Technology is constantly evolving, breaking away barriers never imagined. But, can technology offer us another way to get meat? With the constant technological advances, do we really need to kill animals for food?
It seems that cows, sheep and pigs might be spared the slaughter house in the nearby future. How will we get our meat then? How will South Africans braai if cows and their farmyard friends aren’t taken to the abattoir? Simple. Meat will be grown in a lab. I kid you not. (I just heard a cow clap its hooves)
Meat grown in laboratories can possibly be hitting the shopping shelves within the next three years. But, how can meat be grown in a lab?
In vitro animal products, or “clean meat”, are made from stem cells harvested through a biopsy from living livestock. It is then grown in a lab over a matter of days.
Why will anyone want to eat meat grown in a lab?
Simply put, it will make a life changing, environment saving impact on our world, let alone erasing all the animal cruelty.
Some researchers claim that the cultivation of cultured meat involves about 7% to 45 % lower energy use. It is also sees 78 % to 96 % lower greenhouse gas emissions and 99 % lower land use. Much less water is also used.
While playing a positive role in the environment, there are other benefits to lab grown meats. It can be engineered to be healthier than “normal” meat by altering the profile of the essential amino acids and fat. Vitamins, minerals and bio-active compounds can also be added. This means a piece of meat can contain more protein and less saturated fat, potentially reducing the risk of health issues such as cholesterol.
Now if you are saying its not natural, well, current meat from animals is about as natural as a Checkers packet, due to an array of reasons. Thus, this will be dramatically better for you.
Another benefit is that the chances of contracting listeriosis and Mad Cow Disease is virtually non existent with lab grown meat.
Memphis Meats, situated in the United States of America, is one of many companies working on creating lab grown meat. The company is being backed by Bill Gates and Richard Branson. Both who feel that this is the way to go to help sustain the environment.
While the environmental, ethical and health related benefits cannot be ignored, the question remains, will people make the switch from freshly slaughtered animals to laboratory grown meat?