Cell-cultured meat could be part of the solution to tackle climate change, according to the BBC.
The broadcaster explores advancements in cellular agriculture over recent years in a news video, and asks experts whether it could help ‘reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future’.
Whilst cell-cultured meat is slaughter-free, it is not by definition vegan as it currently uses cells from animals. Some scientists also use a bovine growth serum – though companies are working on making the tech animal-free.
However, some vegans support clean meat because of its potential to dramatically reduce the number of animals slaughtered.
Last year, Singapore became the first country to approve of cell-cultured chicken created by Eat Just.
Under the company’s Good Meat brand, the slaughter-free meat was then served to an inaugural table of customers – which included ‘a group of inspiring young people committed to building a better planet’.
One 12-year-old guest said: “This chicken, it’s just chicken… But it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen or ever tasted.”
However, the BBC says: “It’s not just the taste that’s got people excited. It’s also the potential positive impact on the environment…
“A quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food. Most of those emissions are from meat and dairy, and that’s set to rise as global meat demand increases… On top of that, the meat industry also contributes to large-scale deforestation…”
Dr. Alexandra Sexton is a food security and responsible innovation expert from the University of Sheffield.
She said: “If lab meat can reduce the amount of land needed to make meat, then this could be a significant benefit in helping to tackle climate change. But, it does also depends on what that freed-up land is used for.”
Dr. Sexton added that because the technologies used in cellular agriculture are ‘relatively new’ – there is no way of knowing what the environmental impact will be when produced en masse.
Slash global warming impacts
However, a new study says cell-cultured meat compared with conventional beef, can slash global warming impacts by up to 92 percent.
Researchers from CE Delft also found cell-based meat could cause 93 percent less air pollution and use up to 95 percent less land and 78 percent less water.
The studies model a future large-scale cultivated meat production facility. It shows that by 2030, the cost of cell-based meat, when manufactured at scale, could drop to $5.66 per kg.