The UN drew attention to the increase in meat consumption and its negative effect on climate change and the environment. The simple solution is to eat less meat and more vegetables. But that’s easier said than done, especially for people who eat a lot of meat. An alternative to this growing problem is to create cultured or laboratory meat.
What is cultured meat?
Cultured Meat is like biomimicry but made with meat. The meat is grown in laboratories, going through several cultivation processes. It comes first from the stem cells of a living animal separated from the muscle cells.
The biopsy or sample is taken from cows, chickens, ducks, shrimp, rabbits and tuna. Scientists create a duplicate without killing any animals by:
- stem cell culture
- place them in a warm sterile container, and
- increase the growth medium and prefiltration necessary nutrients such as salt, protein and carbohydrates to multiply cells in 24 hours.
After which, these turn into muscle cells and fat cells. These cells will be formatted into an ordinary slice of meat.
Benefits for taste and health
Do you get sad thinking about meatless burgers? Well, you might not get real meat bones and skins in cultured meat, but the flavors will still be intact. To test this, scientists first cultured meat products in chicken nuggets and burgers just to figure out if they tasted the same or not. The world’s first cultured meat burger was tasted in 2013.
Scientists have discovered that cultured meat is free from any kind of antibiotics. While it is important to give cattle antibiotics to protect them from disease, they are also greatly overused. Lab-grown meat is also healthier since fat content can be restricted while saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids can also be implemented in moderation. Currently, scientists are also trying to add vitamins to it.
Create a better world
The Food and Agriculture Organization predicted that, by 2050, the number of global meat consumption will increase by 76%. Changing our eating habits and switching to plant-based foods can reduce this problem. Not only will this positively affect our health, but we will also help the environment.
The Plant-based treaty offers a roadmap to inspire the plant-based food system in response to the environmental emergency. Recently it was launched at COP26 in Glasgow to draw worldwide attention to habitual eating habits. He got a approval of the McCartney family, along with others, and urged delegates to be part of the movement.
The Plant Based Treaty aims to prevent further degradation of the ecosystem and to promote plant-based diets for healthier living. The treaty is based on three key principles:
- Abandoning land for ecosystem degradation or deforestation for expansion of animal agriculture
- Reorienting policies towards a plant-based food system
- Restoring ecosystems to reforest the land
Starting from a motto to change our consumption, the Treaty of Plants is aimed at everyone to make people aware of how to take better care of their environment. This includes their advocacy for cultured meat or lab-grown meat, which can hopefully positively change the earth and our health.
The future of meat is here. A small nudge from technological progress has made us grow meat in the lab. Cultured meat will help change our eating habits. Even health experts suggest a growing reliance on plant-based foods to lead a healthy life. If a small change in our daily lifestyle can give us a better life and allow us to live in a better world, then why not?
YouTube: What is the Plant Treatise?
Photo credit: The report image was taken by Sarah Stierch. The first image was taken by the World Economic Forum. The second image belongs to the Plant Based Treaty and was provided for press use.
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