Designer Meat

 

If your friend invited you over for a barbecue with fake meat would you go? Most people would be disgusted. Vegetarians and environmentalists, however, might be licking their lips. Researchers from the US to the Netherlands are working hard to create a tasty meat alternative that even meat-eaters would like.I have to confess: I am vegetarian. I don’t eat meat, fish and eggs and only cheese and other dairy products occasionally. But I eat meat alternatives. When I lived in the US, I often bought fake “chicken” patties, “bacon” and “hamburgers.” While true meat lovers might laugh at the taste, I liked them. Since living in Prague, I’ve learned how to use seasonings to make the dried Bona Vita Soya products more appetizing. But companies with names like Beyond Meat and scientists working on the Cultured Beef Project have a dream of making meat alternatives look and taste so good you wouldn’t want to eat the real thing anymore.

Meat alternatives aren’t just for vegetarians. Strong environmental evidence shows raising animals for food is not good for our planet. Farm animals worsen global warming through almost constant production of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The World Health Organization reckons the demand for meat is going to double within the next 40 years, so current meat and grain production methods cannot continue.

Early stages of meat production in a petri dish. Courtesy of the Cultured Beef Project

Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands is one scientist developing an alternative. The Cultured Beef Project plans to create beef from beef stem cells. They would take the cells from a cow in the beginning then develop them in the laboratory to “grow” meat. According to information about the project, “accepted food technology methods” would be used to give the product a taste and texture of beef. Project organizers hope to have an actual “beef” patty ready to show later this year, but mass production is a long way off.

“Current livestock meat production is just not sustainable, from an ecological point of view, or in terms of volume,” Professor Post said. He explained that 50% of agricultural land is for animals. Also they require a lot of water and produce huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide. Alternatives are needed, so meat doesn’t become very expensive and our environment doesn’t suffer.

If you’d prefer a pretend chicken on your dinner plate, Beyond Meat is for you. Company founder Ethan Brown’s goal is to replace animal protein with plant protein. Researchers at his company have developed a product which looks and feels like chicken meat, which is now on sale in a few select northern California health food stores. If it is successful, Beyond Meat would like to develop ground beef and pork products.

‘So! Let’s all go out for a nice glass of wine and some meat alternative’ may someday come from your lips after all.

Original article by Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

Designer Meat Quiz: Medium

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If your friend invited you over for a barbecue with fake meat, would you go? Most people probably wouldn’t. But right now researchers from the US to the Netherlands are working hard to create a tasty meat alternative that even meat-eaters would like.I have to confess: I am vegetarian. I don’t eat meat, fish and eggs and only cheese and other dairy products occasionally. But I eat meat alternatives. When I lived in the US, I often bought fake “chicken” patties, “bacon” and “hamburgers.” Even in Prague I’ve found alternatives. Companies with names like Beyond Meat and scientists working on the Cultured Beef Project are trying to make meat alternatives look and taste like the real thing.

Meat alternatives aren’t just for vegetarians. Farming animals for food is not good for our planet. Farm animals produce a lot of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times worse than carbon dioxide. The World Health Organization thinks the demand for meat is going to double within the next 40 years, so farms will have to raiseraise more animals for meat.

Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands is one scientist developing an alternative. The Cultured Beef Project plans to create beef from beef stem cells. They would take the cells from a cow in the beginning then “grow” the meat from those cells in a laboratory. The new product should taste and feel like meat. Project organizers will have an actual “beef” patty ready to show later this year.

Current livestock meat production is just not sustainable,” Professor Post said. Half of farming land is for animals. They need a lot of water and produce huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide. Meat will become very expensive and our environment will get worse for these reasons.

Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown wants to use plant protein instead of animal protein. Researchers at his company have developed a product which looks and feels like chicken meat, which is now on sale in a small number of northern California health food stores. If it is successful, Beyond Meat would like to develop ground beef and pork products.

‘So! Let’s all go out for a nice glass of wine and some meat alternative’ may someday come from your lips after all.

Original article by Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

Designer Meat Quiz: Mild

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‘Would you like to come to dinner? I’m making fake meat!’ ‘Come on over this weekend, we are grilling some fake steak!’ Would either of these kinds of invitations entice you to a friend’s place for a meal? Most people would turn up their noses in disgust. Vegetarians and environmentalists, however, might perk up in interest. Researchers from the US to the Netherlands are working hard and fast to create a tasty meat alternative that even carnivores would ask for.

Full disclosure: I am vegetarian. No meat, fish, eggs and only occasionally cheese and other dairy products. I like and look for meat alternatives. Mintel, a market research firm in the US, says Americans spend $340 million on meat alternatives; a market that grows about three to five percent annually. When I lived in the US, I regularly consumed fake “chicken” patties, “bacon” and “hamburgers.” While true meat lovers might scoff at the taste, I thought they were flavorful enough for me; especially on a bun with lettuce, tomato, mustard, etc. Since living in Prague, I’ve become fairly clever in my use of seasonings to make the dried Bona Vita Soya products edible. But companies with names like Beyond Meat and scientists working on the Cultured Beef Project have a dream of making meat alternatives look and taste so good you’d be crazy to actually want to eat something that used to be alive.

It’s not just animal loving vegheads who are against eating meat – there is sound environmental evidence that shows raising livestock for human consumption is not nice for our planet. Farm animals contribute to global warming through near constant production of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. The World Health Organization has determined that the demand for meat is going to double within the next 40 years. The agency believes current food production models, for both meat and grains, are not sustainable. Increasing the numbers of cattle to feed a global appetite for beef will significantly increase levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Early stages of meat production in a petri dish. Courtesy of the Cultured Beef Project

Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands is one scientist working hard to create an alternative. The Cultured Beef Project aims to create beef from beef stem cells. While a cow would have to “donate” some cells in the beginning, future hamburger patties would see no such sacrifice. According to information about the project, “accepted food technology methods” would be used to give the product a beefy taste and texture. This is key to making a broadly accepted meat alternative – a lack of meat flavor and consistency in the mouth is a huge drawback for many people who experiment with meat substitutes. Project organizers hope to have an actual “beef” patty ready to show later this year, but admit the technique still needs to be refined and altered to allow for mass production, which they hope will happen in the next 20 years.“Current livestock meat production is just not sustainable, from an ecological point of view, or in terms of volume,” Professor Post said. “Right now we are using more than 50% of all our agricultural land for livestock. It’s simple maths. We have to come up with alternatives. If we don’t do anything meat will become a luxury food and be very, very expensive.”

According to the Cultured Beef Project, keeping livestock for food produces 39% of all emitted methane and 5% of carbon dioxide, plus pigs and cows transform only 15% of vegetable proteins into edible animal proteins, but occupy more than 70% of all arable land. The United Nations says, with current farming methods, to produce one kilogram of beef requires up to 15,000 liters of water.

Courtesy of Beyond Meat

If you’d prefer an imposter chicken sitting on your dinner plate, Beyond Meat is for you. Company founder Ethan Brown’s goal is to replace animal protein with plant protein. Researchers at his company have discovered a way to turn soy meal and other vegan ingredients into a finished product that mimics chicken meat. Beyond Meat’s chicken product is already on sale in a few select northern California health food stores, and if it takes off, Beyond Meat would like to expand its menu to include ground beef and pork products.

‘So! Let’s all go out for a nice glass of wine and some meat alternative’ may someday come from your lips after all.

Jacy Meyer – Phoenix, Arizona

Designer Meat Quiz: Spicy

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