Is the science fiction era upon us? According to the LA Times, scientists are hard at work trying to develop meat in a lab. While the concept of a hamburger produced in a test tube may seem unappetizing, producing that burger meat may be good thing for the environment.
Patrick Brown, a biochemist at Stanford University who is working on creating meat and dairy substitutes using plants, says that “Animal farming is by far the biggest ongoing environmental catastrophe.”
Factory farms use up enormous energy reserves while crowding together animals who, in closely confined quarters, could spawn outbreaks of E.coli and other food-borne illnesses. Likewise, emissions from livestock (aka, their toots) produce methane, a greenhouse gas more polluting than carbon dioxide.
So what goes into making this factory-farm-free meat? The project at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, involves using cow’s stem cells and is funded by an anonymous investor. They’ve already created several small strips of muscle tissue. Once thousands more are made, they’ll be mashed together to create a burger patty. The first lab meat sandwich could be ready this October.
Would you eat meat grown in a lab, knowing it was a better alternative for the environment?