Biodiversity and conservation
Biodiversity and general ecology issues

Ken Novak's Weblog

daily link  Monday, September 19, 2005

Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale: "In a paper in the June 29 [2005] issue of Tissue Engineering, a team of scientists, including University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, propose two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown -- meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.

"There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," says Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.   "Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat." ..

"cultured meat could appeal to people concerned about food safety, the environment, and animal welfare, and people who want to tailor food to their individual tastes," says Matheny. The paper even suggests that meat makers may one day sit next to bread makers on the kitchen counter.  "The benefits could be enormous," Matheny says. "The demand for meat is increasing world wide -- China 's meat demand is doubling every ten years. Poultry consumption in India has doubled in the last five years.  ..

Matheny saw so many advantages in the idea that he joined several other scientists in starting a nonprofit, New Harvest, to advance the technology. One of these scientists, Henk Haagsman, Professor of Meat Science at Utrecht University, received a grant from the Dutch government to produce cultured meat, as part of a national initiative to reduce the environmental impact of food production."

Added implication: "Writing in this month’s Physics World, British physicist Alan Calvert calculated that the animals eaten by people produce 21 percent of the carbon dioxide that can be attributed to human activity."

  10:32:02 PM  permalink  

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