#21 | Paul Shapiro - The Better Meat Co: Champion on Revolutionizing Food through Sustainable Plant-based Hybrid Meat
In this episode of Sustainability Matters Today, I interview Paul Shapiro, the author of the national bestseller Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, the CEO of The Better Meat Co., a four-time TEDx speaker, the host of the Business for Good Podcast, and #Champion on Revolutionizing Food through Sustainable Plant-based Blended Meat.
Providing a sustainable solution to the globally rising demand of meat, Paul founded The Better Meat Co., a B2B company helping food-sellers enhance their meat products through blending innovative plant protein formulas into ground meat products. The Better Meat Co gets its name because their blends enhance the taste, nutrition, and the sustainability of meat products, all in a cost-competitive way.
The award-winning business has recently partnered with Perdue Food, the number one brand of fresh chicken in the US, in producing the first-of-its kind chicken nuggets blended with plants and vegetables.
In 2018, Paul released the book, “Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World”, the first book to explore the work of start-up businesses that are growing real animal products outside of the animal.
Please make sure to subscribe to the Sustainability Matters Today podcast to learn more about other champions of sustainability like Paul.
I hope you enjoy the episode!
Daniel: I'm joined by Paul Shapiro, the author of the national bestseller "Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World" You're also the CEO of the Better Meat Co., four-time Ted X speaker and the host of The Business for Good podcast. Thank you so much for joining me, Paul.
Paul: Great to be with you Daniel. How are you doing?
Daniel: I'm doing very well. Thank you. That's a lot of things that you're up to. How do you have the time for everything?
Paul: I have a really great wife who is totally cool with me doing a lot of work that is good for the world, so I'm very fortunate in that sense.
Daniel: That's really awesome. Glad to hear it. And you are in a very bright, green, room. Where are you taking this call from?
Paul: Yes! So, I'm at the headquarters of the Better Meat Co., which is a early stage startup that I co founded a couple years ago. And our production facility is in the warehouse that used to be a children's moon bounce facility. So all the walls are painted very bright colors and the floors are all wacky and we like it. We could have spent money to change it, but we actually kind of like it. So, we're not going to waste our investor's money on painting walls that actually have nothing wrong with them.
Daniel: I think that that's fair. Seems like a fun place to work. So, I'm really interested. I read your book "Clean Meat" And I thought it was absolutely fascinating. I've never heard of “Clean Meat” before. I started reading the book until I really encountered the work you're doing. And to be honest, when I first pictured clean meat, I kind of pictured this sort of meatball growing in a vat and you pick it out with tongs when it's ripe and you, kind of like, pluck it off the vine. I don't really know what I was picturing.
Paul: That would be cool.
Daniel: Yes, that's what I thought. So how exactly does it work?
Paul: That would be really cool. First, thanks for reading the book, Daniel. I'm honored that you read "Clean Meat." Other people who want to learn more about it can just go to its website, which is cleanmeatbook.com. But you can buy it anywhere, Amazon, wherever else you want.
So, in short though, clean meat is not an alternative to meat. It's not a substitute for meat. It is real actual animal meat that is simply divorced from animal slaughter. So rather than having to raise an entire animal, only to slaughter and disassemble that animal many months or years later, this type of meat is simply grown from that animals cells. So if you think about like a tiny little biopsy from an animal, like a sesame seed sized biopsy in that little tiny piece of flesh, there are millions of little satellite cells in there that all they do is produce more muscle – to grow more muscles. You have them in your body, Daniel; I have them in my body; chickens, pigs, cows - they all have them in their bodies. And if you take that out and you put that into a cultivator that replicates the conditions of the body – so similar temperature, feeding at the same time of nutrients - those cells do exactly what they would do, where they’re in the animal's body, which is they produce more muscle or what we call meat.
And so, when you think about how it grows right now, we think technologies in the space are growing a ground meat, so, no, it's not going to come in the shape of a meatball. You can form it into a meatball. And I've had meatballs grown from animal cells. They taste really good. People ask if they taste like meat, and they do because they are meat. Again, it's not like this is trying to coax plants into tasting like meat - it is real actual animal meat. So yes, don't think about things coming in preformed patties or balls, but you can make them into that for sure.
