• Alekhya Buragadda

Cultured Meat

With seven billion people on the planet, large productions of food are required, therefore, people turn towards animals. As the demand for meat grew, factory farms were created to increase the production of meat and decrease costs. However, workers at the farms are exposed to air pollutants which lead to respiratory illnesses. Furthermore, the main cause of animal abuse is factory farming. The environment of the factory farms is so unhealthy that it can lead to contamination of the animals. Nearly 48 million Americans die each year by eating this unclean meat. To combat this issue, cultured meat is the best solution. Cultured meat is a form of cellular agriculture, which requires a single vitro cell of an organism to produce the same meat.

Image Credit: Forbes 2019

A stem cell is chosen from an organism, which means that it can reproduce more of itself. Stem cells can turn into anything that is required, usually, it is muscle and fat cells for cultured meat. The cell then is placed into a petri dish, while being soaked in a liquid growth medium. The petri dish is then placed into the bioreactor, where it turns into meat after a couple of days. The hunger of billions of people will be fulfilled with cleaner and ethical methods of growing meat. Cultured meat will enable people to eat a cleaner form of meat that does not contain antibodies or other types of chemicals. The success of cultured meat will be measured by the decrease in animal abuse, which is the main objective of this new technique.


Cultured meat has several advantages. One of the biggest advantages is that it is healthy, grown without antibiotics, and fortified with vitamins and minerals. The fat and cholesterol in the meat are also controlled. Another benefit is the savings of 41 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted by factory farms each year. By using cultured meat, the emissions rates are estimated to decrease about 74% to 87%. Another major impact of cultured meat is that animal slaughtering and abuse will decrease significantly.


However, there are some drawbacks to cultured meat. One of the major disadvantages is that cells need support from collagen structures. Lab-grown meat companies are experimenting with various techniques to mimic collagen, but there is no clear-cut answer, yet. Another major drawback is the cost to make cultured meat. It costs over $50 to create some chicken nuggets, while traditional meat production costs would result in about $5. Another disadvantage is that for cultured meat to be on the market, it needs to be approved by the federal government. They have been overseeing the meat grown in labs, but so far, have not granted regulatory approval. Shortly, cultured meat may be the answer to feed everyone in the world in a safer way.

References


[1] Black, By Richard. “Species Count Put at 8.7 Million.” BBC News, 23 Aug. 2011,

www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-14616161#:%7E:text=The%20natural%20worl

d%20contains%20about,take%20more%20than%201%2C000%20years.


[2] Bridgeman, Laura. “Lab-Grown Meat: What Is Cultured Meat and How Is It Made?” Sentient

Media, 11 Dec. 2020, sentientmedia.org/lab-grown-meat.

Farm Sanctuary, Inc. “Factory Farming’s Toll on Human Health.” Farm Sanctuary,

www.farmsanctuary.org/issue/public-health. Accessed 4 Apr. 2021.

[3] “Food System – Food & Water Watch.” Food System,

www.foodandwaterwatch.org/issues/food-system. Accessed 4 Apr. 2021.

[4] “Why Factory Farming Is The Largest Cause Of Animal Abuse In History.” Animal Equality

International Animal Protection Organization,

animalequality.org/news/why-factory-farming-is-the-largest-cause-of-animal-abuse-in-history.


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