Suvarna Garge (Editor)

The Good Food Institute

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The Good Food Institute (GFI) is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes plant-based meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as "clean meat" (a.k.a. cultured meat) alternatives to the products of conventional animal agriculture. The organization launched in February 2016 with the vision of creating a healthy, humane, and sustainable food supply. GFI targets scientists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to promote plant-based products and cellular agriculture.

Contents

The group has garnered attention for its activities in Washington, which include filing lawsuits against the FDA and the USDA. Other campaigns, such as their petition to get In-N-Out to add a veggie burger, have garnered significant press attention, including a backlash from In-N-Out customers. The LA Times published an op-ed by the group's communication manager, "Will adding a veggie burger to the In-N-Out menu destroy the country?" that responded to the controversy.

GFI’s promotion of plant-based and clean meat has been featured on various news outlets including the Washington Post Magazine and VICE. According to Executive Director Bruce Friedrich, “it’s likely that, in a few generations, animal slaughter for food will be extremely rare in the developed world.”

GFI is currently one of Animal Charity Evaluators' Top Charities.

Advisors

Among GFI's 25 advisors are entrepreneurs, food industry experts, CEOs, scientists, authors, and financial advisors, including:

  • Suzy Welch, American author, television commentator, business journalist, and public speaker
  • Uma Valeti, M.D., CEO and co-founder of Memphis Meats
  • Mark Post, M.D., Ph.D., professor at Maastricht University who produced the first clean meat hamburger, which was funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin
  • Josh Balk, Hampton Creek co-founder
  • Ryan Bethencourt, IndieBio co-founder
  • Derek Sarno, senior global executive chef of Whole Foods Market
  • Liz Specht, PhD, senior scientistm and Fellow with University of Colorado at Boulder Sustainability Innovation Lab
  • Against the FDA

    In June 2016, GFI filed a lawsuit in a D.C. federal court demanding that the FDA turn over all records related to its regulation of the term "soy milk," after the agency failed to respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests GFI submitted in April 2016. According to Politico's Morning Agriculture report, GFI wants the FDA to formally "allow the use of the term 'soy milk,' and says the agency's inconsistency on the matter has led to 'consumer confusion and an uneven competitive landscape.'"

    Against the USDA

    After filing three Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain documents from the USDA related to its open investigation of the American Egg Board's allegedly anti-competitive actions against egg-free Mayo company, Hampton Creek, GFI sued the agency on Monday, August 8, 2016, for failing to respond to the requests in full. According to an article on Vice Motherboard, GFI filed FOIA requests in December for meeting minutes and budgetary documents from the Egg Board, but was only given access to documents that had already been made public.

    Open Philanthropy Project grant

    In September 2016, the Open Philanthropy Project (OPP) awarded GFI a $1,000,000 grant for general support. The grant was made under OPP’s farm animal welfare effort, which is one of their major focus areas given the large number of farmed animals subject to considerable suffering.

    Effective altruism

    GFI has ties with the effective altruism (EA) movement, as helping farmed animals is one of EA's major cause areas. GFI was founded as a sister project of Mercy for Animals, one of EA organization Animal Charity Evaluators' top charities, and GFI Executive Director Bruce Friedrich spoke on EA Global 2016's panel on "Rethinking Meat and the End of Factory Farming". In 2016, effective altruist Michael Dickens wrote an essay explaining his decision to donate $20,000 to GFI, arguing it was among the most promising targets for donors interested in maximizing impact.

    Animal Charity Evaluators review

    In November 2016, Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) named GFI as one of its three Top Charities in its annual animal charity recommendations. The ACE review lists GFI's strengths as its potential to decrease demand for animal products—possibly much more rapidly than moral arguments—and the focus of GFI's leadership on effectiveness. Their weaknesses, according to ACE, include its short track record, the difficulty of developing cost-competitive clean meat, and the possible difficulties with finding and hiring the right staff.

    ACE estimates that GFI could use $500,000 to $1 million more in 2017 than it did in 2016. These funds would likely go to filling their operating reserve and hiring new staff.

    Further information

  • The Labgrown Meat Industry is now Lobbying in Washington June 24, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Our Hen House Podcast July 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Ezra Klein Show: Bruce Friedrich on how Technology Will Reduce Animal Suffering April 26, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • "General mills exec bullish on plant proteins"
  • Transforming Our Food System: An Interview With Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute April 25, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Letter to the Editor: Re Bill Gates Explains How to Make Climate Progress in a World Eating Meat and Guzzling Gas”. March 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Meet the guy who envisions a 'meat brewery' to help solve a global problem July 28, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  • Nerds over cattle: How food technology will save the world October 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  • Ethical arguments won't end factory farming. Technology might. October 11, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-25
  • Vegans' Bullheaded Beef With Tyson Foods October 23, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-25
  • References

    The Good Food Institute Wikipedia


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