, yes, 70% of medically relevant antibiotics being fed to farm animals now, former head of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, said the end of working antibiotics, is the end of modern medicine. So that's a pretty colossal co-benefit of shifting to.

Andy Jarvis: [00:41:40] You're scaring us now. You're scaring us. This is about outrage, but also optimism. And so, look, a few quick fire questions for you, Bruce, right. So you mentioned what is the climate change benefit of alternative proteins?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:41:54] There have been multiple models. So the problem sort of the harm is somewhere between 15 to 20% of direct emissions right now are attributable to industrial animal agriculture. At 70% more animal meat in 2050, that goes up. Methane, you look at methane reduction efforts, they've mostly been focused on oil and gas. But as much methane is attributable to ruminant digestion as oil and gas combined. According to the World Resources Institute, we're going to have 60% more ruminants by 2050. All of the current strategies for decreasing ruminant methane are worth doing. They're all making an impact. They're all fairly short term, immediate gain. But there will be, according to an article in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, according to some modelling from climate advisors, just the fact that there will be 60% more ruminants in 2050, all of the current strategies put together don't even add up to 60% global reduction. So there will be more methane. Alternative proteins eliminates methane. So pretty big mitigation opportunity alongside, you know, the other strategies that we're implementing. So we're very much in the both end category, but we see overwhelming opportunity here.

Andy Jarvis: [00:43:14] So the number I like, I love in this is if you hit 10% market share, that is the equivalent of a reduction of about one gigaton, which is the equivalent of the entire aviation sector. So if you have one alternative protein for every ten burgers that you eat, you're also helping on a global scale. If that happens, then we are offsetting the equivalent of the entire aviation sector. So what about the health issues. A lot of people kind of say, yeah, but these things aren't as good for you. You know, there's kind of nutritional issues. You know, animal sourced foods are way better for me. I'm going to stick with them. What about the health issues in these things?

Tom: [00:43:52] And the meat industry has been pushing back on that, right. I mean, they've been putting money in trying to persuade people it's not healthy. 

Andy Jarvis: [00:43:57] Absolutely. 

Paul: [00:43:57] Meat's not healthy. But sorry, Bruce.

Andy Jarvis: [00:44:00] Yeah, well, but that's been the tactic, certainly on the pushback of this. You know, what's the evidence say, Bruce?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:44:07] Well, I mean, so we need to break it into two. So for cultivated meat, it's just the same product. But with cultivated meat, you won't have antibiotic residues, you won't have bacterial contamination, which in the US kills a few thousand people a year, and hospitalizes tens of millions, like all of that goes away. Cultivated meat is the same product, but without the contamination. Plant based meat, we really do need a lot more study and we need to incorporate nutrition into how we're thinking about this. The early adopters who are willing to pay a little bit more. I mean, the products right now, like people will point out that plant based meat is flagging. That's because they cost more than twice as much. I mean, even just Impossible and Beyond cost more than twice as much as ground beef as you've covered well, in the renewable energy and EV context, most people are not going to pay twice as much for climate benefits, which means that we really do need to prioritize both healthy, slash nutritious, and we need to sort of sing the praises that we've already got in terms of healthy and nutritious. So for plant based meat, there have been there has been one randomised controlled trial. It was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It was done out of Stanford medicine. And what it found is three times a day, plant based from Beyond Meat, beef, pork and chicken, replacing organic beef, pork and chicken and the folks on the beyond meat, they lost weight, which was not predicted in the study, and the heart disease metrics got better. And the lead scientist at Stanford, Chris Gardner, he kind of had a duh reaction and he synopsized it as, look, we took one product that has no fibre and no complex carbohydrates, a lot of cholesterol, more fat, more saturated fat, and replaced it with a product that has some fibre, some complex carbohydrates, no cholesterol, lower fat, lower saturated fat.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:46:07] Obviously, heart disease metrics and weight are going well. He didn't expect weight to get better because the trial wasn't very long. But he said, obviously, these are going to be the outcomes. The macronutrient profile of plant based meat is so much better than the macronutrient profile of animal meat and plant based meat gets shoved into sort of ultra processed. But you look at something like Coca Cola and Doritos, the problem with those products is they're incredibly calorically dense. They have a lot of saturated fat, they have a lot of calories etc. Plant based meat when compared to animal based meat wins on every single metric but salt. And in that Stanford medicine study, what they pointed out is that plant based meat because you salt animal meat, something like the Impossible Whopper versus a standard whopper, basically the same salt, there was not a difference, three times a day eating organic beef, pork and chicken as opposed to the Beyond Meat product. When you started preparing the salt numbers for the plant based products were much higher. Once you were done, salt intake was identical. So it really is a pretty big improvement. Although with only one randomized controlled trial, we really do need NIH and other health agencies around the world to be checking those numbers.

