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]