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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.

May 17, 2024

Upon reading his obituary, Mark Twain reportedly wrote that “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Whether Twain actually wrote this or not, the reality remains that today the reports of the death of cultivated meat are indeed quite real. Yet Bruce Friedrich, the president of the Good Food Institute, is here to tell you that he believes such reports are not based on science and are indeed greatly exaggerated. 

Few people have done more to inspire others to pursue alternative protein—including cultivated meat—as a strategy to ameliorate world problems than Bruce. I’ve known Bruce since 1996, and one thing that’s remained constant during the past three decades is that Bruce’s commitment to reducing suffering on the planet is simply enormous. Whether in his role as part of the nonprofit animal advocacy world or the crusade he’s been on since co-founding GFI in 2016 to render alternative proteins no longer alternative, Bruce’s lodestar has always been: how can he do as much good as possible during his limited time on the planet?

In this conversation, Bruce and I focus on the state of the plant-based and cultivated meat industries today, why he believes the critics are misguided, whether China will lead this race, how to respond to the new cultivated meat bans like those newly passed in Florida and Alabama, and critically: what it will take for alt-protein to no longer be alt.

Discussed in this episode

More about Bruce Friedrich

Bruce Friedrich is founder & president of the Good Food Institute, a global network of nonprofit science-focused think tanks, with more than 220 full-time team members across affiliates in the U.S., India, Israel, Brazil, Singapore, and Europe (UK, Germany, & EC). GFI works on alternative protein policy, science, and corporate engagement - to accelerate the production of plant-based and cultivated meat in order to bolster the global protein supply while protecting our environment, promoting global health, and preventing food insecurity. Friedrich is a TED Fellow, Y Combinator alum, 2021 "American Food Hero" (EatingWell Magazine), and popular speaker on food innovation. He has penned op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Nature Food, Wired, and many other publications. He has represented GFI on the TED Radio Hour, New Yorker Radio Hour, the Ezra Klein Show, Making Sense (Sam Harris), and a variety of other podcasts and TV programs. Bruce's 2019 TED talk has been viewed more than 2.4 million times and translated into 30 languages. Friedrich graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law and also holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics.