Jason Matheny on the world’s addiction to meat and how to grow ground beef in a test tube.

By Jason Matheny

"These days seemingly everyone recognizes that our globalized society is hooked on plentiful and cheap fossil fuels, and that this dependence poses great challenges for future prosperity. But there is another addiction that goes largely accepted and often unnoticed, a hunger that may be growing even faster than that for oil. The developed world is addicted to meat, and rising nations, like China and India, are beginning to embrace that lifestyle.

Arguments against eating meat are often made on grounds of cruelty and personal health, though, ultimately, the most compelling argument may be ecological: Meat requires extreme amounts of resources to produce, and consequently carries a vast environmental footprint.

But what if there was a way to have your meat and eat it too? What if meat could be made free of animal cruelty, with minimal adverse consequences for the health of individuals and the planet? Researchers around the world are now focused on finding ways to grow meat artificially, using bioreactors rather than livestock. New Harvest, a non-profit company created in 2004, is channeling much of the funding for this work. Seed’s Lee Billings spoke with New Harvest’s co-founder and director, Jason Matheny, on the state of meat substitutes and the environmental perils of the status quo."

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Posted:  by ajstasic
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