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Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food

Chase Purdy

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Biography: business & industry

An insider's account of the global race to be the first company to put a lab-produced meat product on the market, and to enact the biggest upheaval to the food business in decades

A fast-paced, gripping insider account of the entrepreneurs and renegades racing to bring lab-grown meat to the world.

The trillion-dollar meat industry is one of our greatest environmental hazards; it pollutes more than all the world's fossil-fuel-powered cars. Global animal agriculture is responsible for deforestation, soil erosion and more emissions than air travel, paper mills and coal mining combined. It also depends on the slaughter of more than 60 billion animals per year, a number that is only increasing as the global appetite for meat swells. The whole world seems to be sleepwalking into a food crisis.

But a band of doctors, scientists, activists and entrepreneurs have been racing to end animal agriculture as we know it, hoping to fulfill a dream of creating meat without ever having to kill an animal. This is the story of a group of seven vegans quietly working to solve one the most pressing issues we face today, creating the biggest upheaval to the food business in decades along the way.

In Billion Dollar Burger, Chase Purdy explores the companies at the cutting edge of the nascent food technology sector, from polarizing activist-turned-tech CEO Josh Tetrick to lobbyists and regulators on both sides of the issue. Billion Dollar Burger follows the people fighting to upend our food system as they butt up against the entrenched interests fighting viciously to stop them. It will take readers on a truly global journey from Silicon Valley to China, by way of Israel and the UK.

The stakes are monumentally high: cell-cultured meat is the best hope for sustainable food production, a key to fighting climate change, a gold mine for the companies that make it happen and an existential threat for the farmers and meatpackers that make our meat today.

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Praise for Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food

  • A deeply reported account of the science, politics, and personalities behind cell-cultured meat that every eater needs to read. Chase Purdy brings the stuff of science fiction to life in this fascinating book

  • A thoroughly enjoyable read. Chase Purdy offers us a window into this nascent industry at a particularly interesting time in the growth of the early pioneer cultured meat companies. He delivers an insightful narrative into the future of our food system and navigates the politics and personalities that are shaping the scaling, regulation and consumer acceptance of cultured meat

  • Billion Dollar Burger is a journalistic feat, offering us the first real, behind-the-scenes look at the wild world of vegans, scientists and venture capitalists racing to upend our plates. A thoughtful, entertaining, well-researched and essential book

  • Chase Purdy brilliantly chronicles the emergence of a new industry poised to set us on the path to a more humane future, with dramatic implications for agriculture, the environment and the way we think about food

  • Can humanity move beyond the slaughterhouse? Billion Dollar Burger is a compulsive and well-researched account of the scientists, entrepreneurs and activists trying to save the world through high-tech meat

  • A wild ride to the far horizon of our food system. Chase Purdy breaks important new ground in this gripping account about the innovators, activists and big-money investors who are reinventing meat as we know it. Not only are they changing the world - they're doing it a lot faster than you think

  • This is a fast-paced, early peek into what will soon be the topic at dinner for the next two decades: lab-grown meat. What do we call it, is it good, should I eat it? Read this and get ahead of the curve

  • A thorough, thoughtful dive into the revolution coming for our plates. I learned so much

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Chase Purdy

Chase Purdy is a New York-based writer who has covered the business and politics of food. He began reporting on food issues in 2014 at Politico in Washington, DC. While there, he covered the development and rollout of the US Dietary Guidelines, a federal nutrition policy document that informs what foods meet eligibility for inclusion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as what can be served on military bases and in the $16 billion federal school meals program. He also covered the meat industry, agricultural lobbying, food safety policy, and the effects of antibiotic use in animal agriculture.


Before tackling the food beat, he worked in Virginia and Florida covering an array of topics that include the criminal justice system, immigration and politics at the state, and local levels. His work has appeared in Quartz, The New York Times, as well as in newspapers across the country.

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