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Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Plant-Based Food Company

Business
Leonardo DiCaprio / Facebook

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, but eating a burger doesn't have to come with a side of guilt.

Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in Beyond Meat, the makers of the world's first vegan burger that's famously known to look, smell and even taste a lot like the real deal.


The company's staple Beyond Burger is made mostly from pea protein. Beet juice gives it a red meat-like color and allows it to "bleed" like a regular beef burger when cooked.

"Livestock production is a major contributor to carbon emissions," DiCaprio said in his investment announcement. "Shifting from animal meat to the plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures someone can take to reduce their impact on our climate."

"The company's ability to create appealing, healthy meat directly from plants will go a long way in helping everyday consumers take action on climate change," he added.

"I am thrilled to officially welcome Leonardo DiCaprio to the Beyond Meat family," said Ethan Brown, the chief executive of Beyond Meat, in a statement. "His investment and role as an advocate reflects a shared vision that meat made directly from plants, like our Beyond Burger, has enormous benefits for human health, the climate, natural resources, and animal welfare."

"I look forward to continuing to collaborate as we bring delicious, satiating products to a rapidly increasing consumer base."

Beyond Meat has grown immensely since its founding in 2009. Its products can now be found in more than 11,000 stores nationwide, including Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and Sprouts as well as eight BurgerFi's locations and six TGI Fridays, Business Insider reported.

Other big-name investors of the Los Angeles-based startup include Bill Gates, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, the meat company Tyson Foods and the Humane Society. Dicaprio's exact investment amount was not disclosed.

DiCaprio, and his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, has long put his philanthropic dollars towards environmental organizations and businesses that protect oceans, land and wildlife, as well as operations that work to fight against climate change. The foundation has offered more than $80 million for such causes since its founding in 1998.

The Before the Flood filmmaker has also invested in sustainable seafood company LoveTheWild and vegan snack company Hippeas.

Dicaprio's latest investment doesn't just make environmental sense, but a financial one too. The global market for alternative meats such as tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, seitan, quorn and other plant based sources is forecasted to garner $5.2 billion by 2020.

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