Cultured Meat (by Aaron Virnig)

virnigpicWith accelerated population growth, we will not be able to keep up with our current meat consumption trend. As population increases, land space decreases and need for more efficient food production becomes necessary. However, becoming more efficient with production of meat means slaughtering more animals, smaller living conditions for animals and use of steroids and hormones. Meat production has heavy consequences on our environment which will only get worse with accelerated demand for food. This issue was brought to my attention by a volunteer worker at the Rock Creek Learning Garden.

In the Learning Garden, we learned how to plant and maintain fruits and vegetables. How everyone should consume more of this and less of meat to help build a sustainable future. Some people can be convinced to cut down on meat consumption after watching a slaughterhouse video. Some can be convinced after hearing the environmental effects. Yet, I find it hard to believe that millions of people will cut back because of these issues or that political leaders will try to regulate this. After my volunteer work at the garden, I started to research some alternatives for our meat consumption. Cultured meat was the only real viable solution I could find for this problem. Cultured meat is taking by taking stem cells from the animal and then multiply the cells to create muscle fibers. This process is not harmful to animals and they are not limited to beef but could also use the same technique in chickens, lamb, fish or pork.

 

MATTICK, C., & ALLENBY, B. (2013). The Future of Meat. Issues In Science & Technology, 30(1), 64.

The article summarizes how cultured meat can affect social, cultural, environmental and economic conditions. There are many well know benefits to cultured meats but is the product a feasible option. To fund this operation would take enough demand to be supplied. Socially and culturally would be a great task to reach your average meat eater. However, vegans and vegetarians would have no problem jumping on board.

 

Van Der Weele, C., & Driessen, C. (2013). Emerging Profiles for Cultured Meat; Ethics through and as Design. Animals (2076-2615), 3(3), 647-622. doi:10.3390/ani3030647

This article summarizes the two main benefits associated with eating and producing cultured meat. The first benefit, is that we do not have to slaughter young cattle. We also do not have to put cattle in any caged environment where animals live in atrocious conditions. The second benefit, is that our population is increasing at an accelerated rate with less viable land available to herd these animals. Meat production also causes great distress on our environment and is not a sustainable option for the future.

 

(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2384715/At-tastes-meat–Worlds-test-tube-artificial-beef-Googleburger-gets-GOOD-review-eaten-time.html)

Cultured meat at the moment is slowly becoming more mainstream as more efficient techniques are being produced and more investors are taking notice. Ultimately, land will become scarce as population grows “Some 40% of the world’s land surface is used for the purposes of keeping all 7 billion of us fed — albeit some of us, of course, more than others. And the vast majority of that land — about 30% of the word’s total ice-free surface — is used not to raise grains, fruits and vegetables that are directly fed to human beings, but to support the chickens, pigs and cattle that we eventually eat. (Time, 2013)” So much land is used from livestock and other foods to feed livestock and ultimately cultured meat would allow us to regain all of that land for something more sustainable. Ultimately, Cultured will have to be accepted into mainstream society for it to be a viable option. As consumers we have the power to make cultured meat a way of the future. We are able to vote on bills, elect officials who will support this act and be ready to consume this product when it becomes available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citations

MATTICK, C., & ALLENBY, B. (2013). The Future of Meat. Issues In Science & Technology, 30(1), 64.

Van Der Weele, C., & Driessen, C. (2013). Emerging Profiles for Cultured Meat; Ethics through and as Design. Animals (2076-2615), 3(3), 647-622. doi:10.3390/ani3030647

The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production | TIME.com. (2013, December 6). Retrieved from http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

 

Woollaston, V. (2013). ‘At least it tastes of meat!’: World’s first test-tube artificial beef ‘Googleburger’ gets GOOD review as it’s eaten for the first time. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2384715/At-tastes-meat–Worlds-test-tube-artificial-beef-Googleburger-gets-GOOD-review-eaten-time.html

 

 

 

 

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