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Dec 20, 2021

Karthik Sekar, Ph.D, outlines the technical — and ethical — promises of microbial fermentation in a way that is both exciting and inspiring. Karthik is the author of After Meat: The Case for an Amazing Meat-Free World.

Karthik Sekar, Ph.D is a trained scientist and engineer. He finished his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina, his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University, and a postdoctoral position in Systems Biology at ETH Zurich. He currently works on the front lines of the alternative food industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please visit to learn more.

AFTER MEAT explores the technological reasons for moving away from animal products. “Animals are awful technology,” says Dr. Sekar, who supports his opinion by examining how inefficient it is to use cows, for example, to produce steaks, leather, and milk. According to Dr. Sekar, it takes more than a year to grow food to feed animals, and we “waste” more than ninety percent of what we feed the animal to reach the desired result, due to the fundamental physics of cow biology. These are irretrievably terrible metrics. We can do much better with alternative technology such as microbial fermentation, which will also be easier to innovate for taste, nutrition, and other qualities we care about. And all indications are that the future of food will ultimately be tastier, healthier, cheaper, kinder, and better for the environment. This will happen because we won’t use animal products. 

100% of the proceeds of AFTER MEAT will be donated to the following charities: The Good Food Institute; Animal Charity Evaluator’s Recommended Charity Fund; Effective Altruism’s Animal Welfare Fund; and Faunalytics.

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Related Episode: 170 Fermentation for Alternative Protein Production 

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