Daniel: I mean, what is it exactly that you're taking and forming it into, I guess meatball or what you said it's all ground meat. So, it would be a different...?
Paul: Yes. So you think you can make sausages, meatballs, nuggets, burgers, patties, really anything that can come in a ground meat form you could make. Now there are some companies in the space that are also working on whole cuts of meat. So, a one clean fish company based in San Diego, which is called BlueNalu, I recently ate their whole muscle yellowtail. And it's really delicious.
Daniel: I am sorry. Just to jump in, it looks like an actual piece of yellow tail?
Paul: Yes. Because that's what it is.
Daniel: Okay. That's crazy.
Paul: So anyway, point is that there are companies who are pioneering whole muscle cuts as well, but that it's the minority of companies that are doing that.
Daniel: Yes. Because, I think I read in the book, it comes out in strands or at least, I mean this was two years ago that you wrote the book, so things I'm guessing have changed.
Paul: Yes. It is still a primarily a ground meat game and so yes, it comes in like small little pieces that you assembled together and the way that you would take ground beef and make it into a hamburger. But, there is an increasing number of companies including let's say one in Israel called Aleph Farms, with is just making like little mini steaks so they're making like thin strips of steak. They are much thicker than ground meat, but they're not - yes, they are T-bone. But the technology is progressing and it's really coming along.
And this is the type of technology that can do an enormity of good in the world. It can produce meat for a tiny little sliver of the fraction of resources needed to produce of today.
Daniel: So, I mean, from an environmental perspective, you're basically removing animals from farming practices?
Paul: Yes, that's right, Daniel. So it takes a lot of land to produce meat. It takes a lot of water. It takes a lot of energy, a lot of greenhouse gas emissions, and it just takes a lot fewer resources to produce plant protein. The problem is that people want to eat more and more animal protein. Meat consumption is going up, not down. We know about the success of products like Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger. Those are awesome companies. I really admire them and I'm rooting for them. But meat consumption continues to rise on a per person basis. It's not just that there are more people on the planet, it's also on a per person basis. We're eating more meat than ever before.
And so, if you want to give people their meat that they want, you want to like let them have their meat and needed to, essentially you can grow real meat and make the meat that people really want and just divorce animals from the equation altogether.
Daniel: Yes, it's interesting because you're vegan, right?
Paul: I am.
Daniel: And do you consider it vegan?
Paul: No, definitely not.
So, clean meat is not a vegan food because it is an actual animal meat. But the reason why somebody like me would choose to eat a plant-based diet is out of concern for animal welfare, out of concern for the environment. And those concerns are obviated by this type of a technology. So, I've eaten clean meat on many occasions. Now I've eaten clean beef, duck, fish, liver, frog raw, chorizo and so on because I don't have any concern about it. I'm quite happy to eat it.
Admittedly, I made the decision to choose a plant based diet in 1993, so I've been enjoying a plant-based diet now for nearly three decades and I don't really have a big desire to eat meat as a result of this. I don't mind eating it, I don't have any concern about eating it and I do eat it. But even when clean meat is on the market in a meaningful way, I probably would continue eating a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons, one of which it’s just habit in my life now.
But for people who are wedded to what they perceive as like the so-called real thing or real actual animal flesh, this is a good way to help satiate that desire for them.
Daniel: Yes. I guess this is kind of a silly question because you've said it multiple times that it is real meat. But I mean, when I think about, and you talk about this in the book as well, that when I think about it growing in a petri dish, it's kind of strange. It just makes me feel like it may not necessarily be safe or maybe it's not natural. And I know you talk about it extensively, but I really want to hear you explain it because it's just such a bizarre concept.
Paul: I would say, first and foremost, don't think about it growing in a petri dish. That's not how it grows.
So, if you walk into a Guinness factory right now, what you're going to see are huge bio-reactors filled with brewing microbes. We call it brewer’s yeast, but they're brewing microbes. You're going to have PhD microbiologists walking around with white coats and they're going to be taking notes, but you don't think of it as lab-grown beer. You're going to say, "Oh, the beer was grown in a petri dish.” It's grown in these huge bio-reactors, as we call it, a brewery.
