Can faux meat produce meaty profits?

Josh Balk and cookies
Josh Balk, a co-founder of Hampton Creek Foods, grins over a spread of cookies made with Hampton Creek’s vegan cookie dough. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Is there money to be made by going meatless? Substitutes for meat, dairy and eggs have been around for decades, as demonstrated by the success of Seattle-based Field Roast Grain Meat Co., but new technologies may well give what’s now known as “clean meat” a boost.

“I don’t know of any companies that are true innovators in this space that are flailing,” said Chris Kerr, investment manager at New Crop Capital, a D.C.-based venture capital firm that specializes in the food frontier.

Kerr was among the experts speaking at a survey of the marketplace for clean meat – that is, meat products that are essentially grown from cells in a vat rather than animals in a feedlot – as well as for plant-based proteins like Field Roast. The May 22 presentation was organized by the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs in collaboration with the Good Food Institute, a clean-meat advocacy group.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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