Growing fake meat in labs to cut ‘emissions’
July 04, 2011
Instead of focusing on ending the horrendous factory farming practices that inhumanely confine cattle to tight living spaces, and subject them to an unnatural diet of genetically-modified (GM) corn and soybeans, scientists from Oxford University have decided instead to concentrate their efforts on culturing and growing artificial meat in petri dishes.
A recent report in the UK’s Guardian explains that researchers there hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing fake meat in a lab, a prospect they suggest might encourage vegetarians and others concerned about abusive animal conditions to once again eat meat, as well as feed the world’s hungry.
“The environmental impacts of cultured meat could be substantially lower than those of meat produced in the conventional way,” said Hanna Tuomisto, lead author of the study from Oxford. She and her team claim that growing fake meat in the lab can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 96 percent, and require up to 45 percent less energy to produce meat than conventional methods do.
This may sound like a beneficial prospect, assuming anyone in their right mind would actually be willing to eat the stuff. But is growing meat in a lab really necessary when simply returning to traditional animal raising methods would do the trick? Tuomisto is correct in her assumption that conventional animal raising methods have a terrible environmental impact. But growing fake meat in a dish is hardly the logical next step in correcting the problem.
Last year, an article in TIME explained how converting conventional cattle-raising operations to natural, grass-fed operations is helping to not only decrease negative environmental impact, but also to improve environmental conditions by bolstering soil quality and restoring the integrity of grass and pasture lands (http://www.naturalnews.com/028182_g…).
Encouraging more small-scale, pasture-based farms will not only help to make individuals more self-sufficient, they will also reverse the negative environmental impact created by factory-scale farms that are polluting the environment, spawning deadly “superbugs,” and ultimately making people and animals sick. In other words, if more farmers switch from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to open pastures, there will be no need to grow imitation meat in a lab.