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PLANT-BASED LEARNING

A university in California is teaching a class on plant-based meat

Chase Purdy
By Chase Purdy

Food Reporter

It’s a crash course on how to create and foster fake meat products.

The University of California Berkeley is offering an entrepreneurial class in the fall session that puts students into competing groups charged with developing the most innovative plant-based meat product. It’s a fitting challenge for students at UC Berkeley, who live in the thick of a Silicon Valley food tech scene that has produced animal-alternative food companies such as Impossible Foods and Perfect Day.

According to the course description, students are tasked with creating a product that addresses environmental and ethical questions from how animals should be treated on farms to figuring out ways to curb climate change through sustainable production. Here’s the course description:

Embark on a unique, team-based challenge to build novel enterprises to address the most pressing environmental and ethical issues of our times. Unique opportunity for students with experience or demonstrated interest in life sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, biotechnology, plant biology, chemical engineering, design and mechanical engineering. Undergraduate or graduate students with complementary skills such as business, computer science, etc. are also welcomed.

The Good Food Institute has already spoken to the class about the task in front of them, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. That group is a relatively new and noteworthy face in Washington, DC, serving as both a think-tank and a lobbying group for the so-called “clean meat” industry.

The student group that’s dubbed the winner of the in-class contest will receive a $5,000 prize—and perhaps walk away with the next big idea in the food technology scene.

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