And the same is so as to how you grow meat. You put it into these cultivators that look just like a beer brewery really, except instead of brewing brewer's yeast, you are brewing animal cells. And the product instead of alcohol is actual meat. And we use this type of technology for all different types of things. It is how we produce vitamins today. It's how we produce the insulin that diabetics take today. It's how we produce rennet for cheese, which is a basically a way to get cheese to become a hard cheese. And so, it's not as if these type of technologies are unheard of, it's simply that we're now applying them to different types of new products to actually make. And in this case we can make actual animal meat with it.
And so, if you think about how we used to contemplate ice - like until 150 years ago or so, all of the ice that anybody ever purchased was coming out of nature. It was harvested from a frozen lake and then it was put in an insulated boat and it was shipped all around the world using insulated boats. And so, the only way people had to get ice for thousands of years is that in nature. Then you have the advent of refrigeration. All of a sudden you can cool the water in front of you down and make ice, but it's still ice. It's just, instead of coming out of nature, it's coming through a technology. And of course, the ice barons of that era, we're living over this technological innovation. And they railed against what they called artificial ice - And they said this was unnatural; it was dangerous; you didn't want to give it to your kids; you didn't know the ammonia and the coolant. And you fast forward to today and everybody has an artificial ice maker in their home. We call it a freezer. We don't think it's anything artificial about it at all. In fact, we probably wouldn't even consider ever living without one.
And the same is so with meat. That for thousands of years the only way we've had to get meat was out of an animal's body. Well now we can produce the same meat from the very same cells except through technology rather than coming out of the animal's body. And in the same way that ice from your freezer is much safer than ice coming out of a lake. This type of meat is also going to be safer. Yes, it's more environmentally friendly. Yes, it's better for animals, but it's also going to be safer. Think about it, right now, if you have raw meat, you have to treat it almost like toxic waste, like if it's in your supermarket basket, they have to put it in a separate bag. If it brings it home, if it touches your counter, you have to disinfect your counter. If it touches your hands, you need to wash your hands. That's because it's dangerous. It's got fecal pathogens on it – e-coli, salmonella, campylobacter. These are intestinal pathogens that can sicken us if we don't cook the crap out of our meat literally. You're literally doing cooking the crap out of the meat. But with clean meat, you're not growing intestines at all. So, you have to worry much less about intestinal pathogens than with conventional meat because you're just growing the muscle and the fat that we actually want in the meat as opposed to growing the entire animal with intestines and all.
And so that's one reason it's often called queen meat is because from a food safety perspective, you're more likely to infect this meat with your hands than it is to infect your hands if you touch it. So, big food safety benefits in the same way that refrigeration allows us to use ice from water that was filtered or boiled before it ended up becoming ice.
Daniel: Thanks for outlining that. And I think what's really interesting is that the ice analogy, well not analogy, I mean that's what really happened, that took so much more energy. First you have to get the ice, then you have to pack it, ship it. And similar to the meat and I'm pretty sure you wrote about it in the book, like you have to create an entire animal just to get a specific cut. And I guess that's the point is you can actually just grow a specific part of it and say, "Well, here's that part of the steak, or here's just the piece you need."
Paul: Yes, exactly, Daniel. I know that you are in London right now, so let me tip my hat to Winston Churchill, who in 1931 wrote an essay in which he said that "We will escape the absurdity in the future of raising an entire animal just to get the wing." People will think, "Why would you want to raise a whole chicken, subject that animal to torture often and then slaughter them in violent ways that few people not want to hear about, let alone witness, and well then just to get the piece that you want." Whereas we can, in the future we'll be able to grow these types of meats in a far more environmentally friendly, far safer and far more humane manner that will create a better meat industry. This isn't about ending meat consumption. It's about making meat better, and to create actually a better protein industry.
I think about it, kind of like, if you contemplate like photographs, how we used to have this industry where it was all based on print photography. I remember actually when one-hour photo came out. And one-hour photo, I was amazed. I couldn't believe we're getting our photos in one hour. I mean, it was really incredible. Now if it took a minute to get your photo, you'd be outraged. I mean, imagine if it's a one minute to get a photo of the people would be up in arms; Apple -their stock would plunge; I mean it would be horrible. Right?
