Many a vegetarians have their reasons for being so. For that piece of meat to reach on your plate, it has taken a captive animal to lead a miserable life and die a painful death. Many non-vegetarians also have their reasons for being so, ranging from nutrition to taste.
However, all the doubts and debates hovering around the source of non-vegetarian food might soon come to an end. Cultured meat, could be the meat of the future and the one that navigates the mutually exclusive foods defined by red and the green dots.
What is cultured meat?
Touted to be sustainable and environmental friendly, Israeli cultured meat is artificially grown and hence doesn't require any animal to die in the process. "You don't need to raise an animal and slaughter it to get the muscle that makes our meat," says Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, the founder and CSO, Future Meat, that is behind the technological idea.
"We can take cells from an animal and then grow them without the animal itself. The only way for me to make sure that they (my kids) eat the same type of diet that I did, the same chicken schnitzel that my mother used to make is to make sure we fundamentally change the way we make food around the globe," he explains.
Processing cultured meat
In the promotional video, shared through the State of Israel's official Twitter account, he further educates about the cultured meat. Using the simple process of taking cells from animals, the scientists start growing them in a nutrient pod.
From the bioreactor, they collect the grown mass of muscle cells and fat cells that gives the experience of meat without slaughtering an animal. In this process, Prof Nahmias claims to deliver meat that is, "as delicious and as healthy, even better than traditional meat."
Lab produced meat?
The entire process fundamentally changes the way we manage our natural resources and the way we produce our food on earth. It also ensures that "we continue to thrive as a species on Earth," reasons the introductory note by Nahmias.
Dr. Neta Lavon, from the research and development team of Aleph Farms, adds: "We are mimicking the natural process happening within the cow but outside of the cow. We learn how their tissues regenerate themselves, especially the muscle tissue, which is actually the steak that we all like ad eat."
It's nutrition and protein content is what the meats have been often advocated for. Through the cultured meat, they also claim to keep the key benefit of non-veg food intact. "One key benefit of cultivated meat is that the meat incorporates all the good, nutritional profile of the meat we know today. We just change the production process." Dr Levon also says that they have the flexibility to create whatever meat cut the end consumer would like.
5 Years fron now, it'll be a $291 million industry
While the costs, acceptance and environmental impacts of cultured meats are yet to be clear, there is no denying fact that it has already generated global curiosity. The cultured meat products have also seen a quick rise in popularity. As per researchandmarkets.com, the global cultured meat market accounted for $72.6 million in 2018. It is expected to reach by $291.4 million by 2027.