Lab- Grown Meat Promises a Sustainable Future
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.