Meat the Future (2020)

  • 1h 30m
  • Liz Marshall
  • Canada
  • 2020

Tue 16 Jun, 7pm - followed by Q+A on the DOC EDGE Facebook page
Fri 19 Jun, 3pm
Thu 2 Jul, 1pm


“Posing a myriad of questions about the future, this urgent and timely character-driven documentary explores the advent of real meat — without the need to raise and slaughter animals.”
— Climate Lab

Food trends come and go, but meat has been a staple of people’s diets for millennia. Globally, meat consumption could double by 2050 — or it could be halved in high-income countries by 2030.

Animal agriculture takes up roughly 45% of the planet’s ice-free land surface area. It’s responsible for a major share of the damage caused in global land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, and for the loss of biodiversity. It contributes at least 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions — more than cars emit.

For three years, director Liz Marshall tracked the visionaries creating real meat without slaughtering animals, and without causing environmental degradation.

The planet’s future may lie with “clean meat” (also known as “cell-based meat”, “cultured meat” and “cultivated meat”), a food science that grows meat from animal cells. Billionaires Bill Gates and Richard Branson are among the industry’s high-profile investors, and this instills confidence that cell-based meat may soon come to market.

“If scientists can grow
human tissue from stem cells…
why not a similar process to ‘brew’
real pork, beef, and poultry?”

Meat the Future focuses largely on former Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr Uma Valeti, and stem cell biologist Nicholas Genovese. Co-founders of the American food-tech start-up Memphis Meats, the pair explore the personal moral compasses that guide their journey.

Reinventing meat could change the world — but not if American farmers get their way. In Washington, D.C., ranchers, farmers and meat lobby groups fight to protect their established brand of animals “harvested in the traditional manner”.

Whether you’re a carnivore or a vegan, Liz Marshall’s documentary gets under the skin of one of issues many believe is key to the survival of the planet and its inhabitants. 

Previous festival selections include:
Hot Docs 

Check out RNZ’s Nine to Noon piece on Meat the Future


Liz Marshall



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