The meat industry continues to face sustainability challenges, especially since it is known to be one of the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions globally. However, an emerging field dealing with cultured cells aims to make eating meat guilt-free.
A conference held at Tufts University determined that cultivated meat can be seen as an alternative to meat sourced from livestock farms. Cultivated meat comes from a sample of cells retrieved from a live animal grown in a laboratory. After several days of growth, muscle and fat cells eventually become tissues similar to those of other live animals and are harvested.
Producing meat from cellular cultures rather than traditional farming can significantly reduce the number of resources and amount of greenhouse gas emitted by the meat industry. Cellular agriculture can also help in mitigating the emergence of animal diseases that usually develop from closely confined livestock farms.
While the potential to be a sustainable meat source is there, scientists say that there is still a long way to go to convince people and governments to try cultured meat. Many people still prefer live animals to laboratory-processed meat, but tapping influencers, like celebrity chefs, to normalize cultured meat could be a changemaker, one scientist added.
According to Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture Director David Kaplan, in the end, cellular agriculture's success can only be determined by how younger generations eventually make use of the recent technologies.