Study: Lab-grown meat could help save the world

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:02 EDT
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Artificial, lab-grown meat requires about 96 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than raising cattle, a recently published study shows.

If produced on a large scale, scientists say it could ease deforestation and pressure on food and water supplies, ensure more people are eating well and abate the concerns of animal rights activists everywhere.

They added that cultured meat would only require about one percent of the land space needed for cattle and about four percent of the water.

Currently, meat production is the number one source of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, pumping out more pollutants each year than all other sources combined.

Widespread consumption of artificial meat would also cut down on the use of fossil fuels for transportation and refrigeration, if grown and distributed locally.

The process of growing muscle cells, which depends on Cyanobacteria hydrolysate as an energy source, was described in detail by The Scientific American in its June 2011 issue.

Researchers noted that even with greater research and investment, it would still take at least five years to bring lab-grown muscle tissue to market. Producing more complex meat products — like a t-bone steak or rack of ribs — would take even longer.

The study was published late last week in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology.

[H/T: The Guardian]

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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