But photos have not changed. They still are just capturing our memories. They're just a lot better. Like digital photographs, the reason why we all use them is because they're just much better. They're more convenient. Everything about them, it's just a superior experience for us for the most part. That's why we all use digital photographs now. But we haven't stopped using photographs. We haven't stopped capturing our memories.
And the same is so with meat. You're going to have future types of meat that are just so superior, environmentally, ethically, food safety than the ways that we've produced meat in the past that people would just naturally prefer them.
Daniel: Makes sense. One question that I just thought of. How would it work? So like Kobe beef for example, is quite a specialty and there's a lot that goes into how the actual cow is raised in order to get that kind of flavor and texture of the meat. Is that going to be possible to grow as well?
Paul: Yes. So, I mean, right now we have a situation where we have domesticated animals over thousands of years. We've selectively bred them to essentially get like the most succulent types of meat or the fastest growing animals or whatever we've selected them for. The most amount of egg production, most amount of no production, et cetera. Well now we're in the process not of domesticating animals, but of domesticating their cells and creating different cells that make the most succulent types of meat. Different cells that may be make the most economic types of meat because they happen to grow faster. Different cells that will create new culinary experiences for people that maybe nobody has ever even experienced before.
So, think about, for example Daniel, if you take the time between when cows were domesticated and before we had cheese. So people knew milk, but they had never conceived of cheese. Never had good up, never had breed, never had American or Swiss etcetera or anything else - it is what they call the dark ages. And then somebody invents cheese - figure out a way to get milk to curdle. And now you have an entirely novel realm of culinary experiences to humanity that no person has ever even, not only taste it, has ever even thought of, have never even imagined.
When you divorce meat production from animal raising and animal slaughter, you open up new realms of possibility as well. So, we could have different types of protein experiences in the future that nobody has even contemplated because it hasn't been possible yet in the same way that Swiss cheese was not possible before the curdling of milk was invented.
Paul: So I think of this not only as a way to solve some of humanity's most pressing problems by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing all the negative problems that we associate correctly so with animal agribusiness. But this is also a way to give even better culinary experiences to humanity in the future.
Daniel: Yes, that's cool. I mean, I can only imagine what - well, like you said, I probably actually can't imagine the kind of clean stuff...Oh man, what an exciting world to live in.
I really liked the part in your book where there was, I don't remember who it was, but one of the founders of these companies was able to get Mastodon, like the old elephant. And he made protein gummy elephants out of it.
Paul: Yes. So, you're referring to a company, Daniel, it's called Geltor. And they're based in the Bay area. It's two cofounders, Nick and Alex. And what they did was essentially figured out that they can get microbes to essentially create collagen, which is the building blocks of gelatin that you would make jello or make gummy bears out of whatever. And the Mastodon genome is available because even though humans rendered them extinct when we moved into North America, like if you think about like probably 10,000 - 13,000 years ago or so. Like the Mastodon in North America went extinct because essentially I guess they wouldn't be indigenous people back then cause they were just new to the continent. But the first humans who arrived on the continent basically seem to have hunted them to extinction.
But some of them got trapped in icy graves. And we've excavated them, and you can actually extract some of their genes from there. And so, we have the genome of the Mastodon. So, Nick and Alex took that and they actually then encoded it into their microbes and they produced real Mastodon collagen. And then they made gummy- it’s not gummy bears but gummy elephants out of them and they ate them, they actually ate them. And this is the first time anyone has eaten mastodon protein in thousands of years. We think about how interesting that is. We are the first humans to eat mastodon protein in thousands and thousands of years.
And really coolly, Geltor also made for my book Clean Meat, they made a lab-grown leather cover. So, for the very first copy of Clean Meat was the first ever and still only ever book bound in lab-ground leather. And we put it up on auction and one lucky bidder got the highest bid. It was $13,000 US dollars for the world's first ever lab grown leather bound book. And all proceeds went to charity. It went to the Good Food Institute, which is a nonprofit organization that helps to promote this space.
