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 Innovation Blog

Stop the Waste! Fight Famine! Eat the Soy, Don’t Feed it to Cows!

By Shlomo Maital



Soy veggie burger


  The world faces an urgent crisis. It hasn’t yet reached the media and headlines, because nobody is dying, starving, killing or being killed.  But it may happen, unless we act.  Here is why.

    Worldwide climate change and economic growth have created a large excess demand for wheat.  The world will produce 674 million tons of wheat this year, down 100 million tons from last year owing to drought and climatic change.  China’s production will drop precipitously, and China will now enter world markets to buy grain rather than export it.  We are already seeing significant food inflation worldwide.  It will hurt the poor, who already live on the edge.  Part of the cause of the Egyptian riots was a precipitous rise in the price of bread.

   There is a solution. It is called soy.  Soy is a wonderful nutritious food, with high vegetable protein content.  You can make veggie burgers out of it, and other foods, that are very tasty. An Israeli firm Tivall has done this for many years and has marketed it successfully to Israeli mothers, who want to feed their children healthy nutritious meals.    

    Did you know that 98 per cent of the soybeans grown in the world are fed to animals?  Eating meat is incredibly inefficient.  It takes seven vegetable calories fed to cows to generate one meat calorie.  What a waste.  And the world is eating more and more meat, as the meat-eating middle class grows in Asia.  Moreover, food experts tell us that one calorie of protein (soy)  is more satisfying to the body than one calorie of carbohydrate (grain or rice) because it takes longer to digest.

   Let us see a concerted combined effort by innovators and marketers, to create soy-based protein foods, that are delicious, and to market them to people who traditionally are highly conservative and loathe to change in their eating habits.  Let us see McDonald’s create a soy-based veggie burger and market it!  Let us tackle the worldwide food shortage before people begin to starve and die.   


 Innovation Blog

“T’mura” – An Innovation in the Way Innovators Share, or,

    Find the Next Bill Gates and Place Your Bet

By Shlomo Maital

  “T’mura” (Hebrew for ‘reward’ or ‘compensation’) supports worthy Israeli charities in an innovative way.   Founded in 2002 by Yadin Kaufman and Baruch Lipner, Tmura solicits grants of stock options from start-ups, and uses the proceeds to fund worthy organizations, when a few of the start-ups achieve profitable ‘exits’ (acquisition by larger, usually foreign, firms).

   So far, Tmura has collected in this fashion over $3 m. for 30 NGO’s (nonprofit organizations) in Israel, including those that deliver educational programming for social justice in high schools, that provide computer centers in periphery towns, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Israel, and others.   Temura also raised $3.5 m. through grant-matching programs, in which entrepreneurs who sold their companies give part of their newfound wealth to T’mura, which matches the donation. 

    “What the country [Israel] needs now is for the leaders of the start-up nation to move into social entrepreneurship,” said John Medved, founder of Vringo, a start-up.  “We’ve got the tech and business entrepreneurship down. But we need to unleash the same energies and same kind of creativity and passion that we displayed for start-up businesses for start-up social ventures”.

       T’mura is based on a similar American idea called Entrepreneurs Foundation.

    Entrepreneurs Foundation (EF) was founded in 1998  to make it easy for U.S. companies to meaningfully engage in their communities through strategic corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility programs. Through Entrepreneurs Foundation, over 880+ companies in the United States and Israel have created corporate foundations and community benefit programs.   In partnership with Entrepreneurs Foundation, companies leverage their corporate assets to create customized philanthropy and community programs that meet corporate objectives and serve social needs. Entrepreneurs Foundation provides expertise, resources, best practices and a network to companies so that maximum corporate and community benefit is achieved.   Entrepreneurs Foundation provides a unique model for pre-public companies to invest in their communities by seed funding corporate foundations with pre-IPO stock.  See

   Does your country have its own version of T’mura?  Why not start one?  Identify promising start-ups, find those with social consciences, and ask the founders to provide a contingent give-back-to-society—contingent, of course, on ultimate success.  You only need one start-up to succeed, to generate substantial funding.  Find the next Bill Gates – and place your bets.

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
February 2011
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