Bill Gates. File picture: Seth Wenig/AP
Bill Gates. File picture: Seth Wenig/AP

Bill Gates roasted for saying rich countries should eat '100 percent synthetic beef'

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Feb 18, 2021

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently said that he believes rich countries would help the global fight against climate change by consuming only plant-based meat products instead of beef.

In a recent interview with MIT Technology Review, Gates discussed his new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, and emphasised the benefits rich countries could produce by moving to "100% synthetic beef".

He claimed that people will "get used to the taste difference" while asserting that it will "taste better over time".

“I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef,” Gates told the online magazine. “You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the behaviour of people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.”

Synthetic meat alternatives like those produced by Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have been growing in popularity in recent years. Companies like Burger King have released “fake meat” versions of their most popular burgers in some countries. But Gates said he knows the idea is tough to swallow for many.

"Saying to people, 'You can't have cows anymore' - talk about a politically unpopular approach to things," he said.

Tweeps, however, had several reasons to discount Gates' explanation. Judging from the comments, many users are not ready to completely give up their burgers and steaks just yet. So this led to Gates’ trending on Twitter this week as critics chewed him out. Some people also questioned why Gates should dictate what countries should do to address climate change when a new report singles him out as one of the world's top carbon emitters.

Here are some of the reactions:

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