There’s long been talk about how much raising livestock contributes to global warming and what we can do to reduce it over time.
Two groups of scientists have decided to skip the incremental approach. They have taken the revolutionary path of creating real beef, chicken and pork in the lab, using animal stem cells and fancy chemistry. They will serve a meal featuring their meat this fall.
In-Vitro Meat (aka Test Tube Meat), generates 96% fewer greenhouse gases, uses roughly 50% less energy, and almost eliminates the large quantities of water and land traditionally required to raise animals.
Current livestock production requires 30% of the world’s ice-free land and emits in the neighborhood of 18% of total greenhouse gases. If meat consumption grows as anticipated, converting to In-Vitro Meat by 2040 could positively impact the environment by the same amount as eliminating 50% of car, truck, and aircraft usage.
In-Vitro Meat developers still need to address cost and consumer acceptance. Scientists believe they can scale their process and make lab-produced meat affordable. Convincing consumers that Test Tube Meat is not Frankenfood is a challenge they have yet to address.
There’s a lesson for all of us in Test Tube Meat. What problems are we trying to solve with incremental solutions? What would happen if we used revolutionary approaches instead?