Recent studies have found that if the U.S. were to give up meat, we would be more effective in curbing our greenhouse gas emissions than if we gave up our cars. Yet, a 2015 poll found that less than 5 percent of Americans are vegetarian; we just can’t seem to shake our carnivorous needs. This has led some to speculate that in order to really see a meatless future, we’re going to need better meat alternatives.
In recent years, many have been looking to lab-grown meat as a good place to start. First created in 2013 by Dutch Scientist, Mark Post, “lab-grown meat” is the product of stem cells taken from an animal that have been grown in a cell culture to create muscle tissue. This process offers a real-meat alternative that conserves water and energy, and it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions for meat production by about 78-96 percent.
But if lab-grown meat is so great, why aren’t we eating it yet? While several lab grown meat products have passed taste tests with flying colors, many are worried that the idea just isn’t scalable. At the same time, the products have been facing pushback from animal rights groups who claim the process isn’t ethical since it still involves the harvesting of stem cells from living animals. So with all that considered, what is the future of meat?