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Will lab-grown meat reach our plates?

This article is from The Checkup, MIT Technology Review’s weekly biotechnology newsletter. To get it in your inbox every Thursday, sign up here.

Would you eat lab-grown meat? Numerous companies have already started making meat products from muscle and fat cells grown in vats—about 80 at last count. The promise is huge. But whether these companies can deliver on that promise is another matter entirely.

This is what I’ve been thinking about Things have been going on in recent weeks for several reasons. At MIT Technology Review’s recent climate tech event, my colleague James Temple interviewed Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown. The company makes plant-based meat substitutes designed to closely resemble real meat — most famously for its “Bleeding” burgers. When asked about his thoughts on “cell-based” meat, Brown replied: “I certainly don’t see them as competitors.”

I’ve also been reading a A series of papers published a few weeks ago in the scientific journal Nature Food explores the arguments for and against cultured meat in more detail.

Another reason I’ve been thinking about meat substitutes is that winter break is coming up, and as someone who doesn’t eat meat, it’s my job to come up with one for everyone, including me Another option that fussy kids and meat-loving dads will love. Talk about impossible foods.

But back to cultured meat. In theory, meat farming is a brilliant idea in a bioreactor for many reasons. First, we will be able to reduce intensive livestock farming, which can be cruel and inhumane. Keeping animals in cramped conditions creates perfect conditions for disease to spread and even to humans.

And the use of antibiotics to avoid outbreaks of this disease is incredibly problematic. It is estimated that about 70% of the antibiotics we use to treat human infections are also used in farm animals. Any microorganisms that become resistant to antibiotics as a result of this use can end up in crops, soils, rivers and people, potentially leading to untreatable or even fatal diseases. For example, at least 1.2 million people died from antibiotic-resistant infections in 2019.

The process of producing meat is also bad for the environment. Animal husbandry is our greenhouse an important part of gas emissions. We use more than one-third of the planet’s habitable land for animals — lands that may be carbon-depleting forests or woodlands. Deforestation for agriculture would render many species, many of them endangered, homeless. This destroys biodiversity.

The simple answer, of course, is Remove meat and general animal products from our diets. But while plant-based alternatives have caught on, they’re not a palatable option for many people. Research in the US, Europe and Australia shows that even when people know about the environmental impact of meat, only a few are willing to give up. Enter cultured meat – a cruelty-free and sustainable way to provide animal meat products. At least, that’s the promise.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. First of all, growing animal cells in a way that resembles a hamburger, steak, or nugget is by no means cheap. In 2013, the first lab-grown burger cost about $330,000. Prices have come down since then, but not to the point where they can compete with the fast food options currently available. Using existing technology, it is impossible to create a competitively priced product, according to an analysis published last year.

grown in bioreactors Any meat that reaches our license plate must be approved by the regulator. A few years ago, Singaporean authorities approved a lab-grown chicken nugget made by California company Eat Just. But many believe that approval in other countries is a long way off.

Suppose we overcome these two hurdles and bring a cheap faux meat product to market. Will anyone eat it? Personally, these products do not appeal to me. I’ve avoided meat most of my life and can’t stand the thought of eating animal muscle fibers, even if they’re grown in a bioreactor. But maybe people like me are not the target market. After all, lentils are even cheaper, healthier and more sustainable than lab-grown meat. Mark Post, who led the development of the first faux-meat burger, said: “Frankly, vegetarians should stay vegetarian because it’s better for the environment than faux beef.”

is more about turning stubborn The meat eaters. One problem is that many people who eat meat should probably also reduce their food intake for their own health, and there is no obvious reason that artificial meat is better than real meat Healthier. You can technically cut down on fat, but doing so makes it less meaty. Which way defeats the purpose.

Another problem is simply that many people are unlikely to want to give up meat. A 2016 survey in the United States found that about one-third of people said they might or would definitely be willing to ditch cultured meat in favor of lab-grown alternatives. But similar proportions say they won’t. Many believe that cultured meat will be less tasty, less appealing, and more expensive.

It’s too early to tell how good cultured meat is because almost no one has tried it. But maybe things will stay that way. I can’t imagine cultured turkeys on our holiday table anytime soon.

read more:

My colleague Niall Firth, a self-proclaimed foodie and meat lover, wrote about making lab-grown steaks in 2019 competition.

Neal also reported onApproval of lab-grown chicken nuggets 2020 In Singapore…

… Later explored how companies can finally reduce costs by blending their cultured meat with plant-based ingredients .

As CEO Pat Brown revealed, Impossible Foods is developing a “great” plant-based filet mignon in our recent in climate technology activities.

We are on track to set a new record for global meat consumption, but there are There are ways to reduce the environmental impact of livestock farming, Dan Blaustein-Rejto and Alex Smith wrote last year.

From the Internet:

Covid- 19 may become less severe, but it’s still not “mild”. (BMJ)

Scientists are investigating ways to “reprogram” cells and organs so animals and eventually humans can rejuvenate. (MIT Technology Review)

Neuroscientists have a few theories to explain why our brains love fake news. (European Journal of Neuroscience)

Two common viruses can fuse to form a hybrid virus that can evade our immune system. (The Guardian)

Long-term vaping can damage your blood vessels. (NIH) )



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