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Nick Cooney_E22: The Clean Meat Hurdle [01/04/2020]

EPISODE22: The Clean Meat Hurdle

Nick Cooney, Managing Partner at LeverVC in NYC [01/04/2020]


Note: References with links are listed at the end of the show notes.


1:00 Talks about interest in ethical foods space for 20 years — starting first with ethical foods, then sustainability. Began working in the space for 15 years in alternative protein space — starting with NGOs, then family office. Starting investing in the space 5 years ago, with being an investor and participating in over 50 deals.

4:00 Shares entry into Good Food Institute, along with strategy for authoring three books on the plant based foods, social impact, and persuasion science.

SECTION1: Meatless Origin

13:58 We break out into various studies about consumer behavior, exploring sustainability and health reasons, along with ethical motivations (see links below for graphics)

16:00 We discuss the Twitter poll from host.

17:30 We break out into Life Cycle Analysis of cultured meat, and clean meats. Studies point to large savings from land use, Co2, and water use (see studies in show notes)

Wiki Clean Meats [30+ samples]:

-Cultured meat prices [$15 — $3000/lb]

Ecological LCAs [Good Food Institute]

-Feedstock of culture 1.3kg feed/kg cultured meat

-2–7kg Co2e/kg cultured meat

-4–35kg Co2e/kg

20:00 Take questions from community listeners, regarding consumer demand, price parity, and large corporate buyers. Nick sees the alternatives presented by cultivated meats, give brand halos, taste parameters, stable supply chain, and partner alignments.

SECTION2: Consumer Motivations

24:00 We discuss the win-wins from the side of corporations integrating plant and clean meats integrated into the products themselves, for price and health reasons.

26:42 We break out into the GMO topic regarding cultivated and fermented meats, and nuances of labelling. The studies below, namely the USDA report give a background on the state of GMOs in animal products, which is also quite informative.

SECTION3: Meatless Future

29:00 Discuss plant based labeling policy fights being fought in some states in the US — e.g., using “milk”, “almond”. Nick notes that US courts have struck down most of these fights in the US. However, he notes that EU puts more stringent patchwork labeling laws. Internationally, the labeling issue has not been a major movement. On cultivated “higher tech side”, the companies will need to go through a regulatory pathway in the US.

33:00 Talks about interest in alternative proteins being 30%-50% in EU, and higher around 70% in Asia. LeverVC is looking at companies globally.

40:00 We discuss opportunities surrounding clean meats, carbon credits, and climatetech. We both see opportunities for CVC investors that may want to offset emissions.


-Nick Cooney [Twitter]: https://twitter.com/nickcooney2

-Nick Cooney [LinkedIn]: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickcooney1/

-Nick’s Personal Website: http://www.nickcooney.org/

-LeverVC: https://www.levervc.com/

-Lever China Food Accelerator: https://leverfund.cn/en/

-Good Food Institute: https://www.gfi.org/

-Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom Paperback [January 2013]: https://www.amazon.com/Veganomics-Surprising-Motivates-Vegetarians-Breakfast/dp/1590564286

-Clean Meats Poll on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zecca_Lehn/status/1341612307286147073

-Clean Meat Questions from @posi2ive Community: https://twitter.com/Zecca_Lehn/status/1341611193681625088

-Change of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change [Dec 2010]: https://www.amazon.com/Change-Heart-Psychology-Spreading-Social/dp/159056233X

-Environmental Impacts of Cultured Meat Production [2011]: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es200130u

-State of the Industry Report Cell-based Meat [Good food institute, 2019]: https://www.gfi.org/non-cms-pages/splash-sites/soi-reports/files/SOI-Report-Cell-Based.pdf

-NIH Bringing Cultural Meat to Market [2018]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6078906/

-Life Cycle Cultured Meat [GFI, 2019]: https://www.gfi.org/images/uploads/2020/01/Cultivated-Meat-LCA-Report-2019-0709.pdf

-Co2 Impacts of Meat: https://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/a-meat-eaters-guide-to-climate-change-health-what-you-eat-matters/climate-and-environmental-impacts/

-EWG: Climate and Environmental Impacts: https://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/a-meat-eaters-guide-to-climate-change-health-what-you-eat-matters/climate-and-environmental-impacts/

-McDonalds introduces the McPlant [Nov 2020]: https://www.eater.com/2020/11/9/21556647/mcdonalds-plant-based-burger-is-the-mcplant-chicken-sandwich-wars-2021

-Taco Bell adds Plant Based Meat [Feb 2020]: https://www.fastcompany.com/90468750/taco-bell-was-always-good-for-vegetarians-now-its-adding-plant-based-meat

-Inside the GMO law: What needs to be labeled and why it matters [Fooddive, 2019]: https://www.fooddive.com/news/inside-the-gmo-law-what-needs-to-be-labeled-and-why-it-matters/545120/

-GMO Crops, Animal Food, and Beyond [USDA]: https://www.fda.gov/food/agricultural-biotechnology/gmo-crops-animal-food-and-beyond

-Singapore Approves Cultured Meat: A Major Step Forward for the Industry, Questions IDTechEx [Dec 2020]: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/singapore-approves-cultured-meat-a-major-step-forward-for-the-industry-questions-idtechex-301183724.html

-Government Regulation of Cultured Meat is Coming by @cellagritech: https://link.medium.com/ADr2w98gJcb

-The lab-grown meat industry just got the regulatory oversight [Vox]: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/3/9/18255806/fda-usda-lab-grown-meat-cell-based-vegan-vegetarian

-Other Automakers Paid Tesla a Record $428 Million Last Quarter [Car and Driver on Emissions 2020]: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a32346670/other-automakers-paid-tesla-record-354-million/

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Song Credit: The Croft — By Joakim Karud

[ No Copyright on Music and Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 ]



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A Community focused on Venture Scale Positive Impacts. Produced by Zecca Lehn. On Twitter @posi2ive.