Where’s the Meat?
We love our meat in America. On average, we consume about 26 Billion pounds of beef a year. And it is projected that by the end of 2018, Americans will consume an average of over 200 pounds of meat a year!
Unfortunately, animal production requires a lot of natural resources. A single cow consumes an average of 11,000 gallons of water a year, which is about 30 Gallons a day. Our human bodies only require a little less than a gallon a day.. which equates to only 365 gallons a year.
1 Cow = 11,000 Gallons of Water a Year: 1 Human = 365 Gallons of Water a Year
We already face a serious global water shortage. “By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may be facing water shortages.”
“An estimated 14.5% of the planet’s global warming emissions stem from the production and consumption of livestock – more than from the entire transport sector”
And it’s not just meat, clean sustainable seafood is also making significant strides. Fish consumption continues to increase, but over 50% of the Earth’s fish stocks are fully exploited. Meaning there is no chance of recovery. In addition, the polluting of the ocean continues to increase the heavy-metal toxicity, such as mercury, in fish.
At Finless Foods, their mission is to make fish production as efficient as possible. Aquaculture is a step in the right direction, but it is too costly and inefficient.
Animal production also requires the fuel, pesticides, and fertilizers which is expensive. As carbon dioxide, global temperatures, and ocean acidification levels rise, our planet cannot continue to afford to sustain the rate of animal production to feed the increasing global population. By 2050, the global population is expected to increase to 10Billion people.
As the global population rises, we cannot afford the polluted water and loss of biodiversity.
How Does this Work?
The techniques vary from lab to lab, but the main idea is the same. You take a piece of meat, filter certain cells from it that can form into different ‘lineages,’ and then trick those cells into thinking they are with the animal host.
Scientists trick the cells into providing the right amount of common nutrients like salts, sugars, water, amino acids, vitamins, and other minerals to perfect the varying cell lines. Once a cell line is established in an efficient manner, they no longer need the original animal.
It tastes like meat, because it’s the same meat.
The FDA states that “it seems reasonable to think that cultured meat, if manufactured with safety standards and regulations, could be safe to consume.”
Apart from the cost and environmental benefit of clean meat, it will also help reduce food-borne illnesses. 48 million people get sick from a food borne illnesses a year. The meat is contaminated during the slaughtering processes, resulting in intestinal cross-contamination.
Clean meat even has the potential to modify the meat to include more heart healthy fats like omega 3 and omega 6. Lab grown meat is the equivalent to fermenting yeast into beer.
We Could be Consuming Clean Meat by the end of 2018
Let’s put this in perspective. The first in-vitro hamburger cost ~$330,000 in 2013. Now, it costs about $11 for a hamburger.
Naturally, most people are apprehensive to the idea of eating lab grown meat. However, a recent poll taken in 2017 stated that 1/3 of people would be willing to consume clean meat.
And it’s not just the changing public attitudes, meat monopolies like Tyson Foods and Cargill are already investing in clean meat. They are the kings of their industry, and it looks like they also see a future with in-vitro meat. Prominent entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Bill Gates are also investing in clean meat techniques.
Josh Tetrick, the CEO of JUST, was quoted saying “that we would see chicken nuggets, foie gras, and sausage in a number of restaurants by the end of this year.”
JUST’s mission is bigger than just meat. Their mission is to change our mindsets about sustainable, healthy foods. They want to revolutionize the food industry by promoting a “fair, honest, and just food system in every community.”
Are you ready for clean meat?