You will never believe what I just read about. Seriously, this is big. Okay, so I’m sure you know that meat is processed, and I’m sure somewhere along the way you’ve heard something about antibiotics or some other chemical, such as “pink slime” being added to your meat. Right? Sometimes hearing these kinds of things scare us, and even frustrate us because we don’t know for sure whether or not such additives are healthy for us, or which meats these chemicals are lurking in.
Well, if you were worried before, you might have to take a seat for what I’m about to tell you. Are you ready? Here it is: sometime in the near future your meat is going to be coming straight from a petri dish. That’s right! Scientists have now successfully created “meat” in a lab. The culture begins by taking a small sample from real beef. The real beef is then cultured, fed, and grown until it reaches desired size. The first petri dish beef patty cost a whopping $330,000 to make, and was said to taste like a real beef patty!
In the near future, this meat will be far cheaper to produce, and is said to have positive effects on the environment. According to the Washington Post, this new meat will cut down the land required for the production of animal products such as steaks, bacon and sausages by 99%. This will consequently cause less CO2 emissions to be emitted into the air, and preserve water that would have been used for quenching the thirst of cattle on death row.
Also, since this meat will be 100% grown in a lab, scientists can monitor exactly how it is produced, and exactly what goes into it. Therefore this new “meat” now has the potential to become genetically and phenotypically altered, meaning that it can have desired fat content, texture, or even color. This could be beneficial to health because scientists now have the ability to decide how much fat or cholesterol goes into your hamburger, if any will go into it at all.
This news has obviously been exciting vegans as a vast majority of animals will be saved from slaughter.
I personally think that this is interesting, and I don’t know how I feel about it. I understand that less animals will die annually, and that this could have a positive effect on the environment. However, my main concern with this is that this meat is going to now be produced in a lab. That means that none of this is natural. Scientists can now put whatever they want into your “meat”. Who truly knows if what they are going to be putting in the meat, or how they are going to be modifying the meat is actually good for you? Also, I have a proposition for all you vegans out there who support this: If the initial culture is from a cow, and all of the following cultures are synthesized from that original culture, than isn’t this new meat technically still animal protein? If you eat this, even if it is modified, aren’t you still eating animal flesh? Doesn’t that go against the beliefs of a vegan? Technically an animal was still harmed in the making of this meat, even if it was just one animal. Also, if you’re vegan for health reasons, than you probably have some animosity toward consuming animal protein. A lot of scientists in the nutrition field (such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell) believe that high amounts of animal protein can lead to chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease, and have research to back those beliefs up. Therefore, if you were planing on consuming this new “meat”, you are no longer going to be vegan.
I’m not saying this is a bad idea. I think in terms of the environment, this could be just what this world needs. However, in terms of your health, I think we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. What do you think? Will you be first in line to try the new “meat”?