UC Berkeley Launches First Plant-Based Meat Class

The first-of-its-kind program encourages students to develop meat alternatives.


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The world’s first semester-long college course on plant-based meat has launched this year at the University of California, Berkeley. Created in partnership with food advocacy firm Good Food Institute (GFI) and the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, the “Challenge Lab” sees teams of students developing strategies for creating new plant-based foods with the help of lectures from industry experts, including Impossible Foods’ advisor Michael Eisen and former Madeleine Bistro chef David Anderson. “The plant-based meat Challenge Lab puts the mission of The Good Food Institute into action by creating new and sustainable solutions to improve the food system,” GFI senior scientist Christine Legally says. At the end of the term, students will present their plant-based business proposals to a panel of judges who will name one winning team. Nutrition major Hailey Zhou already has grandiose plans for her plant-based proposal. “Ideally, I’d like to develop a product line that will make a bigger impact than Impossible Burger,” Zhou says, “which only displaces a segment of the public demand.”

Photo courtesy of Impossible Burger