Test-tube meat from living cells will help demography and ecology
Science does not stand still and is working not only to send a person into deep space or how to save the planet from greenhouse gases. Good news came from Singapore a few days ago: chicken meat grown from a living cage was certified as a food product. It is, however, not yet clear when artificial meat will hit store shelves. An expert estimated the prospects for the distribution of such an unusual product.
The goal of laboratory cultivation of meat from living cells is noble – the creation of meat production without slaughtering animals. It is noted that such meat is not a set of chemical compounds. This is immediately feared by a potential consumer. The developers claim that it is safer for the human body, since it does not contain growth hormones or antibiotics. What, unfortunately, is the sin of industrial production on modern farms and poultry farms.
It should be noted that Russia in this regard is also not sitting idly by. Last year it was reported that we raised the first batch of artificial beef from a newborn calf’s cage. And that already in 2023 we will be able to start producing such a product on an industrial scale.
True, at first it will be very expensive. The fact is that a cutlet (40 grams) from this piece of meat cost … 14 thousand dollars. So, in 2023, such semi-finished products will definitely not appear in Russian refrigerators.
Then when? And will they compete with natural meat? We asked the head of the National Meat Association of Russia Sergey Yushin about this.
– I believe that it will take a long time, it will take decades, – he said. – The technology of growing artificial meat in a test tube from a living cell is well known, it was developed by our academician Rogov. However, it is very expensive.
In the world, the total consumption of meat is 330 million tons per year. How many tubes do you need to produce such volumes ?! Although the test tubes in this case, of course, can be replaced by vats, reservoirs or other containers.
And it is unlikely that such a product in terms of taste can be compared with a natural piece of meat. As you know, people, on the contrary, tend to natural products. How many heated discussions in our society about the addition of herbal ingredients to milk? Everyone wants natural, farm, homemade.
I have not heard a single call to bring artificial test-tube meat to market faster.
– How can it differ from natural?
– Let’s start with the fact that technology does not allow growing bone and connective tissue. This means that the taste sensations will be completely different.
There will be no rich taste, including different methods of cooking meat on fire, as our distant ancestors did tens of thousands of years ago.
– That is, does not artificial meat pose a threat to the natural market?
– Meat production gives development to other sectors of the economy, agriculture. One job in animal husbandry is 7 jobs in crop production. In addition, this is also a social, demographic issue so that all people from the village do not rush to the city. We need to introduce agricultural land into circulation, develop cultural pastures.
However, scientific research in this regard is necessary. We do not know what will happen on the planet in 50 or 100 years. So far, it is only known that in 30 years the consumption of natural meat in the world will increase by more than 100 million tons per year. We need to prepare for the expansion of production.
And artificial “test tube” meat from living cells can also find its niche in the market. In some hard-to-reach areas or in space.