Tom: [00:47:25] That's fascinating. So sadly, we're getting towards the end of the time we have. But this is absolutely incredible and very interesting. I want to ask you both a closing question. But Andy, is there anything else that you want to just have as a closing question to Bruce before I close out with a question to you both.

Andy Jarvis: [00:47:40] Just very quickly, costs, you mentioned costs a few times so that the, I remember the stories about ten years ago when there was the first burger was produced and it cost $300,000. That was a cultivated meat burger, $300,000. What's it cost these days and where is it going the cost on these things?

Bruce Friedrich: [00:48:02] I mean, I saw solar, this podcast has talked a lot about the just plummeting price of solar way faster than anybody could possibly have expected. We've seen things happen with battery range and now incentives for charging infrastructure that I think just couldn't have been predicted on EVs. Not that long ago. So, yes, a cultivated meat prices have plummeted. You kind of have to take the company's word for it because there hasn't been any open access science looking at costs. But GFI did produce a techno economic analysis and it looked like I mean, costs are down 97, 98% and we've only put less than $3 billion into the project in all of time and less than $100 million in public funding. And because it's so much more efficient, we're super optimistic that we can get to cost parity in addition to taste parity and nutrition parity.

Andy Jarvis: [00:49:00] Great. 

Tom: [00:49:01] Amazing. That's such a hopeful note to end on. Paul, you want to come in, but we've got to be super brief on time.

Paul: [00:49:06] Yeah. Just to say, I mean, I think it's food science. I think you're such a leader on this, Bruce. And indeed you are too, Andy. And the world's governments just need to understand that they are sitting on a big pot of gold. If they just put a little bit of investment in the way you put the statistics forwards, it's inescapable. Thanks, Tom.

Tom: [00:49:24] Yeah, it's fantastic. Right, so Andy, this is the first time we've ever had a guest interviewer on Outrage + Optimism, you've done a cracking job. We're definitely going to get you back. But before we let either of you go, maybe starting with Bruce and Andy finishing us off. You know what we've got to ask you on Outrage + Optimism. Please tell us one thing, as you look at alternative proteins, where we've come, where we're going, give us one thing that makes you optimistic and one thing that gets you outraged.

Andy Jarvis: [00:49:50] Do you want to go first, Bruce? Go on. You've been thinking about this for decades. 

Tom: [00:49:53] Bruce.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:49:55] Yeah, I mean, I think I am outraged, not outraged, I'm disappointed by the fact that the world has been slow to move in the direction of recognizing alternative proteins as what we think it is, the sort of third pillar alongside EVs and renewable energy of how we get to climate goals. So you look at the IPCC report and it's very clear that meat production needs to go down, but it's not even hand-wavy about how we get there. So alternative proteins, it's just sitting there for the taking, and we need the same sort of attention that we get for EVs and renewables. As you said at the outset, it's a bigger solution than EVs and it probably rivals renewables, especially if you look at the 20 year time frame and use an 84 multiplier for methane instead of a 20 multiplier for methane. And I'm optimistic just at being on this podcast and how much movement we've seen in a fairly short period of time. You know, Bob Watson, the chair of the IPCC from 1997 to 2002, he is one of the two lead authors of a UNEP report currently titled 'What's Cooking'. But we're trying to get it to be changed to something like 'Hungry for Alternatives', and he is all in and just so much, so much movement just in the last year or two just makes me incredibly optimistic because I think we're, I think we're going to see a real change and I think we can do this.

Tom: [00:51:25] Love that. Andy.

