In response to various environmental problems today, more people are demanding more sustainable food options. Now, there’s a new environmentally-friendly product fresh on the scene – clean meat.
WHAT IS CLEAN MEAT?
Clean meat, or cultured meat, is basically meat that is grown in a lab. Although this definition might make many people cringe in disgust, it’s actually more appetizing than you think!
Traditional meat requires a lot of energy and resources to reach your dinner table. However, clean meat manages to reduce these factors by eliminating many of the food processing steps.
Don’t be fooled – clean meat is not another plant-based substitute for meat. It’s real meat which comes from chicken, cows, and pigs. So of course it tastes like “real meat.” But why should people opt for this cleaner, healthier, and more environmentally friendly option? Here’s why.
SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS
The world produces enough food to supply the entire population. However, in 2016, around 11% of the population went hungry. That’s over 815 million people. The global population will increase to a staggering 9.8 billion by 2050. Considering this, more problems regarding food supply will arise.
Furthermore, there will be a stronger and more intense demand for food. First, issues such as soil degradation will decrease crop production. Second high rates of urbanization will decrease available farmland. Third, climate change will threaten to significantly decrease the availability of farming land and will destroy animal habitats. Finally, pollution and water shortages may further intensify decreases in food production.
Since clean meat only needs labs to produce, it does not require the same resources as raising animals. Therefore, producing meat in labs would help with food security issues.
A TRADITIONAL MEAT DIET DECREASES BIODIVERSITY
Diets rich in meats are one of the major culprits of the loss of biodiversity. This unfortunate trend is because farmers are converting forests into farmlands in order to raise cattle and poultry.
Think about it, a single kilogram of beef is around 30 times more environmentally demanding compared to the same amount of plant protein. Unfortunately, many people fail to see the consequences of eating traditional meat. People’s diets need to change drastically in response to current environmental degradation, and one of the most effective solutions is to choose cultured meat.
DECREASE RESOURCE USE
It turns out, reducing plastic use and walking as a source of transportation are not the only things you can do for the environment. If you really want to help planet Earth, you might have to give up meat entirely. This is because animal agriculture is one of the world’s largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
Farmers and factories raise over 70 billion animals every year for human consumption. These animals require approximately 16% of the world’s freshwater. Additionally, they require a third of the world’s land area and consume a third of the world’s grain production.
LESSON FOSSIL FUEL USE AND POLLUTION
Fertilizer is a key component of farming. However, chemical producers need to burn a large amount fuel fossils to produce it. Around 2% of the world’s energy is utilized to make approximately 100 million tons of artificial nitrogenous fertilizers.
Animal waste is also a major cause of air pollution. This is because manure and urine wastes get into the atmosphere. Animal waste emits approximately 400 different dangerous gases including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. These gases leave the waste as airborne particles when they begin to decompose.
Although there is still a resistance to clean meat, it usually stems from a lack of understanding. Is it time people open their minds (and stomachs!) to a greater variety of food choices? Clean meat is not only delicious but also better for the planet. By eating more sustainably and choosing clean meat, you and planet Earth may become healthier.