And so, you can see these really cool things and eating protein from extinct animals, making leather bound books out of lab grown leather. I mean, it's like a really cool novel experience that nobody had ever thought of.
Daniel: We are living in the future. This is it.
Paul: Yes. That's so true.
Daniel: Was the leather-bound book made from mastodon leather?
Paul: No. That would be pretty awesome. But no, it was not made from mastodon leather. In fact, interestingly enough, it was made out of jellyfish leather.
Paul: So, I know that's not as like intriguing as if they had just used cattle collagen, but for a variety of reasons, they ended up using collagen from jellyfish. So, it looks and performs like cattle leather. But it is probably the world's first ever jellyfish leather bound book also.
Daniel: Yes. What a unique place to get that from. I would've never thought to go for jellyfish. I mean this Clean Meat is fascinating and the book was really great. So, thank you for writing it and for sharing all of the knowledge that you got from it - it was awesome. I really want to talk about Better Meat Co. Because I think this is where you are right now. And so, you kind of mentioned that there is the Impossible Burger. But Better Meat Co. isn't trying to create like a new plant-based option. I think what's so unique about Better Meat Co. is your blending. So like why?
Paul: Great question. Daniel, I like that bluntness. I love Impossible. I love Beyond, I love these companies in this space. I buy their products, I'm bringing them for them. I admire them.
Daniel: I just had Impossible Burger for the first time. And I was impressed. Very impressed.
Paul: Good. Well that's awesome. I hope many other people have that same experience. But, think about it like this. The problem of fossil fuels is so severe, so bad that you want lots of alternatives. You want wind, you want solar, you want geothermal, you want more. Well, the problem of factory farming is also so bad. You want lots of alternatives. So yes, you want clean meat. Yes, you want plant-based meat. But those aren’t the only two options. And in fact blending may end up being something that, at least in the near term, can have an even bigger impact.
So, let me give you an example. Imagine that you are the director of dining at a corporate cafeteria and you're serving pork sausages. And then you decide, "Hey, I want to offer a plant-based sausage and see how many people will switch." And by some miracle you're going to charge the same amount, which is of course is not what's going to happen, but in the real world, but let's just say you're going to charge the same amount. Lunchtime comes in, people file in, they start ordering the sausages. Probably, I don't know, you tell me Daniel, what percentage of people who would have bought the pork sausage do you think are going to say, "Oh, I want that new vegan sausage." What do you think? What percent?
Daniel: I think it depends on where you are. But if let's say we're in California and we're being very liberal, then maybe 5% to 10%?
Paul: Sure. I think you're right about that. I think that would be a big success if 5% to 10% were to convert over. That would be big. And keep in mind, plant-based meat presently is less than 1% of the total meat market. But let's just say that's 5% to 10%. Now let's say if either instead of, or even in addition tooffering that plant-based sausage, you make the regular sausage 50% plant-based. So it's, you know, 50% plant, 50% pork, all of a sudden you've got a much bigger reduction in meat consumption. In other words, a much bigger advancement in sustainability than merely offering a plant-based option. So yes, companies should offer plant-based options, but the regular default option that nearly everybody is going to buy should also be better.
And so, I think of it like Beyond and Impossible - these companies are like the Tesla's of the space. They're really cool. They're all electric. They're all plant-based. They're awesome. But they're really expensive, right? They're just really expensive. Now they're much more expensive than the cost of commodity chicken, commodity beef and commodity pork. And that's why less than 1% of vehicles sold are electric vehicles.
Paul: But if you could make the 99% of vehicles that are being sold be more fuel efficient, if you can improve fuel efficiency across the whole spectrum there, you would end up reducing gas usage much, much more than if you doubled or tripled the amount of all electric or all plant based going in. So that's the premise behind the Better Meat Co.
But we don't make hybrid products, we don't make finished goods - we're an ingredients company. So we only make plant based protein formulas that are designed to seamlessly blend directly into animal meats. And we sell our products to meat companies for them to blend into their meat. So we're not trying to get people to switch from meat company X to our product. We're trying to get meat company X to utilize our product in there so they can create better meat – meat that’s going to taste better; it's going to be better on nutrition; better on sustainability; and it's going to have less saturated fat, less cholesterol, fewer calories, more fiber, and it's going to use fewer animals and have a much lighter footprint on the planet. So that's the whole premise behind what we're doing.
