There is much discussion about meat consumption and its negative effects on our planet and on animal welfare. Thanks to the growth in conscious consumers and ethically motivated groups, new innovative technologies in food tech are being developed to help mitigate the environmental damage that is being caused by the meat industry.
You may have heard about cultivated meat, also known as cultured meat, in the context of alternative meat solutions. While the cultivated meat industry is still in its infancy, many are searching for clarity as to what cultured meat really is and what advantages it brings to the table.
Read on. We’ll provide answers to some of your pressing questions about what is cultivated meat and discuss some of its advantages. We hope that it will support conscious decisions around meat consumption in the near future.
Supply Chain: Cultured Meat vs. Conventional Meat
Farmed animals are bred, raised, slaughtered, butchered, processed, and distributed as the conventional meat that we find on our plates. Today, this entire process is proving itself to be unsustainable. Agricultural industries are experiencing ongoing supply chain interruptions which influence manufacturing delays, price increases, and product availability. Additionally, the demand for meat continues to rise and the meat industry is finding it hard to meet consumer expectations.
Cultured meat is one of the innovations within food-tech that is disrupting and revolutionizing agriculture as we know it. Cultivated meat is animal meat that does not require any farming, slaughtering, or harming of animals. Instead, we source animal cells from a donor animal just one time. These cells are then cultivated in stainless steel fermenters before they are formed into the familiar meat cuts you enjoy today. Cultivated meat technology can significantly reduce the complexities of the conventional supply chain and is predicted to be more responsive to the ever growing market demand for meat.
How is Cultured Meat Made?
Cultured meat technology begins by ethically sourcing cells from an animal without causing it any pain. These cells are then grown in a stainless steel cultivator, which mimics the natural cellular growth process that happens inside an animal. Cultivators are clean environments that provide physiological conditions an animal would have naturally, like normal pH levels, temperature control, oxygen, and more.
At the final step, once the cultivators reach a desired cell density, we harvest them and then mold them into recognizable meat products we love to eat.
Why Do We Need Cultivated Meat?
Cultivated meat isn’t only a groundbreaking innovation, it is also a crucial solution for our planet and food industry. Here is a snapshot of some of the major advantages that cultivated meat provides.
1. Better for Animals
This benefit is pretty clear and convincing. The process of creating and producing cultivated meat does not cause any harm to animals! As mentioned, there is a one-time, painless, cell-extraction from an animal, and then cultured meat can be created indefinitely. This eliminates the countless harmful procedures present in traditional farming, not to mention slaughtering itself.
2. It Frees Up Land
Livestock meat production requires approximately 70% of global arable land used for growing livestock feed. Cultivation of meat cells can enable production of meat without needing to raise farmed animals, which require smaller quantities of agricultural resources like land. Land use for meat production can be reduced by 99%!
3. Less Water Usage
Cultured meat production uses considerably less water resources when compared to conventional meat production. Research has shown that agriculture is responsible for 92% of our water usage, and that just 1 kg of beef requires 15,415 liters of fresh water to produce just 1 kg of beef. Cultivated meat water usage can be reduced by 82%-96% depending on the product.
4. Accessibility to Food
Our global population stands at more than 7 billion people, with expectations to surpass 9.5 billion by 2050. This means that more food will need to be made in order to sustain future generations. Today, natural resources worldwide, such as land, water, and livestock are limited. Studies show that it will become impossible to raise enough animals to feed the entire population in the years to come. Consuming cultivated meat will increase access to food and as a result, can potentially reduce world hunger. Cultivated meat uses a fraction of the natural resources used by conventional meat, and does not require raising or slaughtering animals because the initial sourced cells grow indefinitely. This means that cultivated meat can feed our growing global population indefinitely.
5. Humans Love Eating Meat
There is a growing demand for meat worldwide that is not showing any sign of slowing down. In fact, meat consumption worldwide has doubled in the past two decades and forecasts predict that demand for livestock protein will rise by 13% before the end of this decade. The higher the demand, the more pressure the supply chain will have to endure to meet them. Today we understand the value in coming up with alternative solutions for conventional meat. Cultivated meat provides another meat protein option that can alleviate the pressure off conventional supply chain while using considerably lower amounts of natural resources to produce meat.
Is Cultivated Meat Nutritious?
Cultivated meat can arguably be healthier than conventional and alternative meat products in the market today. While it is still pending regulatory approval, the cultivated meat industry is in the process of producing meat with the same or better nutritional value of farmed meat.
Food safety and nutrition are Future Meat’s top priority. We want to ensure that consumers can enjoy cultivated meat without giving up on the nutritional values that comes with animal protein. We are racing to produce the highest quality, and most delicious, cultivated meat you’ll find once it hits the market.
Rest assured that our mindset is to bring the most beneficial components cultivated meat can offer.
The Future of Meat is Here
After reviewing the many cultivated meat advantages, it is clear to see that the cultivated meat industry is revolutionizing the way we approach food. There are many reasons to take part in the cultured meat revolution, whether it’s helping the environment or supporting animal welfare; it’s just better meat no matter how you look at it.