Growing fake meat in labs to cut ‘emissions’

Ethan Huff
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 (…).

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.

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One Response to Growing fake meat in labs to cut ‘emissions’

  1. madhatter15 says:

    Now I think I’ve heard every excuse for making us sick , this one is tops on my list of things to stay away from. I had no idea beef was raised in stalls and fed GM feed, has’t anyone ever heard of the Amish, of cattle “ranchers” of free range beef, I buy it all the time not to mention organic beef with no hormones and no pesticide and no one putting a cork up the cows butt. Its called good old American beef.

    Iit seems to me for every American in this country there is one ecological job, whether it is needed or not and they always add the wwords “feed the world” so far that has never happened, nothing coming from us is ever free, buy the seeds, monsanto seeds and you will have ea crop , you will have to buy them every year but you will have a crop maybe, if not do what they do in India , kill yourself. I suggest the ecology nuts who dreamed this up test it for a year or two on themselves and I’l still say no thank you. Who is paying for this ridiculous experiment, that is the question?

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