17 Feb Hamburger in a lab: Can innovation reinvent meat production?
More and more people are concerned about the cost in resources (land, feed and water for livestock) and the environmental and public health impact that the current meat production system has. Is it possible to solve it through innovation? Mark Post, Andras Forgacs and Isha Datar think so. Their solutions are not about to replace meat products or change the diet of eaters, but to reinvent the production of products from animal husbandry through science. The burger meat or the leather needed to produce a garment can be generated from the reproduction of cells in a lab, and even printed on a 3D printer. Pay attention to these three TED Talks videos. Mark Post: Meet the new meat Mark Post is Professor of Vascular Physiology at the Maastricht University. In this video below he talks about the use of stem cells to produce muscles and how meat grows in Petri dishes. We also recommend this article in The Guardian about his work. Back in the video, the professor points out that 10 kilos of meat can be generated from a cell. Currently, his laboratory tests have been focused on the generation of muscle, but his work provides the possibility to incorporate other elements necessary for a good steak, such as fat. By now, he says, creating a hamburger in a lab costs 250,000 Euros. But he states his hamburger is not a final product rather the proof of concept. If
in the future the consumer finds meat produced in a laboratory without animal suffering and the meat we currently consume at the same cost in the supermarket, which would they take?, he asks. Andras Forgacs : Leather and meat without killing animals Andras Forgacs is the co -founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, a company developing novel biomaterials. He also believes in the application of techniques from medicine in the food industry, and highlights the potential of the biomanufacturing as a new and scalable industry. He believes that people are reluctant to incorporate novelties in their food. But, if you can succeed in manufacturing from cell tissue products from animals such as leather, the next step is food, he explains. In his case, he talks about the manufacturing process of leather, whose properties can be controlled in a laboratory. It is not necessary to remove the animal hair, the irregular shapes of the animal do not affect the leathers’ shape and you can interfere with properties such as elasticity and durability. Isha Datar: Re -Thinking Meat Isha Datar is the author of “Possibilities for an in vitro meat production system” and her work has contributed to the development of Canada’s first in vitro meat lab at the University of Alberta. In the video below, she is more focused on data about the cost of producing meat and how to mentalize society to solve the problem, which is in technical matters. What if, along with a nutritional label, animal products include a label informing about their social cost? Everyone can make sustainable choices with the additional information, she assures.