Why Cultivated Meat is Still So Hard To Find

Credits: Kyle Mackie/Unsplash

It’s been 10 years since the first burger made from laboratory-grown meat was eaten. So why is it still only available in one country, in one restaurant, only on Thursdays?, questions BBC.

Impact of cultivated beef on the climate

A pre-print (not yet peer-reviewed) study suggests that using pharma-grade media could mean that the impact of cultivated beef on the climate is actually four to 25 times greater than the average for the farm-reared equivalent. Karodia of Mzansi Meats hopes that ingredients we already use in food, like soy derivatives, could one day be used to grow the cells. Moving away from such a pure pharmaceutical-grade growth media would have a much lower carbon footprint, she says. But not all experts are convinced that this would lead to lower emissions.

It’s not entirely divorced from conventional agriculture. You’re still going to need probably some crops, or possibly some kind of sustainable algae production, to go in and get that initial nutrient source,” says John Lynch, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Oxford in the UK. “Is it going to be soy? How’s it going to be grown? And is it actually going to be that much more efficient than livestock production?” Such questions are yet to be answered.

The other main climate impact of cultivated meat is how much energy it takes to grow meat in a lab and how that energy is produced. Last year, just under two-thirds of the world’s electricity was produced by burning fossil fuels, releasing carbon dioxide. That may change, given many countries’ pledges to reach net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. Already, grids are increasingly powered by renewables such as wind and solar.

Read the full article here. 

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Source: BBC


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