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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Mar 15, 2024

If you listened to the last episode, you already know that there’s an updated paperback edition of my book Clean Meat that’s coming out April 9, 2024. I announced in that episode that, aligning with that release, this show will be devoted for a couple months exclusively to interviews with leaders in the cultivated meat space, many of whom are profiled in the book. 

And there’s perhaps no person in the cultivated meat sector who’s generated more headlines than Josh Tetrick, CEO of both Eat Just and Good Meat. Along with people like Mark Post and Uma Valeti, both of whom will also be guests in this podcast series, Josh was one of the first entrepreneurs to devote resources to trying to commercialize cultivated meat. And his company, Good Meat, indeed was the first company ever to win regulatory approval anywhere—in Singapore—and start selling real meat grown without animal cells. 

In the new paperback edition of Clean Meat I detail the process of that Singaporean regulatory approval and the world’s first historic cultivated meat sale. And while Good Meat has gone on to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital and garner US regulatory approval as well, the company admittedly hasn’t yet achieved the goals it set out for itself in the early days. 

In the recent New York Times obituary for cultivated meat, the author Joe Fassler writes, “The book ‘Clean Meat’ describes Mr. Tetrick looking at factory drawings and saying, ‘By 2025, we’ll build the first of these facilities,’ and by 2030, ‘we’re the world’s largest meat company.’”

Today, in 2024, Good Meat no longer has an aspiration of a 2025 major cultivated meat plant, and the idea of being the world’s largest meat company by 2030 seems relatively  unlikely. But as you’ll hear in this interview, Josh Tetrick remains cautiously optimistic about a future for the cultivated meat industry, despite negative headlines that are, at least for the time being, dampening some investors’ enthusiasm for the space.

In this episode, Josh and I have a frank discussion about the cultivated meat sector, how it may be able to scale, what the economics could look like, whether Josh thinks it’s realistic to make a dent in total animal meat demand, and more. 

Long-time listeners of the show will remember that Josh also was a guest on this podcast way back in 2019 on Episode 23. In that conversation, we discussed how he remains resilient in the face of adversity. I recommend going back and listening to that inspirational episode for sure, and I’m glad to have Josh back on the show to offer his point of view of where things stand in the movement to divorce meat production from animal slaughter today.

Discussed in this episode

More about Josh Tetrick

Josh Tetrick is CEO & co-founder of Eat Just, Inc., a food technology company with a mission to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system in our lifetimes. 

The company's expertise, from functionalizing plant proteins to culturing animal cells, is powered by a world-class team of scientists and chefs spanning more than a dozen research disciplines. Eat Just created one of America’s fastest-growing egg brands, which is made entirely of plants, and the world’s first-to-market meat made from animal cells instead of slaughtered livestock. 

Prior to founding Eat Just, Tetrick led a United Nations business initiative in Kenya and worked for both former President Clinton and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. As a Fulbright Scholar, Tetrick taught schoolchildren in Nigeria and South Africa and is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School. 

Tetrick has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Inc.’s “35 Under 35” and Fortune’s “40 Under 40.” Eat Just has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” Entrepreneur’s “100 Brilliant Companies,” CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” and a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.