Lab- Grown Meat Prom­ises a Sus­tain­able Fu­ture

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The rate at which the world is con­sum­ing meat may sur­pass the global de­mand of pigs, cows, chicken, and other ed­i­ble an­i­mals one day. Not only this, one ma­jor con­cern re­gard­ing live­stock sec­tor is the emis­sion of green­house gases. United Na­tions Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion pub­lished a re­port which men­tions that the live­stock sec­tor emits al­most 18 per­cent of green­house gases world­wide. More­over, it is also re­spon­si­ble for is­sues like land-wa­ter degra­da­tion and acid rains.

A sus­tain­able and bet­ter op­tion for tra­di­tional meat is the vitro or lab-grown meat. There are also many ben­e­fits of lab-grown meat, some be­ing the sub­stan­tial cut down on land and wa­ter re­sources, en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, re­duc­tion in de­for­esta­tion, and more. Out of the many ways used by sci­en­tists to pro­duce lab-grown meat, one of them is us­ing the stem cells from real cows to con­vert it into mus­cle tis­sues. Af­ter this, the fibers of mus­cle tis­sues are cul­tured on a scaf­fold with the help of vital nu­tri­ents and vi­ta­mins to let it grow into a patty. In 2012 when lab-grown meat was in­tro­duced for the first time it cost as much as $40,000 (Al­most the cost of an in­di­vid­ual’s hal­fyearly meal!). Fast for­ward to the present and now the price have low­ered to just $12.

A lot of star­tups these days are try­ing to de­velop lab-grown meat given its many ben­e­fits and con­sid­er­ing the alarm­ing signs of the high us­age of tra­di­tional meat. An Is­raeli startup, Su­per­meat is try­ing to de­velop a tech­nique to use chicken tis­sues for grow­ing kosher meat. This year, a San-fran­cisco based startup named Mem­phis Meats served Lab-grown duck a l’orange and lab-grown chicken strips at the Nat­u­ral Prod­ucts Expo West. Testers said it tasted just like chicken.

Many star­tups are not only de­vel­op­ing lab-grown meat, but also try­ing their hands on de­vel­op­ing cow-free milk as well as cheese.

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