Andy Jarvis: [00:51:26] So I'm outraged that you can't have a rational conversation about diet change in the world. That is, it's like a trigger word for all sorts of, you know, people to stand up and leave the table or get really upset with you. And, you know, we certainly shouldn't be advocating for what people should eat, but we should be having a conversation about what the human diet is in the 21st century because the current one is just not going to get us through it, right. It's not giving us health. It's not giving a healthy planet nor healthy people right now. And so I'm outraged that we can't have that conversation. And I'm glad that we are having it on here. Optimistic because I've been looking at this area of kind of we call it sustainable protein, and there is huge opportunity for us to address the planetary crisis and the health crisis simultaneously with this by, and it's and really, we think about this as a yes and issue. It's yes, it's livestock and animal source foods and making those more sustainable. And it's looking for alternatives. And we need to be celebrating vegetarians. We need to be recruiting more flexitarians and we need to be providing more options for those serial carnivores out there.

Tom: [00:52:42] Love that. Amazing. And Bruce, we have one more. Go for it.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:52:45] Yeah, I love that Andy. One other thing I wanted to say. One of the things that you guys talk about on this podcast is economic opportunity. I'm optimistic, so GFI in the US are our main leave behind. It's like the 500 word, this is alternative proteins for policy makers and why they should fund it. The big quote on the back is Sonny Perdue, who was Donald Trump's secretary of agriculture. So the United States is the second country to approve cultivated meat for sale. And it was Sonny Perdue, Donald Trump, Secretary of agriculture, and Scott Gottlieb, Donald Trump's FDA commissioner who got that ball rolling. The economic opportunity here, the opportunity for farmers, the opportunity for jobs in sort of middle whatever country you're in, is so great that I'm optimistic that we can make this a bipartisan climate solution if we really lean in to 83 million jobs, according to modeling from the Global Methane Hub and ClimateWorks Foundation. Somewhere between 700 billion and $1.1 trillion in economic opportunity, according to two reports from McKinsey economists. So I'm super optimistic about getting kind of everybody to the table behind innovation, farmer opportunity, jobs, etc.

Tom: [00:54:06] I mean, that is so refreshing to hear anything that has that potential. So absolutely love that. Bruce, Andy, thank you so much. It's been such a pleasure to have you on Outrage + Optimism. Hugely impressed with the interviewing chops Andy, we're definitely going to have you back, as I said. Bruce, such a pleasure to have you on. Thanks so much.

Paul: [00:54:22] Thank you both.

Andy Jarvis: [00:54:23] Any time. Thanks a lot.

Bruce Friedrich: [00:54:24] Thank you so much.

Andy Jarvis: [00:54:25] Cheers.

Paul: [00:54:26] All right.

Andy Jarvis: [00:54:26] Bye.

Tom: [00:54:32] So what a fun interview that was. I thought that was fantastic. And Andy did a great job. And Bruce was so on point and thoughtful. What did you both leave that conversation with?

Christiana: [00:54:41] So, you know, Paul keeps on underlining what I totally agree with that this is as transformational and has as huge consequences as energy does. And it continues to be way, way down, low on agendas and on our attention horizon. So, so nice to hear it be brought front and center for us. In addition to the fact that Andy was so brilliant at two minutes notice to jump in and do the hard job of interviewing. But you know, what I found very, very helpful was the constant analogies that Bruce made over to renewables and over to EVs, because, maybe it's just for me because I sort of feel more comfortable in the energy sector than in other sectors. But those concepts of the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, from fossil fuel cars to EVs, those concepts are somehow deeper landed. We understand them better, and I'm not sure if it's the same for all our listeners. So his constant paralleling and drawing the parallels to the energy sector I thought was particularly helpful for us to be able to understand what he was talking about.

Paul: [00:56:15] And I think there's, you know, I love engineers, I think engineers are great, you know, but I think engineers need to get out a little bit more. What was the stat that I picked up in the brief that the cultivated meat is received less than 3 billion in global investment in all time, right. 98% of which has been actually equity investments. And the US Department of Energy recently guaranteed a loan to Ford for 9 billion, which is three times as much as the total investment in the whole history of cultivated meat for three EV plants. Right. So what it is, is, you know, we see these enormous windmills, we see these giant electric car gigafactories. We see, you know, huge solar farms. And we think kind of that's big engineering stuff. But actually, food engineers are what we need right now. Food R&D, government R&D, because the emissions on our plates are right up there with transport and energy. And I can see how sort of the engineering brain missed that one. But a lot of people are going to make fortunes. Nations are going to make fortunes out of investing in these extraordinary technologies. And let's be honest, getting the patents so that they can roll out their commercial advantage. But I see a revolution coming in. Food is going to be gigantic. And by the way, there's such a big coalition from people concerned about animal cruelty through to the health professionals, worried about, you know, the poor diets, to the incredibly terrifying voice of people worried about our drugs, stopping working. 

