Cultured meat, developed in the laboratory, could have a dramatic effect on global hunger and climate change?
Cultured meat – also known as in vitro meat or lab-grown meat – draws on the science of stem cell technology used in medicine. Stem cells are extracted from a pig, say, and converted to pig muscle cells. These muscle cells are then cultured on a scaffold with nutrients and essential vitamins and grown to desired quantities.
During the growth process, the muscle cells are also “exercised” using either mechanical stretchers or electric stimulation. The scaffold and the exercise provide the muscle cells with ideal structure, texture and strength, while the growth supplements bestow the cells with optimal nutrition. Ultimately, these cells can be shaped and seasoned into sausages, hamburgers, steaks or mince.
Alrighty then. Sign me right up. NOT!!
This may sound totally weird, but you only have to visit your nearest supermarket to find “engineered” products in the form of soya meat options and Quorn. In this context, burgers from cultured meat might seem somewhat more “real” than vegetarian “sausages”. But why bother?
Shall we count the reasons why NOT?
“Meat production is one of the major contributors to global environmental degradation, especially deforestation, global warming, fresh water scarcity and loss of biodiversity. Currently, meat production uses almost one-third of the global land area, which amounts to more than 70% of the total agricultural land; and one-fifth of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from meat production.”
You know what? Engineering food is NOT the answer people! Get a grip already. Sustainability HAS to be LOVABLE and engineered food is NOT. End of story.