35. In Vitro Meat

In Vitro meat is a cellular engineered meat product. It can also be manufactured from plants cells. In a previous essay, I wrote that the production of In Vito meat is like the production of yogurt. Another example of such a process would be the production of insulin. Insulin was originally collected from the ground-up pancreases of pigs or cattle. In 1978, Arthur Riggs, Keiichi Itakura, and Herbert Boyer inserted the gene carrying the blueprints for human insulin into a bacteria, so the bacteria could make insulin identical to the insulin that humans make. Today, the vast majority of insulin is made by engineered yeast or bacteria. This has made the insulin supply safer, more consistent, and identical to the insulin humans produce.

There are two kinds of agricultural products: acellular products and cellular products. Acellular products are made of organic molecules like proteins and fats and contain no cellular or living material. Cellular products are made of living or once-living cells.It is most important to the success of bringing this product to the public market by knowing that Vitro meat is not a genetically modified food, but rather, tissue-engineered food. Acellular products are made of organic molecules like proteins and fats and contain no cellular or living material. Cellular products are made of living or once-living cells.

Currently, there are 7 billion mouths to feed worldwide, and that number will only increase over the next few decades to 9 billion by 2050. As a result, the demand for meat is expected to grow by more than two-thirds, which means we will need to somehow produce 70 percent more meat on the same amount of land currently being cultivated and harvested for food production. Twenty-six percent of Earth’s ice-free surface alone is used just for grazing livestock.

It has been claimed that conditions being ideal, two months of cultured meat production could deliver up to 50,000 tons of meat from ten pork muscle cells.The Australian bioethicist Julian Savulescu said “Artificial meat stops cruelty to animals, is better for the environment, could be safer and more efficient, and even healthier. We have a moral obligation to support this kind of research.

There are many environmental advantages to producing In Vitro meat and bring it to the market. It has many potential advantages to meat products brought to the market using the slaughterhouse manufacturing systems that now brings meat products to the consumer. Artificial meat stops cruelty to animals, There would be no saturated fat, no heme iron, and no need for growth hormones in In Vitro meats.The world will see much lower CO2 emissions by eliminating the methane produced from cattle. At present, the raising of cattle on rangeland is a very inefficient process. Water supplies are now being depleted. Cattle being raised for slaughter supply our environment with 20% of the methane causing global warming. In Vitro meat would be produced in sterile factories.The land freed up from farming could be reforested or used for other carbon sequestration purposes, further lowering the carbon footprint of cultured meat.

On August 5, 2013, the world’s first lab-grown burger was cooked and eaten at a news conference in London. Scientists from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, led by professor Mark Post, had taken stem cells from a cow and grown them into strips of muscle which they then combined to make a burger. This proved that indeed it was possible to produce meat in a petri dish.

The process of producing this meat, since it was produced in a lab, was very expensive. This trial was produced at the cost of $250,000. Since this taste test, the research group is on track to drastically reduce the cost of the burger to about $11 per burger or $36 per pound. The cost will continue to drop as the product moves to mass production. The cost of producing meats from range animals will rise drastically in the future as the world’s population grows while the land needed to raise them on stays the same.

And what about the slaughter of animals?

“We cut the throat of a calf and hang it up by the heels to bleed to death so that our veal cutlet may be white; we nail geese to a board and cram them with food because we like the taste of liver disease; we tear birds to pieces to decorate our women’s hats; we mutilate domestic animals for no reason at all except to follow an instinctively cruel fashion; and we connive at the most abominable tortures in the hope of discovering some magical cure for our own diseases by them.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman


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