Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meat grown in a lab? Yuk!

Pigs at a farm in Germany.
Michaela Rehle/REUTERS
Chicken meat grown in a laboratory. Yes there's a yuk factor. But though I've never seen one, I suspect there's a much bigger yuk factor in an abattoir, and a chicken factory farm probably more yukky still.

Read this article in The Observer, 22nd Jan. Could lab-grown meat soon be the solution to the world's food crisis? Hanna Tuomisto, who specialises in environmental impacts of food production at Oxford University, says small quantities of “cultured meat” are being produced in research laboratories, and suggests that this innovation could have a dramatic effect on global hunger and climate change.

Left to myself I’d be happy to make my contribution by the simple expedient of eating far less meat. But globally, as developing countries and their people get wealthier, they are increasing the amount of meat in their diet, and this is a trend that worthy individual initiatives are unequal to combating. Meat production is one of the major contributors to global environmental degradation, especially deforestation, global warming, fresh water scarcity and loss of biodiversity. It has to stop.

And that’s before we even start on the question of how we treat animals. See Peta website.

1 comment:

  1. "..this is a trend that worthy individual initiatives are unequal to combating...". I'm very surprised to hear you say that Pete, sounds like you convincing yourself that there's no point in giving up the bacon sarnies!

    I'm sure you know the UN report "Livestock's Long Shadow" identified the meat industry as a bigger polluter than the whole of the transport industry put together, leading to a claim (unchallenged as far as I know) that giving up meat is the single biggest change an individual can make to counter the effects of climate change. So next time I'm reading an article about what damage my car (or all-too infrequent flying across the Irish Sea) does to the environment I'll smugly munch on my tofu sandwich and wait for the carnivorous 97% to catch up with me before we start discussing transport....(ok so I'm not vegetarian for the good of the planet, but it's a nice side-effect!)