Daniel: Makes sense. So, everything you make is made from plants?
Paul: Yes. We're a plant-based company. And so we utilize technologies that allow us to very inexpensively convert plants into plant-based protein formulas that blend into meat. So, if you're a beef producer and you're going to use our products, you're actually going to not be spending more for the plant-based protein formulas, you'll be spending less.
Daniel: It makes sense. I'm actually going to just share my screen here briefly because I'm on the Better Meat Co's website. And I'm just looking at your products. As you have a few here. This is the chicken, which is called Albina. So, how much percentage chicken is in this one? Or sorry, this is pork actually.
Paul: So yes, it's a pork. So that's two thirds pork, one third Better Meat Co plant protein. But we also do some form of those that are designed to go up to 50%. So, for example, Perdue, the major chicken company uses our ingredients to make a line of products they call Perdue Chicken Plus. And Chicken Plus is 50% chicken, 50% plant based. And you can't tell the difference. You consume it. You just can't tell any difference. It looks and tastes just like a regular chicken nugget.
Daniel: Yes. So the fact that they're calling it Perdue Chicken Plus, they're obviously really proud that it's plant-based.
Paul: Oh, yes. This is a marketing advantage. They have a product that has the same amount of protein but less saturated fat, less cholesterol, more fiber. I mean this is a better product. And so, imagine if you go, like for example, Daniel is a Jamba juice. And you get a smoothie and then you ask them to boost it with matcha or some type of a protein like that's what this is similar to. They're boosting their product with plant protein, with really healthy clean plant protein. So it's kind of like a boost to their product. So of course, they're proud of it because it's a better product. It's the same reason that you would spend more to add something to your smoothie to boost it. We have better nutrition, or that's what this product is. Yes, you're still getting chicken, but it's been boosted with really healthy plant protein as well.
Daniel: That's super cool. In the UK, there's this concept that the government kind of shares with everyone, which is called "Get your five a day." I'm not sure if it's in the U.S., but five a day is talking about your vegetable and fruit intake. And it seems like this is such an easy way to - like while you're having your chicken nuggets for lunch, you're also potentially getting your five a day. It could be a really great, I mean, I'm sure meat companies who would absolutely love that as a marketing.
Paul: So, Perdue markets, it actually as a quarter cup of vegetables per serving of chicken nuggets. So this is a way, like if you're a busy mom, your kids don't want to eat their veggies, well, they'll certainly be happy to eat chicken nuggets. Well, why not have chicken nuggets that have their vegetables in them and they look and taste the same? It's not like you can see any difference. You certainly can't taste any difference. And so, it's just a good way to help get more vegetables into your kids' diet if they are going to insist on eating chicken.
Daniel: Yes. Not that chicken nuggets are a good default, but anyway...
Paul: Yes. But it's just the reality for a lot of busy parents. It's just a default.
Daniel: It's very true. I'm curious. Now, since you are a vegan, have you actually tasted Perdue Chicken Plus?
Paul: I will sometimes like try the blended products and see what they taste like. I don't usually swallow them, but I will try them. But it doesn't really matter when I think honestly, it just doesn't matter. Like what matters is what every day the consumer think. So, we do regular focus groups with consumers to get their opinions on it. And I have tried it out of curiosity, but I don't have some desire to eat it myself. And certainly most of our staff, it acts as a good focus group for us as well. And they will come in and try it as well.
And so, I may give you an example. Like our head of product development and culinary innovation is a very great gentleman who has decades of meat industry experience himself. So I would trust his palette over mine, any day.
Daniel: He's eaten a lot more meat than you have.
Paul: Yes, that's for sure. He's been working in the meat industry like as long as I've been alive, probably.
Daniel: Yes. So, no competition there.
Daniel: Well that's really cool. And I love that it's kind of a sneaky way to be way more environmentally friendly. Just a really clever way to do it. As we start to wrap up here, I'm curious, so you're doing all of these really cool things with Better Meat Co, you're obviously a big fan of the clean meat movement and there's tons going on there. But I'm curious to know, like on a day to day basis when you come home or you're at work, what do you do to be environmentally friendly?
