A very interesting article I came across..
The world’s first hamburger made with a synthetic meat protein derived from bovine stem cells will be publicly consumed this October after being prepared by a celebrity chef. Dr. Post told the American Association for the Advancement of Science that a hamburger made from artificial beef protein was a milestone in the development of novel ways to meet the global demand for meat, which is expected to double by 2050.
A handful of researchers have been working for the past six years on the technical problem of extracting stem cells from bovine muscle, culturing them in the laboratory and turning them into strips of muscle fibers that can be minced together with synthetic fat cells into an edible product. The technical challenges have included giving the meat a pinkish color and the right texture for cooking and eating, as well as ensuring that it feels and tastes like real meat.
Although some animals still have to be slaughtered to provide the bovine stem cells, scientists estimate that a million times more meat could be made from the carcass of a single cow, compared with conventional cattle rearing. As well as reducing the number of beef cattle, it would save the land, water and oil currently need to raise cattle for the meat trade, Dr Post said.
Weighing of the Pros and Cons:
- Billions of animals would be spared from suffering in factory farms and slaughterhouses
- Would reduce the environmental impacts of livestock production, which the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates account for 18 per cent of greenhouse-gas emissions
- Could reduce by 90 per cent the land- and water-use footprint of meat production, according to Oxford University research, freeing those resources for more efficient forms of food production
- Would provide a more sustainable way to meet demand from China and India, whose growing appetite for meat is expected to double global meat consumption by 2040
- Lab-grown meat could be healthier – free of hormones, antibiotics, bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, and engineered to contain a lower fat content
- Would reduce the threat of swine and avian flu outbreaks associated with factory farming
- Consumers may find the notion of lab-grown meat unnatural
- It’s not cruelty-free – animals will still have to be slaughtered to provide the bovine stem cells
- There could be unforeseen health consequences to eating lab-grown meat
- Lab-grown meat is a step in the wrong direction for “slow-food” advocates, and others who believe the problems in our food system have their origins in the distance between food production and the consumer
What are your thoughts or comments??