In the two and a half years since the Good Food Institute (GFI) was established, the company has already done some pretty amazing things. For example, the nonprofit coined the term “clean meat” in hopes of making animal-free meat sound more appealing while highlighting the fact that growing meat in labs comes with a far lower environmental impact than raising and slaughtering animals.
Furthermore, GFI has hired a team of young researchers and entrepreneurs dedicated to advancing the clean meat industry. In addition to doing other awesome, planet-saving work, these individuals meet with conventional meat companies like Tyson and try to sell them on funding clean and plant-based meat startups. So far, the innovative organization has had great success in achieving this objective.
Just recently, GFI attracted the attention of Y Combinator (YC), a startup accelerator best known for funding popular companies such as Dropbox and Airbnb. Impressed with GFI’s work thus far, YC decided to add the nonprofit to its summer batch of startups.
As YC partner Gustaf Alstromer described in an article for Fast Company, the reasoning behind putting GFI on its roster is such: “YC got interested in it because of the innovation in this industry. We think that if it works this will revolutionize the entire meat industry and we think that it will probably be entrepreneurs and startups that build the companies that produce that meat.”
For GFI, receiving money from an accelerator gives the company a new perspective on how it can bring about change. As GFI Cofounder and Executive Director Bruce Friedrich reportedly put it, “It’s helping us think more strategically.” He added, “If we try something and it doesn’t work, that’s still extraordinarily valuable, which is not [how] most nonprofits think about their activity. It’s not a failure because we’ve learned critical lessons and we can refocus in a more impactful direction.”
According to Fast Company, “The summer batch of 132 startups includes related companies such as Seattle Food Tech, which is working on a plant-based chicken nugget, Spero Foods, which makes plant-based cheese and eggs, and Cytera CellWorks, which can help labs automate making cell cultures for clean meat. (A fourth company, Mylk Guys, is a vegan grocery delivery startup.)”
We certainly agree that trying new things in the interest of bringing about a better future for us all is a great idea. And even if things don’t work out with GFI’s latest venture with YC, we have a feeling that the nonprofit will be successful in the coming years no matter what!
After all, the demand for clean and plant-based meat is growing rapidly as more and more consumers are learning about the many things that are wrong with traditional meat production, from the profound disregard for animal welfare involved in factory farming to the enormous amount of pollution created. For the sake of our planet and everyone on it, we can only hope that GFI will make great strides toward eradicating these issues by finding ways to make delicious protein products without using live animals!
Want to learn more about how eating clean and plant-based meat can help solve our current environmental crisis, plus ensure that there is enough food to go around as our global population increases? Then check out the #EatForThePlanet book!
Image Source: Spero Foods/Facebook