The Index Project
Index Award 2013 Finalists
Beyond Meat™
Meat made from plants

At the rate of the world’s current, dramatic population growth, by 2050 we will experience a severe global food shortage - unless we increase our food production by 70%. In terms of meat production, this number is alarmingly high, as a 70% increase in production could seriously threaten animal welfare, negatively impact climate change, compromise the conservation of natural resources and our personal health. Luckily, Ethan Brown has spent years of painstaking research in order to create Beyond Meat™; the first-ever plant protein that looks, feels, tastes and acts just like meat, thus addressing global resource constraint whilst improving animal and people welfare.

Reduced meat consumption is becoming increasingly popular, due to concerns about personal health and animal welfare. Furthermore, more people are becoming aware of the consequences of meat consumption when it comes to its environmental impact. These concerns drive people to look for alternative options to get the necessary proteins their bodies need. And adding to the incentive of replacing meat, The World Bank recently stated that livestock contributed to 51 percent (!) of the greenhouse gas emissions globally.

While it’s hard for most people to give up meat entirely, reducing consumption, changing the kinds of meat eaten, and switching to organically raised meat are great alternative options. However, in a world where we may need to increase food production by 70% by 2050, these actions will simply not be enough to secure what’s necessary for survival.

So, how are we going to provide for the coming food demands extremity? It will not be by producing 70% more meat – because we simply don’t have the resources for that (water, crops, land, etc.). So, how do we get more meat without actually producing more meat? Well, a lot of people are coming up with different solutions and one of these people is Ethan Brown, founder of Beyond Meat™, INDEX: Award 2013 Finalist.

As a child, Ethan Brown learned first-hand about animal-based agriculture at his dad’s dairy operation. Grown-up Ethan developed a career in the clean energy sector yet was nagged by a basic question: Would we continue to raise and eat animals in such staggering numbers if a delicious and perfect plant-based replication of meat existed? Ethan wanted to find out.

So, as a committed vegan, he began to look far and wide for a technology that could do just that - take plant-based proteins and re-align them to mimic the mouthfeel, appearance, and overall sensory experience of animal meats. When he met Dr. Fu-hung Hsieh and Harold Huff at the University of Missouri, Ethan knew he was on to something. And after several years of collaboration with the University of Missouri, The University of Maryland, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and The Obvious Corporation, Beyond Meat™ was born.

Beyond Meat™ is the first-ever plant protein that looks, feels, tastes, and acts like meat. It is made of a blend of soy and pea protein, flours, and fiber and has zero traces of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, gluten, dairy, and GMOs. Beyond Meat™ uses a proprietary process that organizes plant proteins into a near-perfect replica of meat.

Whether you sauté, microwave, or serve it cold, Beyond Meat™ is a versatile, center-of-plate ingredient that you can easily accompany with pasta salad, wraps, sandwiches, skewers, and more. Furthermore, all Beyond Meat™ products are 100% vegan.

The company focuses on perfectly replacing animal protein with plant protein, and by doing so creating nutritional value at a lower cost - one meaty bite at a time.

Ethan Brown believes that in 50 to 100 years, the supermarket meat counter will no longer have a relationship with animals. The transition to a meat counter filled with plant protein will be similar to how society moved from the horse-drawn carriage to the automobile.

At INDEX: Design to Improve Life® we hope that Beyond Meat™ will blossom into a natural selection for people, in order to prevent future unnecessary negative impact caused by standard meat consumption.