Tom: [00:57:59] Yeah, that was shocking wasn't it, my god.

Paul: [00:58:00] You put all of that together, it's a winning coalition. It's a winning coalition. What did you think, Tom?

Tom: [00:58:04] I mean, I'm just so glad that we're getting into this issue in more detail. I think it's enormously exciting. And, you know, we talked earlier about geopolitics. This is a known unknown, right. I mean, we see it coming. We know there is a 56% gap between the crop calories produced in 2010 and those needed in 2050 under our business as usual scenario, while our population goes to 10 billion, while we need to reduce emissions while soils around the world are being degraded to the point where it's just not feasible, right. This is the crunch point. And this solution, along with some other things like precision fermentation that we should also talk about, just provide such an incredible chance for us to reimagine how we feed ourselves. I thought it was incredibly insightful and I wish they got more attention. And to go back to some of the things we were talking about earlier, I really wish someone was putting a lot more money not only into the R&D but also into getting the world's population ready for this, because as we talked about the populist backlash, food is such an emotive issue. The idea that people are going to try and change what you eat and I know that's not what these, we're talking about Andy and Bruce were talking about. We will replace like for like with other kinds of protein that tastes better and a healthier. But again, just as we think about how politics much more enters our space with a populistic backlash, we're going to need to prepare the world's populations in many countries for this food and for this transition in a way that makes it delicious, enticing, aspirational, positive rather than a sacrifice. If we're going to see this transition implemented at the scale at which it needs to. But hugely exciting to talk to them both. I loved it.

Christiana: [00:59:46] You know, so to take that just one step farther, Tom, one analogy that he did not bring and that I was sort of left thinking about, to go back to his analogies of energy, we know that demand for fossil fuels has actually peaked globally and will plateau. And in the OECD it has peaked, plateaued and declined already. And so there is a huge role here in this shift. There's a huge role for demand shift in addition to supply shift and systemic. Right. And one piece that he didn't talk about is how do we accelerate demand changing demand shift for food that is not animal based, because interestingly enough, food is something that we completely control ourselves. We don't completely control the energy that we use, but the food we do. So if, you know, if you're really pressed between between a rock and a hard place and you're asked, so what is the one thing that you personally as an individual can do that is completely under your control and that will have a huge impact on climate. Change my diet. And so it falls squarely, squarely into agency of individuals. He, of course, comes at it from a completely different perspective, which is the systemic and the sort of the industry shift, which also has to happen. But I'm just really interested in the fact that despite the fact that what kind of energy we use and consume is not 100% under our control yet, the shift right now is being led by demand shift.

Tom: [01:01:39] Such an interesting point.

Christiana: [01:01:40] And so, and food is completely under our choice and our control. And so why is demand not there.

Paul: [01:01:50] I think you just make it better. I mean, you know, the richest person in the world makes electric cars. I just, I got to share with you a tiny thing, the new Tesla Plaid does 0 to 60 in under two seconds. Under two seconds. It has more than a thousand horsepower, by the way, notice we measure that in horses. We're not using horses anymore. So we still want these things, right.

Tom: [01:02:12] It would be pretty inconvenient to have a chariot pulled by a thousand horses, wouldn't it.

Paul: [01:02:16] But, well, thank you. But the new technologies, the point I'm trying to make is that these new technologies, you've got to focus on the fact that no one's ever no one's been making meat out of plants or growing meat until very, very recently. But how quickly is someone going to Elon Musk meat and create this like no one's, err, you're going to eat a cows meat. It tastes disgusting when you've tasted this new stuff, which is 1000 times better. Yeah.

Tom: [01:02:42] Yeah, amazing. Well, I mean, I feel confident this will be an issue that we come back to you on a regular basis from now on. It's so important, so grateful to our host for educating us. And unless either of you have any closing points, I will introduce the music.

Christiana: [01:02:53] I do. I do. I have one closing point just to let our listeners know that we are not blind to the fact that the IEA, speaking of energy, the International Energy Agency has dropped their updated net zero roadmap, which is a fascinating, fascinating document for everything that it contains, and also that the IEA is hosting their Climate and Energy Summit on the 2nd of October. So does that mean, folks, that we have to commit to taking that topic on for next week?

Tom: [01:03:27] Yeah, for sure.

Paul: [01:03:28] Joyously, joyously.

