Montreal Gazette

Cul­tured food is no panacea

- Food Industry · Livestock Industry · Industries · Agriculture · Montreal

Re; “Cul­tured meat, milk and eggs may be the food of the fu­ture” (FP Mon­treal, March 11) In a world where ev­ery­thing is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly stream­lined, it can be easy to over­look the con­se­quences of an­i­mal-less meat.

While I agree that switch­ing to cul­tured meat, milk and eggs will re­duce im­me­di­ate hu­man im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment (such as the largescale dec­i­ma­tion of the world’s rain­forests to make way for an­i­mal feed), the so­cio-cul­tural shift may end up cre­at­ing an in­creased pres­sure on our al­ready lim­ited re­sources.

As cul­tured foods be­gin to take over, those liv­ing in ru­ral farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties will be­gin a mass mi­gra­tion into the cities, cre­at­ing a large num­ber of con­sumers with low pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Fur­ther­more, how does the in­dus­try ex­pect to change the minds of those liv­ing in re­gions of the world where farm­ing is not only a pro­fes­sion, but a source of na­tional iden­tity?

Un­til th­ese is­sues are ironed out, I be­lieve that a time­line of five years is grossly op­ti­mistic, if not delu­sional.

While cul­tured meat may not be read­ily avail­able any­time soon, per­haps it is our cul­tural norms that need to be mended. How is it that the only way hu­mankind can re­move the suf­fer­ing of farm an­i­mals across the globe is to syn­the­size de­signer food? In­stead of pour­ing end­less amounts of money into con­vinc­ing peo­ple that test-tube beef is the same as a steak, I be­lieve the money would be bet­ter spent teach­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion to re­spect the nat­u­ral world around us. Arun Dayanan­dan, N.D.G.

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