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Bezos Earth Fund Pauses Israeli Project Due to War

The Bezos Earth Fund

Jeff Bezos (Wikipedia)

Jeff Bezos’ Earth Fund pauses all grant money to Israeli organizations, specifically the Good Food Institute, developing alternative proteins for food, due to the war against Hamas in Gaza, reported Calcalist.

The Good Food Institute Israel is the country’s leading alternative protein think tank, accelerating toward a more secure, sustainable, and just food system through open-access food science, R&D, corporate engagement, and public policy.

Globally, meat consumption is at its highest ever, and according to the United Nations, global meat production is projected to double by 2050. This is due to increasing populations and rising incomes in low- to middle-income countries, which are also correlated with increasing meat consumption in those countries.

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By making meat, dairy, eggs, and seafood from plants or cultivating them directly from cells, we can modernize protein production, mitigate the environmental impact of our food system, decrease the risk of zoonotic disease, and ultimately feed more people with fewer resources. Studies show that people’s day-to-day food choices are driven by taste, price, and convenience, so at the Good Food Institute, we’re working to make alternative proteins delicious, affordable, and accessible.

But the Bezos Fund is not too concerned about all of this.

Andy Jarvis, Director of Future Food at Bezos Earth, sent an email to Israeli researchers and the Good Food Institute telling them about the decision, reported Calcalist.

“Thank you again for all the time and effort you put into developing an impressive proposal for an Alternative Protein Center of Excellence, and also for hosting my visit back in September and showing me the wonderful things you are up to on alternative proteins,” wrote Jarvis. “I was awed to see such a robust ecosystem for alternative proteins developing in Israel during my visit and have been enthusiastic about the prospect of a Center of Excellence in the region. The feedback from November’s evaluation panel was that both Israeli proposals would be poised to make phenomenal contributions to the sector.”

“Unfortunately,” added Jarvis, “the events of October obviously have had an effect. Given the uncertainty surrounding the war at the current time, such a large and significant grant for a Bezos Center is not a viable option for us in the current situation. We’ll monitor the situation, and should the situation dramatically improve, we will of course be in touch.”

The Bezos Earth Fund is helping transform the “fight against climate change and nature loss with the largest ever philanthropic commitment to address these problems,” but not in Israel. Jeff Bezos committed $10 billion “to protect nature and address climate change,” but not in Israel.

The Bezos Earth Fund invites proposals from practitioners, researchers, and innovators in universities, NGOs, private companies, and organizations, including from Israel. However, Israelis can expect to be rejected.



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