Tom: [01:03:29] Joyously.

Paul: [01:03:31] I love the IEA, they're so cool.

Tom: [01:03:33] As joyously as the latest IEA findings. 

Paul: [01:03:34] They're the best. No, the report says, for example just a little taster since 2021, record growth in solar power capacity and electric car sales are in line with a pathway towards net zero emissions globally by mid-century, as our industry plans to roll out new manufacturing capacity for them. So, you know, we're not safe, but that's such great news if it's even true. And if the IEA say it's true, I'm sure it is.

Tom: [01:03:58] It's got to be, yeah. And amazing you have those facts right at your fingertips the second you need them as well. Yeah.

Paul: [01:04:02] Yeah, and then Clay didn't have to cut out like hours and hours and hours whilst you two were looking out the window whilst I found my notes.

Tom: [01:04:07] All right. Thank you for raising that. We'll definitely cover that next week. So thank you, everyone, for joining us. Always a joy to record these podcasts and this week we're leaving you with a piece of music Balthvs. And the song has to be pronounced in a Spanish accent. So here we go, Christiana, give me your marks out of ten, ‘Eclipse Solar’.

Christiana: [01:04:27] Oh god, okay, how about I do it? 

Tom: [01:04:31] That's a good idea. 

Paul: [01:04:32] Yeah, that's a good idea. Christiana. 

Christiana: [01:04:34] And the song is 'Eclipse Solar'.

Tom: [01:04:38] Okay, I feel corrected and like I've learned something. Thank you very much, all right.

Paul: [01:04:42] And Sarah was giggling at your challenge there, Tom. Bye, y'all. 

Tom: [01:04:46] Bye friends, see you next week.

Christiana: [01:04:47] Bye.

Balthvs: [01:04:49] Hello, this is Balthazar from the band Balthvs. We're very happy to be here at the Outrage + Optimism podcast, and we wanted to share with you one of our songs. This one is called Eclipse Solar, and while it's an instrumental, I think it conveys our optimism of the connection between all human beings. We're influenced by music from Africa, from Asia, from North America, and of course, from our country, Colombia. It only feels we're connected in many deep ways in our own little rock in the middle of the cosmos. So from our side, we feel that connection and optimism for humankind to change upon these very strong climatic and environmental changes we're all facing through. Here we go.

Clay: [01:09:33] There you go. Another episode of Outrage + Optimism. I'm Clay producer. Colombia is on the pod this week. Shout out to Balthvs Cosmic Music for the Psychedelic Mind. As always, you can go listen to more Balthvs. Links below. Their latest record, Third Vibration is this psychedelic trip that incorporates world music, psychedelic funk house elements. It all comes together to showcase a vibed future man. So shout out to our friends in Balthvs. Thanks for letting us spin you on the podcast and share you with our listeners. And thank you to Andy Jarvis from the Bezos Earth Fund and Bruce Friedrich from the Good Food Institute for being up for a last minute interview change and for making the time to come on. Listeners, you can connect with Andy and Bruce in the show notes and check out the amazing work. Both the Bezos Earth Fund and Good Food Institute are doing. Thanks for listening to this week's episode. We're so glad that you could join us. Please. If you love this podcast, it helps so much. If you could leave a review on your podcast player of choice and our podcast grows through your recommendation to colleagues and friends. Thank you for taking some time to recommend and share this episode with your community. Okay, another week in the books. Next week is, I just realized October. Wow, can you believe it? Enjoy your weekend and we will see you right back here. Same time, same place. Bye.

Christiana: [01:14:42] So, folks, just before we completely turn off for today, just to let you know that we at Outrage + Optimism are making an effort to promote other podcasts that are adjacent to ours and to help each other find each other in this climate space. So if you're passionate about tackling the climate crisis and we presume that you are because you are one of our listeners, and if you understand that tackling the climate crisis is one of the very complex issues known as wicked problems, we would love to introduce you to another podcast called Seriously Social. It is hosted by the talented Australian journalist Ginger Gorman, and it delves into the latest insights and cutting edge research from Australia's foremost social scientists. It goes into topics like whether genetically modified products should be considered food apropos. Our episode today, it goes into things like the political dynamics behind lowering the voting age and why dismantling toxic masculinity remains such a challenge. It is a fresh perspective on the intricacies of our society. And if you're curious about that, we think you're going to love Seriously Social, and Clay will again put the link in the show notes. Bye.


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