Paul: First of all, I'm vegan, so that's automatically like limiting my emissions in a very dramatic way. But, there are smaller actions that I take. Like for example, I won't throw any food away or by anything from my work or that is biodegradable, is going to never go into a landfill. So, I will either compost it or sometimes like leave it out in the woods or whatever or wherever I am. Which is what I do sometimes is I actually like at night seeing like raccoons and possums and enjoying like the large ass of my life. But so, the car that my wife and I share is a used hybrid. I wish that we didn't need a car at all. I much prefer not to in a car, but where we live is sadly necessary since we don't live in a near community.
But I do think that other people, like when they look at cars, I mean it is better to buy used no matter what. Like it's better to buy a used conventional car than a new hybrid. We did what I think is the best of both worlds, which we bought a used hybrid. But in the future, should we ever be in the car market again, I would like to be able to buy like a used all-electric car as well. And there's other things that we'll do. Like I pretty much don't buy any new clothing. I mean my wife, I'm accused of being like anesthetic or like a minimalist. I mean, most of my clothing is I buy used. So I'm just a big proponent of not creating new things in the world where we already have an over abundance of everything that we need.
Daniel: I think that's a really good point. That the used concept is so important as I'm finding out. Because that what you said about the cars, I didn't really realize that it's better to keep your gas guzzling car than to buy an electric one.
Paul: A new electric one.
Daniel: A new electric one. Yes, exactly. Because the amount of emissions it takes and not just the emissions, but you have to mine all the metal and...
Paul: Yes, that's right. Yes. That's the bigger issue is just creating all of this stuff. Like that's the biggest issue. Like the big environmental footprint is making all this stuff. So, and that's for cars, that's for clothing. It's so much. And so if I could buy my food used, I would.
Daniel: You'll draw the line somewhere.
Paul: Yes. I will say though, I mean actually I kind of do and that there's a chain that's primarily based in California. It's called Grocery Outlet. And it's like they primarily sell things that other grocery stores aren't going to sell. So, it's stuff that's nearing expiration. It is stuff that has like product packaging problems, like it might have the wrong label, or it might have like maybe companies are upgrading to a new formula and they want to get their own product out as quickly. And so, Grocery Outlet actually sells very inexpensive groceries. The inventory changes every week for obvious reasons. But my wife and I love going there because you get things for much cheaper. And so, I'll go there and see things that are nearing expiration that are half the price of what they are at a conventional supermarket. So, it's not buying a used food, which will be pretty repulsive, but I guess it is as close as you're going to get.
Daniel: Yes. That's one thing I love doing is I'm going to the clearance aisle of a supermarket because everything's about to be thrown away. And I cannot bear it. So I go there and just snack stuff up. And it's cool because like you never know what you're going to get. And life's like a box of chocolates. So it's always fun. You get to pick new things and sometimes...
Paul: That's funny. That's a good line, Daniel – “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Maybe somebody will put it in a movie.
Daniel: Yes, there you go. I think you're onto something. Well thank you so much Paul. I think the work you're doing is so awesome. I loved hearing all about it. You already said your website for the book cleanmeatbook.com.
Daniel: There's a couple of other websites. Where can we find you if we're interested in learning about the Better Meat Co. and about your work?
Paul: Yes. Easiest thing is just to go to my personal website, it's paul-shapiro.com. Again, that's paul-shapiro.com and you can get in touch with me, email me a link over to the Better Meat Co, or to Cleanmeatbook.com is all from there. But point is you're always welcome to get in touch with me. If I can be helpful for you in some way. I would really love to be. So always feel free to get in touch.
Daniel: That's so awesome. Yes. Well thanks again Paul, the work you're doing just so cool. And it was a pleasure talking with you.
Paul: It's so great to talk with you too Daniel. Thanks again.
Thank you very much for listening to this episode.
If you’d like to learn more about Paul Shapiro and The Better Meat Co, please visit bettermeat.co. You can also listen to his podcast at businessforgoodpodcast.com which features companies with a mission to help solve social problems. Follow them on twitter @BetterMeatCo for more updates.
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