Cultured Meat Essay

1. Describe some of the reasons that scientists are trying to produce cultured meat. Do you think that these are valid concerns? Why or why not? As the articles mention and explain, “The meat industry is a huge contributor to humanity’s environmental footprint, accounting for some 18% of our total greenhouse gas emissions. And that number’s deceptively low, because it includes roughly 40% of methane and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions, which are respectively 23 and nearly 300 times more potent climate warming agents than carbon dioxide.

It continues to explain how the amount of meat demanded is only increasing which inevitably means more demands are going to be placed on the farmers and ranchers to produce more, leading to an even bigger carbon footprint. The articles also explained that the large amount of land required to produce the amount of meat to meet the demands means that the “arable” land the industry takes up as well as the amount of resources such as grain and water is quite large. Not only do they require a large amount of resources but the return of energy that they take up is not equal.

It takes 7 times as much grain as the American population… roughly 25 kilocalories of fossil fuel energy are consumed for every 1 kilocalories of meat protein produced. ” This basically means we are putting more time, resources and money in than what we are getting out. It is an inefficient cycle but one that doesn’t seem able to be tackled as long as the demand keeps growing without a solution in sight which is where they feel cultured meat comes in. The concerns regarding the impacts of the traditional meat industry are valid, but so too are the concerns regarding the impact of a market revolving around cultured meat alone.

There are also other industries that are creating a large carbon foot print with viable, current alternatives as solutions but that seems to be completely overlooked when it comes to this argument. Another possible benefit to cultured meat is the opportunity for faster, more efficient genomic monitoring. The side effects of gene insertions or deletions can be monitored in real time as the meat is grown so the effect of those issues can be figured out and taken care of right away.

With traditional meat there is no way to know what may be wrong until either after the animal is slaughtered and possibly distributed before anyone even knows what the issue looks like to keep from distributing it. This may also lead to medical break throughs associated with similar conditions. 2. Cultured meat is often described as “animal friendly” meat. How is this different from meat substitutes such as tofu, other soy products, etc.? From a consumer’s perspective, would you expect differences between the protein found in meat grown in traditional ways, cultured meat, and meat substitutes?

Explain your answers. Animal friendly meats are meats that are actual meat but it does not harm any animals in the production. It is produced by using samples from animal tissues. Meat substitutes do not contain any meat at all nor do they contain any ingredients that may be associated with the use of animal products. Protein found in meat grown in traditional ways will not only have the typical meat texture and consistency but it will also contain the fat that often gives the meat it’s taste and satisfying flavor. It can also make the bite a little softer and more palatable.

Cultured meat will have similar consistency and texture as traditional but, as of now, it does not contain the fat needed to make it have the taste and complete feel of traditional meat. Biting into it has also been explained as “hard” which may also be due to lack of fat. Meat substitutes really don’t have many texture/consistency similarities; it has the protein content that allows it to fulfill the nutrition needs but not the taste. Substitutes such as tofu can be made firmer and seasoned to mimic real meat but is made of soy and will lack the true feel. 3.

In your own words, briefly describe the process of producing cultured meat. Do you think that this method is a practical way to produce significant amounts of animal friendly meat for retail markets? Why or why not? The way cultured meat is currently being grown; first, a sample of muscle is taken and separated into individual fibers. From there it is readied and placed into culture plates in which the cells start to divide and multiply. They naturally grown into fibers as a muscle would normally do and begin to grow around the provided gel ring that is in the culture plate.

The tissue continues to grow in strands which eventually grow into the layered tissue that accumulates into what we would normally call a patty. The future plan is to do this entire process in an area as large as an Olympic swimming pool so as to provide enough for the masses Currently, I do not think this is a practical way to provide meat for retail markets. Although the cost of producing this meat has gone from $350,000+ to around $80 per kg that is still quite a large price tag and shoppers are usually not willing to pay that sort of price for something they generally do not have a current issue with; traditionally grown meat.

Not only that, but right now the taste isn’t great compared to traditional meat and the amount of cultured meat that can be produced at a time is inadequate to fulfil the current demand. 4. Should lab-grown/ cultured meat be regulated in the same way that slaughtered meat is? Why or why not? What additional issues need to be considered in the regulation of lab-grown meat? Who should be responsible for oversight of these issues? Explain your answers. Since the FDA monitors the final product I feel that it may be best to have them regulate the cultured meat.

Since this is such uncharted territory I feel the main goal should be making sure that the final product is free of contamination and ensuring that its safe for eating. There are aspects of the guidelines for traditional meat production that would be appropriate for cultured meat such as the testing and regulation as well as the mass production but I feel there should be even more stringent regulations and sanitary conditions and guidelines set. In an animal, meat is obviously grown in a closed environment. There are usually not any outside factors entering the muscular system that would affect the meat long term.

Yes, many consumers are critical of the use of antibiotics but I feel that is just another instance of misguided conceptions and uninformed people. Besides that, the cultured meat is requiring the use of antibiotics during its production as well, so nothing has changed on that front. What Is different is the fact that the culture plates/vats that the meat will be grown in environments that can be completely closed. Yes, they can be sealed but that would mean no air could enter, making it impossible for the proper growth to take place.

Where there is oxygen entering there are also chances of toxic and harmful agents as well. Such opportunity for contamination is a worrisome factor and should be regulated as strictly as possible. People have a misconception about the time in which antibiotics stay in the system and in the meat leading to adverse health consequences for humans consuming the meat, but what they need to be more worried about are the issues that could arise in the animals and foods that are not treated when sick before slaughter. . What do YOU think about cultured meat? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or the other way around? Is this something that is worth pursuing? Do you think there is a market for this? Would you buy and eat it? Explain your answers. I am not in favor of cultured meat. Yes, I do see the positive attributes associated with cultured meat; for example, the environmental concerns that would ease. How much better would the cultured meat system be than the current traditional system?

Yes, the cattle industry requires many fuels, grains, water and other resources but think about the chemicals needed to keep the cultured meat areas sanitized! Where do those chemicals end up? In the ground water? In our bodies? How is that a good thing? Furthermore, this endeavor is already costing an extremely large amount and we are just in the beginning, small scale stages. Think of the resources needed to build the culture “factories. ” What would happen if one of the huge vats growing the meat became contaminated?

Where would all of that meat go when it came to disposing of the contaminated meat? It would be a huge endeavor to dispose of it properly. The current system is extremely imperfect but the impact of eliminating it would be horrible. Many uneducated and ignorant people believe that the ag and animal production industry is cruel and the articles insinuate it as well, but having grown up on a ranch I can assure that no one in my family or working for us ate breakfast, lunch or dinner until the animals were fed.

Every single day the animals were checked, fed and watered no matter the weather, holiday or plans anyone may have. We did not “over crowd” them, we did not beat them, mutilate or mistreat them in any step of the production. Feedlots where many of the cattle are fed up before slaughter are monitored more than any “organic” situation is. If we get rid of the cattle industry so many rural communities, farms, families and lives will be ripped apart and shattered.

Can anyone explain to me what 50-80-year-old farmers and ranchers are going to do when their livelihoods are made obsolete? 0% of those workers and owners do not have a college education nor do they have a desire to start their lives all over again. Is this really better for the world? The production of cultured meats will be costly and the means of shipment will stay the same: imperfect and creating pollution. In the future will only buy and eat traditionally and locally produced meat. If I don’t support my roots and the backbone of America who will? | will not mistreat or turn my back on the industry that has fed America and many other regions every day up to this very moment.