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Eating Cultivated Meat: Dr. Uma Valeti’s Moonshot To Engineer The Future Of Food & End Factory Farming

By July 8, 2024No Comments
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Episode #843



Our current methods of meat production are wreaking havoc on our environment, raising ethical red flags, and posing serious public health risks.

From greenhouse gas emissions to antibiotic resistance, the challenges posed by conventional animal agriculture are mounting at an alarming rate.

Could the answer to our global food crisis be growing meat in labs? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds—in fact, it’s already happening.

My guest today is Dr. Uma Valeti, founder and CEO of UPSIDE Foods and a pioneer in the nascent field of cultivated meat. Uma is a board-certified cardiologist turned food tech innovator who has established one of the first companies dedicated to growing real meat directly from animal cells. His career has focused on transforming how we produce meat, revealing how biotechnology can address critical environmental and ethical concerns.

Uma’s work illustrates how cultivated meat can be genetically identical to conventional meat, with trillions of cells in bioreactors playing a crucial role in its production without animal slaughter. By revealing how this technology can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water consumption associated with meat production, he provides a science-backed roadmap for revolutionizing our food system.

“We need to start looking at food as a way to prolong life.”


Today, we explore the fascinating science behind cultivated meat and its potential to transform our food ecosystem. Uma explains the intricate process of growing meat from cells, the regulatory hurdles they’ve overcome, and the path to scaling this technology to meet global demand.

We cover a range of thought-provoking topics, including the environmental impact of conventional meat production, the potential health benefits of cultivated meat, and the challenges of winning consumer acceptance. We also discuss the recent FDA approval of UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken, a milestone in the industry’s journey toward mainstream adoption.

In a particularly compelling moment, I step out of my 17-year vegan comfort zone to taste-test UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken products on the show. This experience challenges my own preconceptions and opens up a broader discussion about the future of food production.

This conversation is an invitation to reimagine our relationship with food—to consider how cutting-edge technology could help us maintain our culinary traditions while radically reducing our environmental footprint.

For those who prefer a visual experience, the conversation is available on YouTube. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Whether you’re a carnivore, a committed vegan, or simply curious about sustainable nutrition, this conversation is a must-listen. The potential for positive change is immense, and the trajectory of our food system may depend on innovations like these.


Peace + Plants,

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