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Pascal Bieri, Planted co-founder, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #317 - Pascal Bieri: The 4 Ingredient Meat Alternative

Pascal Bieri

April 20, 2023

6:05 - Coming up with planted recipes

7:18 - What’s wrong with livestock farming

10:56 - How vegetable protein compares

16:20 - Why Planted is better than meat

28:00 - Production costs in Switzerland

About Pascal Bieri:

Pascal Bieri is the co-founder of Planted, a startup creating healthy plant-based meat alternatives. He holds an MA in Informations-, Media- and Technology Management from the University of St Gallen, and previously worked in companies like SweetWorks Confections and DeepTech Capital AG before starting Planted in 2019. He also co-founded the Green Liberal Party in Lucerne when he was 21, but the slowness of politics soon dissuaded him from getting further involved. 

So what’s wrong with livestock farming?

From a cold, technocratic point of view, not taking into account the environment, animal well-being or workers’ rights was great for the meat industry, since it allowed it to achieve a fantastic production ration, super efficient supply chains, pay almost no taxes and deliver very low margins to everyone involved. Meat became cheap and accessible to almost everyone. However, this came at the cost of…

  • Destroying acres and acres of land to build livestock operations;
  • Establishing intensive monoculture farming operations which deplete soils of nutrients in order to feed livestock, which requires 25x the amount of those crops than we do to meet their nutritional needs;
  • Emitting 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is about the same as the amount emitted by the entirety of the transportation system.

Planted makes meat alternatives mainly out of pea protein, which can be grown locally and gives great taste.  In 100 g of planted.chicken Nature, for example, there is 23.7 g of protein, which is about the same amount as found in conventional chicken meat. planted.chicken Nature consists of no more than four natural ingredients and a healthy portion of vitamin B12. What scares Pascal in the meat alternative market is not companies trying to produce equally healthy and tasty alternatives, but the companies making unhealthy products that taste terribly, which deter people from ever trying out a vegan product again. 

Planted products are available in supermarkets but also in certain restaurants, and the menus in these restaurants clearly state that they use planted products. This was intentional on planted’s part, in order to build trust with their future customers. Their goal, eventually, is to become cheaper than animal meat.

Memorable quotes:

"We’re hiding from climate catastrophe behind our own plates, because we’re so attached to eating meat."

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