Are you someone who considers themselves a “hardcore carnivore” and absolutely loves a good steak or burger (or literally anything so long as there’s meat involved in some way)? Are you also someone who can’t stand the thought of millions of animals being slaughtered at this expense? Well then, the team at Memphis Meats has developed something that may be perfect for you!
Memphis Meats is a San Francisco startup company that has dedicated their time to creating meat that is grown in a lab from animal cells – without any animals having to be harmed in the process. The company released a video on Tuesday that showcased the “world’s first cultured meatball” being fried up in a pan, just like the real deal.
Video: Memphis Meats Lab-Grown Meatball
In addition to the obviously huge reduction in factory farming this type of meat production would afford, Memphis Meats chief executive, Uma Valeti, says in the video above that their process produces 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional animal agriculture. Not only does this eliminate the emissions from the animals themselves, it also eliminates the emissions generated from feeding and transporting the animals as well.
What’s The Next Step?
“The meat industry knows their products aren’t sustainable,” Valeti told the Wall Street Journal. “We believe that in 20 years, a majority of meat sold in stores will be cultured.”
The biggest issue they face in mass producing and marketing their product is expense; it currently costs around $18,000 to produce just 1 pound of Memphis Meats beef.
But What Implications Could This Have?
While this is a very good idea in theory, how can we be sure this is a safe alternative? Could this pose health concerns similar to those genetically engineered crops have shown in recent years? This is obviously not a natural process created by nature, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is harmful, it is still something to keep in mind.
Considering how costly this project is, moreover, perhaps adopting a vegan diet, or at least drastically reducing our meat consumption — see “reducetarian” — would be the simplest and most responsible option. If we can recognize that this meat is a good alternative to factory farming, then we are likely already aware of the environmental, ethical, and health issues associated with meat consumption. If that is the case, why not make a more natural and truly positive change for ourselves and for the planet? And if you simply can’t imagine going without that “meaty” taste, a number of companies are already making very good plant-based meat alternatives that could help fill that void.
If it is safe, affordable, and does no harm to animals, then this meat could be a great way to supplement our diet, but we definitely don’t need to have it for every meal. Science is a remarkable thing, but sometimes, the simplest solutions are best.
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