Pork without a pig? Meat from a lab could be the answer.
Scientists are experimenting with growing meat directly from stem cells. Cost and quality questions remain, but 'artificial' meat could end animal slaughter and be easier on the environment.
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Modern meat production causes many forms of “environmental degradation,” says a report published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP). The report continues, “meat production contributes disproportionately to these problems, in part because feeding grain to livestock to produce meat – instead of feeding it directly to humans – involves a large energy loss.”Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Mmmmmmmmm... That's a lot of meat!
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A New York Times article estimates that “two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption.” Despite this inefficient trade-off, “roughly one third of grain is consumed by domestic animals,” says Joel Cohen, professor of population studies at Columbia University.
By not requiring food, in vitro meat frees up grain resources, which reaps “environmental benefits” and “benefits against world starvation,” according to Post.
What do you think? Will lab-grown meat help nourish the planet? Tell us in the comments.
• Grant Potter is a development associate and executive assistant to the president of Worldwatch.
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