In the latest episode of his “Unconfuse Me” podcast, tech mogul Bill Gates sits down with Questlove, the drummer of The Roots and Philidelphia foodie. The thought-provoking conversation revolved around the landscape of plant-based foods, with both Gates and Questlove sharing insights into their personal journeys and perspectives on the industry.
Somehow, I just saw the future. Something told me plant-based is going to be the future.
Questlove, a Grammy Award-winning musician and musical director for The Tonight Show, recalls his evolution from a self-proclaimed carnivore to a passionate advocate for plant-based food. His connection to the culinary world deepened when he started hosting food salons with celebrity chefs, ultimately leading him to explore the plant-based movement. And that’s when he encountered Impossible meat.
He recalled a blind taste test he conducted, comparing a traditional hamburger with the Impossible Burger. “I did three of the tests and every time, I chose the Impossible Burger. Somehow, I just saw the future. Something told me plant-based is going to be the future.”
The revelation led to Questlove’s creation of “Questlove’s Cheesesteak,” a plant-based version of the classic Philly Cheesesteak, made with Impossible meat (the product is not fully vegan as it does contain cheese). Initially only available at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, the Grammy Award-winning musician teamed up with Goldbelly and now ships Questloves Cheesesteaks nationwide.
Highlighting the importance of plant-based foods in addressing climate concerns, Gates echoed Questlove’s sentiment, stating, “Yes, one thing that’s cool is that it gets rid of the animal cruelty thing, but it’s also a big climate thing.” Questlove has been involved in first-round investments for over ten years, including NotCo, RightRice, Eat Just, and more, emphasizing his belief in their potential impact. “I just feel as though that’s the future, and I want to be the person that plants the seed,” he comments.
Gates addresses challenges
Gates acknowledged the multifaceted challenges of transforming the food landscape, particularly in developing high-quality plant-based alternatives. He shared his insights into the necessity of achieving the right taste and texture, highlighting his involvement in companies working on innovative solutions. But ultimately, the focus is on the environmental implications of our current food systems and building a future that sustains us.
Rounding out the dialogue, Gates noted, “Well, we need that. Of all the climate areas, the one that people are probably least aware of is all the fertilizer and cows, and that’s a challenge.”
Listen to the full podcast episode here.plant-based eat just meat cheese burger industry