Blog: News Bites and Feeds
 
August 23rd, 2013 |

Would you eat a lab-grown hamburger?

I would. As a clean-eater I enjoy the occasional grass-fed beef dish, but inevitably I find myself at a barbecue or restaurant that serves factory-farmed beef. And as to not be a pain in the butt, I eat it. One day in the future we may have they choice of ordering a hamburger made from either conventional beef or lab-grown beef, I’d choose the latter hands down every time and here’s why.

Benefits and possibilities of lab-grown beef:

  • Hormone free and antibiotic free
  • No pesticides, tranquilizers, or de-wormers needed
  • Cruelty free
  • Decreased factory farms = less environmental impact
  • Competition with conventional beef may make room for more sustainable livestock farms
  • and more land for sustainable fruit and vegetable farms!
  • Safer in terms of food borne illness
  • Less water used…
  • less energy required…
  • and more ethical compared to conventional beef production
  • Healthier in terms of fats

So how does this cultured meat grow? It’s actually quite simple really. Using stem cell technology, a muscle cell originating from a real cow is programmed to divide over and over again in vitro ultimately producing a meat patty. This cutting edge technology has the opportunity not only to succeed but also to transform the way we feed the world. Did you know what ~70% of antibiotics used in the US are for cattle? How about ~20% of greenhouse gasses coming from cattle farms? It’s time to quit ignoring these issues and start solving the environmental and societal problem of factory farming – lab-grown beef could do just that.

Until cultured beef becomes mainstream – which could take decades – it’s important to weight the potential benefits. There’s a lot of people to feed on this earth and the population is only getting larger.

By Liz Schneider, guest blogger