(Story 2) – Oct 22 – Eclectic Remarks

Lab-Grown Meat: Virtues and Challenges
A solution to the future of meat consumption?
Taken from an article on www.positive.news entitled: "Lab grown meat can it save our bacon"

In 2019, the US Cultured Meat company started selling vegan eggs that had been made from mung beans. In order to produce them, they needed less water and land, and created less CO2. The following year, in Singapore, they began sales of their lab-grown chicken – the world’s first cultivated meat product that had received the Ok for human consumption.

Members of the public that have tried it can attest: “It truly tastes like chicken!”

Now they aim to scale-up production. Their hope is to carve out a space in the market next to conventional meat.

Why is it important? According to calculations, if we keep with current agricultural systems, we will not have enough land to sustain the expected 10 billion global population. Global meat production has increased by a factor of 4 since 1961. The production of livestock is said to be the cause of 14.5% of the greenhouse gas emissions humans are responsible for.

The Good Food Institute has requested more government investments into the creation of more effective food systems. For example, 9 calories is required by a chicken in order to produce 1 calorie of meat. More than 75% of the soy that is cultivated globally is for the maintenance of livestock. If cultivated meat can be made sustainably, it would mean: less emissions, less land required (we could actually re-forest some land), and less animal feed because we wouldn’t need quite so many of them to eat.

Cultured meat is real meat. Using the chicken as an example, 70% is cultured chicken cells and 30% is plant protein which provides structure and flavour. Simon Kahan, CEO of Biocellion SPC, affirms that it really isn’t hard to grow animal cells in petri dishes, when in laboratory conditions.

On of the most important questions is: can they scale-up operations to match the demand of human consumption. Well, in 2013, Professor Mark Post, based at Maastricht University, created the world’s very first lab-created burger at a cost of £215,000 – quite a steep jump on your humble Big Mac and Whooper from McDonalds and Burger King respectively. In fact, McDonalds hamburgers cost a measly £0.89 (including the gherkins and other little trimmings). But fear not, the Netherlands has a wonderfully affordable (and almost comparable) offering. A cultured meat company called Mosa Meat can now grow a burger in a lab for only £7.50.

The difficulty, says Simon Kahan, is when you are growing cells in containers the size of which breweries use to make beer. Also, this emerging technology also requires bioreactors that have been designed and created from the ground-up, because the exact specifications for such don’t exist in other fields.

So, what do you think about the Lab-grown meat article?

Ethically, do you think it is a good idea? Why?
Would you eat "lab-grown meat"? Why?
Do you think it will ever be a bigger market than "real" meat?

Give your opinion by clicking on the button below.
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When students have submitted work, the teacher will choose examples to show here along with corrections and suggestions.




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