Pork without a pig? Meat from a lab could be the answer
Pork without a pig? Meat from a lab could be the answer. – CSMonitor.com.
The most expensive piece of meat in the world – costing about “US $12,000 per kilo” (2.2 pounds) – does not come from a ranch but a laboratory. The meat is grown in vitro, without killing a living animal.
Stem cells are important to this process because they can self-divide and multiply their numbers to create a mass of cells where there once was only one. These myosatellite cells are incubated in a petri dish with a substance designed to cause cell division and provide nutrients for muscle growth.
Yet the practice has not quite caught up to the theory. There are a number of hurdles that scientists must overcome before large-scale growth can occur.
Additionally, the muscles atrophy without the animal to exercise them naturally. Post describes the meat he has produced as “weak and without texture.” Although researchers are forbidden from tasting their creations, Post describes a TV journalist who stealthily ate a piece and described it as “chewy and tasteless.” The price and taste of in vitro meat must be dramatically improved before artificial meat is “even remotely competitive with current products,” says Post.
Modern meat production causes many forms of “environmental degradation,” says a report published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). The report continues, “meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat – instead of feeding it directly to humans – involves a large energy loss.”
By not requiring food, in vitro meat frees up grain resources, which reaps “environmental benefits” and “benefits against world starvation,” according to Post.
NeilS — Although eating lab grown meat initially makes me grimace, so would chicken farms have made an old school farmer do the same. As world populations continue to grow and resources get depleted, we have relied on technology to keep our food chain sustainable. If eating lab grown meat will solve the world starvation problem, then count me in. Maybe this and a little bit of grasshopper burger on the side could fill all of our protein needs.