The food which we eat as well as the way in which we perceive food is all about to change. A growing number of companies are attempting to grow meat in labs. The concept of lab-grown meat is set to revolutionise the entire food industry. While some companies are more successful in making lab-grown meat as compared to others, this trend is surely going to change the food industry as well as have a drastic impact on over the world.
Lab-grown meat would drastically cut down on the greenhouse gases which are released into the atmosphere due to large consumption of meat. Quite a few companies are already on their way to produce lab-grown meat, like:
• Super meat from Israel
• Future meat technologies from Israel
• Meat the future from Israel
• Hampton Creek from the United States
• Memphis Meat from the United States
• Tyson foods from the United States
While still the commercial sale of lab-grown meat has not started but most of these companies are in the advanced stages of testing the lab-grown meat which would make it easier for them to roll out their products in the commercial market.
Can Meat be grown in Labs?
Most of us cannot resist a good burger. However, the next time around your biting into that soft and delicious meat, you would have to 1st find out whether the meat has been produced by killing animals or whether it is lab grown meat. The reason for this is that these days meat can be grown in labs.
The meat in labs is grown from the stem cells of the same animal. For those of you, who aren’t aware of stem cells, they are actually the building blocks of any living being. Stem cells help form muscles as well as organs in each and every living being. After harvesting the stem cells from the animal, the muscle cells are separated from the fat cells. Thereafter, these muscle cells are given the conducive environment as well as nutrients in order to grow. As the number of muscle cells grows, more and more such cells are produced. The muscle cells then merge together naturally to form myotubes. These myotubes are placed in a ring where the muscle cells form small muscle tissues. These small muscle tissues are collected together in order to form the shape of the meat which is required.
With the help of this very procedure, meat is grown in labs. Efforts are on to reduce the cost of lab-grown meat so that it becomes commercially viable.
Is it happening?
The lab-grown meat industry is buzzing with activity. There are quite a few companies which are making inroads into this industry. It has become a hub of innovation all over the world.
Even governments all over the world are paying attention to the possibility of using lab-grown meat to feed their citizens. Recently, China signed a deal with the Israel-based company to provide them with $ 300 million of lab-grown meat.
On the other hand, companies like Hampton Creek in the United States, have promised a deadline of 2018 to roll out commercial lab-grown meat products for the normal consumers.
Memphis Meats recently completed a fundraising round of $ 3 million. However, Memphis Meats has set a deadline of 2021 to make its products available to the public.
One of the pioneers in Lab-grown meat is Mark Post, from Maastricht University in Netherlands, back then 1st claimed to have created lab-grown meat, the meat patty of a single burger made out of such lab-grown meat had cost $ 325000. Since then, however, owing to innovation as well as better technology, the cost of lab-grown meat has fallen significantly.
On the other hand, companies are also taking the effort to bring down the cost of lab-grown meat and make it similar to the cost of natural meat. In the last few years, the cost of a patty of lab-grown meat has fallen from $ 325,000 to just $ 11. Still, companies are trying to innovate and use better meat production techniques to ensure that the cost is similar to that of natural meat.
There is plenty of evidence that the lab-grown meat revolution is coming in the next few years. It is definitely going to revolutionize the way in which we consume our food.
What are the benefits of lab grown meat?
There are quite a few benefits of lab-grown meat or cultured meat as compared to the natural meat. Some of these benefits include:
• Lower greenhouse gases:
As compared to harvesting natural meat, the lab-grown meat would reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by up to 96%. This ensures that bulk of the greenhouse gas emissions would be minimized if you opt for the lab-grown meat.
• Lesser energy consumption:
According to an estimate, the energy which would be consumed to create lab-grown meat would be lower by 7% to 45% as compared to harvesting or grazing cattle and thereafter procuring meat.
• Lesser land usage:
Cattle grazing, as well as cattle raising, requires a lot of land. However, when meat is grown in labs, you can be sure that the land usage would be drastically reduced by up to 99%.
• Lesser resources needed:
Cattle grazing and raising requires an enormous amount of water resources. On the other hand, when meat is grown in labs, the water usage would come down by 82% to 96%.
• Easier to feed the ever-growing population:
Currently, when the world population is growing at a brisk rate, it is becoming very difficult for most countries to support the food needs of such a vast population. Moreover, the meat production is falling behind owing to the lack of natural resources. This is creating enormous pressure on the ecosystems of most countries that are having a vast population to feed. On the other hand, if we switch to lab-grown meat, economies of scale can be achieved and vast populations can be fed quite easily.
• Moral benefits:
Many people, especially in the Eastern countries, avoid eating meat as it involves the killing of animals. However, with the help of lab-grown meat, there is no killing of animals. Thus, more and more people would be able to opt for meat as a food source without any moral dilemma.
Thus, as you can see the benefits of lab-grown meat are plenty. The lab-grown meat is capable of solving a lot of problems which our generation currently faces in terms of feeding vast population over the entire globe.
Is lab grown meat the future?
With so many benefits of lab-grown meat and the costs already coming down, there is no doubt that lab-grown meat would be the next big revolution for mankind. As countries face fast-growing population as well as lack of resources to feed them there is no other alternative but to opt for lab-grown meat.
So, if you’re worried about the future food supply, the solution is now in plain sight. We have to just wait for a few years longer in order to make food available to each and every nook and cranny of our planet with the help of lab-grown meat.