The future of meat in the next 20 years (medium-term future)
Have you thought about this question before?
What if not only the meat meets shortage, but also the main ingredients of plant-based meat, like soy, pea and gluten, are not enough for the whole population 20 years later?
That brings the topic of the second blog, the cultured meat.
What is cultured meat?
Cultured meat, it also is known as lab-grown meat, clean meat or in vitro meat, is created by painlessly harvesting natural muscle cells from living livestock. Then scientists feed the cells with all the nutrition they need then grow up through tissue culture to the meat that looks like been collected from natural animals.
We have and are consuming genetically modified animals from 12,000 years ago when our ancient invented cross-breeding to shape the animals to meet the market’s need and to increase the efficiency of production. For example, Charolais cattle are famous for strong growth, heavyweight, which can also supply low-fat meat with good taste.
Just like Hybrid animals, cultured meat will be an essential component in the meat industry for the next 20 years.
Winston Churchill’s prediction
In his article “Fifty Years Hence,” Churchill predicted cultured meat about 80 years ago, he writes, “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. Synthetic food will, of course, also be used in the future”.
We are here now, 88 years later than his prediction, experiencing the news from the laboratory about lab-grown meat, waiting for them to be placed on the shelves, eager to taste them by ourselves.
The First cultured meat patty
Back to August 5, 2013, the first ever lab-grown beef burger patty made by Dutch scientists was cooked and tasted in a live-streaming conference in London. The Australian nutritional scientist and food writer, Hanni Ruetzler, commented the sample taste “close to meat, it’s not that juicy, but the consistency is perfect.” Later, after a few chewing, she also pointed out that “there wasn’t such an intense meat flavour on the inside”.
New technology-ish farm
I can picture Silicon Valley might become the new farm one day.
I mean all kinds of meat are cultured from the different laboratory, for example, chicken on the first floor and the chicken breast dominate the largest workroom because they are on demand.
The meat will be made under microscopes, capable of producing more quality meat cuts of people’s choice.
Now, let’s talk about the good things and bad things of cultured meat.
- Better for the environment
We all have to admit the fact that the animal kingdom is, and will releasing methane gas to the environment. What I was saying is, animals’ fart (or break wind) plays a huge part in the greenhouse problem. Not even mention the carbon that comes with faeces.
The University of Oxford conduct further research about cultured beef, then points out that the production of clean beef could “use as much as 99% less space than what is needed for current livestock farming methods”. Besides, the water and energy needed for cultured beef are much lower. So good for the environment with less cost.
- Better for human beings
It will reduce the threats hide behind excessively growing animals may injury consumers. We all have heard swine influenza, Foot-and-Mouth Disease FMD and avian flu, but, actually, their dozens of disease or bacteria living stock is facing. To avoid illness, some farming industry chooses to give animals some injection. They may have less or a little impact to people who have consumed that meat; However, Times (2008) suggests that clean meat, as the name suggested, can produce safer meat since the production process cut down its exposure to bacteria and disease.
- Better for animals by protecting animal welfare, being ethical
A survey conducted by the Conversation suggested that some people may think that meat is ‘unnatural’, cultured meat is in a similar position as genetically modified foods. About 35% of people would not be sure, or even strongly refuse to eat cultured meat in the future.
Just as what Hanni Ruetzler commented on the first lab-grown beef burger, for now, the taste is not good enough. BUT, I think 20 years later, the quality will be on the next level. I mean we don’t even know what 5G is 20 years ago, right?
The cultured meat is a significant step in seeking a sustainable and reliable alternative to meat production.
My prediction of the protein (meat) food in 20 years:
I really believe the technology can bring us real steak produced in a lab, but tastes, looks, smells exactely like meat from a cattle.
So, here is my video prediction of meat in 20 years (cultured beefsteak)
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