By now, most people are aware of the fact that consuming copious amounts of meat is not great for their health – and increasingly, they’re also waking up to the fact that it isn’t great for the planet either. Industrialized animal agriculture is the largest singular driver of climate change, responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, and is also the culprit behind mass deforestation, water and air pollution. Without even touching on the atrocities this industry carries out on animals, it’s pretty clear the factory farming model needs to change.

Luckily, there are many companies that are seeing the writing on the wall and taking the opportunity to create a better source of protein for our growing population – taking animals out of the equation entirely.

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Beyond Meat has been a pioneer in the space of plant-based protein, making the first-ever vegan burger that not only cooks, smells, and tastes like meat but is also sold in the meat case of the grocery store itself. We’ve seen a number of exciting developments from the company in recent months, their inclusion on popular burger chain menus like TGI Friday’s is just one of them, but it seems like the momentum is not slowing down for this amazing team. In fact, actor turned activist, Leonardo DiCaprio just invested in Beyond Meat! 

“Livestock production is a major contributor to carbon emissions,” DiCaprio shared in a company announcement about his investment, “Shifting from animal meat to the plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures someone can take to reduce their impact on our climate. The company’s ability to create appealing, healthy meat directly from plants will go a long way in helping everyday consumers take action on climate change.”

We are so thrilled to see a star like Leonardo DiCaprio take a stance on this issue and support the growing future of food. Knowing the monumental challenges that we will have to make to overcome the looming threat of climate change, being able to make a simple choice that can help lower your personal impact – like picking up an awesome plant-based burger – is a great way to empower people to make a difference.

It’s also worth noting that this investment isn’t singularly wise for the environment, but it’s incredibly profitable as well. The  meat alternative sector is projected to be valued at $5.2 billion by 2020, and considering the meat industry writ-large is worth around $1 trillion, there’s an incredible amount of opportunity for companies and investors to help create the future of our food system.

Beyond Meat has skyrocketed to success and we can only imagine what new heights they’ll reach with the help of Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a company that is changing the world, one delicious meal at a time – so here’s to many more full plates.

To learn more about the environmental impact of our food choices as well as trends and developments in the plant-based food space, check out our podcast #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias.

Image source: Tinseltown/Shutterstock

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