For meat lovers, the world may come crumbling down at the very thought of a meat-free world, but that's exactly what a group of entrepreneurs are dreaming of and trying to create.
Though the idea of replacing man-made food isn't new, the enthusiastic entrepreneurs are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to find the answer.
Their target is not just limited to meat, they want to replace mayonnaise, cookie dough, chocolate, cheese – pretty much each and every food product using any animal-based ingredient.
Meat lovers may cry foul at this but their dream is to make the world's diet vegan by default – they aren't stopping anytime soon.
With AI, they believe they can replicate all tasty fats and proteins we get from meat, eggs and milk. Only time will say whether this experimental way of introducing only plant-based diet menu will at all be accepted by the world or not.
But, the founder and CEO of food start-up Hampton Creek, who are among those using AI to develop new foods, strongly believes: "The way we eat today is, mostly, crazy…Six billion people are just eating really bad food."
According to a BBC report: "He imagines a future where choosing to be vegetarian or vegan is not something only open to the better off in society. He wants to reach those who don't get to choose."
Moreover, he is not alone in this mission, Matias Muchnick, Karim Pichara and Pablo Zamora from Santiago, Chile is also trying something similar with their new company NotCo.
"If we had to deliberately come out with the worst possible way to feed ourselves, it would be the way we do it today," says Muchnick.
According to FAO, there are over 250,000 edible plant species in the world and uncountable varieties of each one of them. It can be a mind-boggling process to unravel so many varieties, and this is where they think AI can be useful.
Instead of manually tasting the varieties, AI can use its logical approach. Even if AI doesn't get it right at the first time, it can improve with every mistake, often with help of human feedback
"We are creating milk that is just like cow milk…Not only with a similar, or better nutritional profile than cow milk, but also with its same functional structure," says Zamora.
However, the big target is to replace meat, and both start-ups are trying different approaches to solve this problem.
Muscle and fat cells are being cultivated in the Hampton Creek laboratory and working on how to feed those cells with plant-based nutrients. NotCo is also looking for ways to recreate meat with only plant-based ingredients.