In vitro meat - revolution in nutrition
Eating meat may present questions, not only those ethical but also economic ones. This fact may be changed soon. Technology of growth in vitro meat is getting closer.
Meat grown in laboratory
That which is usually eaten as meat is a muscle tissue. The process of culturing in vitro meat involves taking muscle cells, provide them with protein and "encourage" to the growth to a large portion of meat. This does not mean the participation of genetic engineering - duplicated cells do not need to be modified.
In vitro meat - Economic and Ethical
In vitro meat is a meat that is grown by a help of appropriate technology. It has never been a part of living organism. Mass use of such a solution would eliminate the two biggest drawbacks of rearing animals for slaughter:
- This solution is uneconomical. Animal husbandry requires massive amounts of plant food. If we count the value of this food on the nutritional value of the meat obtained thanks to it, the proportion is very unfavorable. Even as 10:1. This means that the current crop acreage could be much smaller. FAO report shows that 70% of the crops serves to provide fodder for giant animals farm . Next problem is greenhouse gases which are emitted by a huge herd of cattle – methane, which is a byproduct of this situation, probably contributes largely to the changes in climate. Growing in vitro meat would reduce these costs – energy input would be nearly five times smaller and greenhouse gas emissions would be almost completely reduced. The cost per kilogram of meat would fall by about a half.
- For many people breeding and killing animals for meat raises moral questions. They appear especially in the case of industrial farms, where sentient beings are reduced to the level of the object. Meat grown thanks to in vitro method has no nervous system, does not feel pain nor fear, that is why ethical standards do not concern it.
Meat - exclusive product
Due to the large expenditures on cereals, which are required for traditional production of meat, it is estimated that soon meat will become too expensive for the average buyer. It is connected with the growth of global population and, as a result increase in demand for food. According to the current calculations number of people by 2050 will reach nearly 9 billion. Such a huge civilization inhabiting one planet will have to apply more efficient ways to produce food, than those used today. Breeding in vitro meat will be one of them.
Technology of growing in vitro meat
Experiments concerning rearing meat have been initiated by NASA. Agency was looking for sources of a fresh food for astronauts living in space. Practical research began in 2001. Now many experimental projects aimed to culture meat from "test-tube"are being conducted concurrently. Some scientists believe that the technology is now ready for mass use. It only needs the support of the business and appropriate legal solutions. New initiatives to support researchers working on this issue are being created. For example, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) funded a $ 1 million prize for developing technology of growing in vitro meat till June 2012. The condition is that it have to be suitable for mass introduction, so it has to be efficient and cheap.
Who will buy "artificial" meat?
Predicted difficulties which may arise when introducing this meat to the market is among others culturally induced resistance. Such meat may be perceived as an "artificial", and although it will not be true, possible that it will discourage buyers.
On the other hand, the average consumer is now completely separated from the producing process. They buy readymade and packaged product. In fact origin of the product is a secondary matter for them. Therefore, it is assumed that if the taste of a new meat will be the same as of the old one, it will be accepted without any problem, because it will be cheaper. It can also be healthier, because it can be enriched of additional nutrients, supplied by enriching nutrient, on which the tissue will be propagated.