If we could build the perfect “meat” entirely from plants, what would it taste like? Beyond Meat, a leader in the plant-based meat industry, is on a quest to answer this question by actually creating the most delicious possible meat alternatives imaginable!

The company is taking the challenge quite seriously, even going so far as to open up a brand new 26,000-square-foot research and development center dedicated to its pursuit of bringing “perfectly built” plant-based meats to life. To help make Beyond Meat’s goal a reality, this state-of-the-art facility will house around 100 employees working on the Manhattan Beach Project, an endeavor which will bring together some of the world’s top chefs, scientists, food technologists, engineers, and managers.

Together, these experts will work as a team to dive deeper than ever into the science of meat, allowing them to recreate it using minerals, lipids, and amino acids from plants. Beyond Meat’s Vice President of Research & Development Dr. Dariush Ajami summarized how important the new facility is in helping the team make plant-based meat products that are as close to the real thing as it gets.

As Dr. Ajami reportedly stated, “The new home to the Manhattan Beach Project allows us to reimagine the use of existing technologies for a better understanding of the complexity of meat. The Innovation Center gives us a leg up as we apply this knowledge in our efforts to perfectly build meat directly from plant materials, using only natural ingredients and without genetic modification.”

Every step of the way, Beyond Meat’s R&D team will of course be taking into account consumer opinions on what makes a great plant-based meat product. They will also be hosting chefs and culinary experts at the facility’s test kitchen so that these talented food specialists can experiment with new ideas and taste test Beyond Meat’s latest innovations.

Ultimately, Beyond Meat’s objective is to create something so delicious and so close to animal protein that people won’t even realize they aren’t eating traditional meat, and they won’t be mad about it, either! The company is going to great lengths to do so in the interest of our planet and all of its inhabitants, both human and animal.

As Beyond Meat CEO and Founder Ethan Brown described the company’s mission, “What the animal has done throughout history — organize plant material in the form of muscle or meat — we believe we can do more efficiently to the benefit of human health, the environment and animal welfare. The path to the perfect build of meat from plants is both long and steep, but with every iteration we are getting closer and closer.”

There’s no doubt that Beyond Meat is doing something extremely important by striving to encourage consumers to turn away from animal protein and towards more sustainable (but equally delicious!) plant-based options. After all, the animal agriculture industry is enormously destructive to our environment and is depleting our natural resources far faster than we can afford, all while perpetuating world hunger.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, if everyone in the U.S. went plant-based, it would cut emissions by 28 percent and allow us to feed another 350 million people, according to a recent study. Considering the planet-saving power of products made from plants, we’re so glad to hear that Beyond Meat is investing in the future of protein with its new research facility!

Are you interested in learning more about how your personal decision to eat plant-based foods can help solve our current climate crisis? Check out the Eat For The Planet book!

Image Source: Beyond Meat/Facebook