Where's the good food?

Published: Sep 27, 2019, 07:00 IST | Dalreen Ramos |

A new podcast asks us to rethink our food and take to alternative sources of protein

Lab-grown meat worth USD 3,30,000, made in 2013. Pic courtesy/Youtube
Lab-grown meat worth USD 3,30,000, made in 2013. Pic courtesy/Youtube

In a piece titled Fifty Years Hence in 1931, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote, "We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium." He might have not been alive to see the first lab-grown burger that was made at a news conference in London in 2013, but he did predict the cell-based meat revolution. But revolutions don't start overnight, and that's what a new podcast on the IVM Podcasts aims to convey.

Feeding 10 Billion is a 10-part series by Varun Deshpande and Ramya Ramamurthy of the Good Food Institute — a US-based non-profit that works towards accelerating the growth of plant-based meat and clean meat. The podcast, two episodes of which are already out, conveys the urgency of rethinking our food systems in order to feed all the 10 billion people in the world by 2050. The fallout of our existing animal-rearing system has been spoken about at length in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the paucity of resources. So, Deshpande and Ramamurthy focus on the solutions.

Varun Deshpande 

With each episode clocking around 50 minutes, they introduce and unpack the terminology of plant-based and cell-based (grown from cells outside of an animal) meats. And while some US-based companies are already promising players in the game, they ponder over the future for India. City-based Deshpande and Ramamurthy started working on the show in May, and got perspectives from experts as well as those who were clueless. As Ramamurthy states, "People often ask if these alternatives are to be considered vegetarian or non-vegetarian."

GuideRamya Ramamurthy

She also says that building this podcast was an organic process as there is no dearth of topics to talk about. "And since the sector is also growing, the show will evolve accordingly. We thought this was the best format that lends itself to in-depth conversations," Ramamurthy continues, before adding that Indian solutions will have to be unique owing to the ghar ka khaana phenomenon.

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