Liz Marshall’s Meat The Future
(May 1, 2020 – Toronto, ON) That’s not a typo. We didn’t mean Meet. Let’s back up a bit, say seven years. In 2013, documentary director Liz Marshall focused on the inhumanity and environmental impact of animals exploited for food, fashion, entertainment, and research with award-winning documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine. It screened at Hot Docs and other festivals and was ultimately seen by hundreds of thousands of people in 92 countries.
Now Marshall is back and this time it’s a story of human ingenuity and planetary hope inspired by one of this century’s biggest ideas: cell-based meat. Meat the Future is a close-up and personal look at the visionaries who are risking everything to innovate and produce real meat without slaughtering animals and without environmental destruction. It could also prevent zoonotic foodborne disease and the next health pandemic.
“What the future holds for cell-based meat is unclear,” said director Liz Marshall, “but I believe its revolutionary promise and historic journey into the world will stand the test of time.”
Animal agriculture dominates nearly half of the world’s land surface, producing more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation. The prospect of meat consumption doubling by 2050 is not only sobering, it is a wake-up call for solutions. Compared to conventionally-produced beef, cell-based beef is estimated, at scale, to reduce land use by more than 95%, climate change emissions by 74% to 87%, and nutrient pollution by 94%.
While plant-based eating is on the rise, a mass conversion to vegetarianism is unlikely. So, the planet’s future may lie with cell-based meat, also known as “clean meat” and “cultivated meat”, a scientific process of growing animal cells to harvest real poultry, beef, pork, fish and seafood.
Filmed between 2016 and 2019, Meat the Future follows the genesis phase of the clean meat movement in America, behind the scenes with its pioneers – they are activists, scientists, researchers, marketers and policy experts, all focused on the goal of an ethical, sustainable and profitable food future.
This timely character-driven documentary that largely on one individual, Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist Dr. Uma Valeti, the co-founder and CEO of start-up company Memphis Meats. Valeti and his team are at the forefront of an industry, they have attracted worldwide interest and investment from the likes of billionaire influencers Bill Gates and Richard Branson and from food giant corporations Tyson and Cargill and others.
On the food regulatory side, Meat the Future witnesses the story out of Washington, D.C. There, ranchers, farmers, and conventional meat lobby groups fight to protect their recognized brand of meat and beef “harvested in the traditional manner,” while representatives from the cellular agricultural community work to define a clear regulatory framework, urging America to be first to market.
And there are salivating moments as well, as top-ranked chefs perform their magic on the meat-of-the-future.
The World Broadcast Premiere of Meat The Future will screen as part of Hot Docs at Home on CBC and GEM, 8:00pm (8:30 NT) and documentary Channel, 9:00pm ET/PT
next Thursday, May 7.