How do we feel about artificial meat?

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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275838Post Bulworthyproject »

Jandra wrote:Being a vegetarian means that you use up significantly less land than a meat eater.
This is an oversimplification of a complicated debate. Strawberries and asparagus both produce less nutrition than even the most inefficient meat production. If you keep grazing animals on mountains and moorland that is not suitable for arable or horticultural crops, you are utilising the land more efficiently than you would if you struggled to grow crops on it. Also without grazing animals on grassland it needs to be managed in another way in order to keep it as grassland which is an important wildlife habitat. Wild meat is another issue. If rabbit and deer numbers were not controlled it would cause major problems in feeding a vegetarian Britain. There is also the issue of providing nutrients for the crops to grow. Manure is an important part of organic agriculture and for soil health organic mixed farming with rotations including livestock is hard to beat.

There is no doubt that factory farming is unsustainable and an inefficient use of land as well as being cruel.
Jandra wrote:it is a good idea to research least-impact and most-animal-wellfare-improving techniques
Absolutely. However it is hard to see the argument that there is less impact in producing meat in a factory than there is in producing it on small mixed farms.
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275840Post diggernotdreamer »

I think the whole vegetarian/vegan thing is sometimes a bit confusing to me. Take some people I know who are vegan. What do they eat, soya beans, nuts, lentils, lots of different fruits and vegetables, but it seems to me a lot of this stuff is not produced in our part of the world so has to be flown around the place and transported, they cannot grow all they need to eat. On the other hand, we eat all that is seasonal in the garden. Realistically, we could raise our own chickens and they could live off our land without having expensive feed bought in, they have a small woodland area and grass and they seem very happy to forage, we eat beef that has been reared up the road by a local farmer who is also a butcher and has his own slaughter facilities, we could buy flour grown and milled in this country and oil. Lots of pesticides are used in the production of these arable crops, unless everyone is buying organic which I don't think is feasible. I wonder what the carbon footprint or foodmiles would be for a vegan diet over say our diet which is mainly local. We don't eat a lot of meat but some people eat it once or sometimes twice a day and expect to have it. I used to be a vegetarian, but living with non vegetarian men over the years makes life a bit difficult so I compromised and bought organic meat instead. The thing with the articificial meat really does turn me off, sterilised, laboratory controlled; with cow genes and some kind of weird soup to grow it in, not really for me.

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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275841Post Jandra »

Interesting debate.
This is an oversimplification of a complicated debate.
You can make it as complicated as you wish. I don't think vegetarians by necessity consume more strawberries and asparagus than meat eaters.

Of course it can be efficient use of resources to grow meat on inarable land. And it would be silly to waste culled wildlife. Much better to eat them. But I genuinely don't think that we could equal current meat production that way. Energy for energy a vegetarian diet needs less acreage than the current modern meat eater's diet, unless the info I read on this topic is mistaken.

By the way: since fishes don't need to keep up their own weight, they are much more efficient energy converters than mammals, especially cows. That's why I started an aquaponics project in my greenhouse.

I am not promoting we all change to a completely vegetarian diet. Personally I think humans are omnivores and we should eat animal protein for optimal health. The question is: how much?!

Sure, it is possible to find locally reared and butchered meat and I think that is a great thing. Our village butcher also has meat from local farmers. But I have no illusions as to what these cows have been eating. Some local pasture, probably, but mostly Brazilian soy. May be organic Brazilian soy, but still. Most meat that most people eat has been reared for a significan part on imported feed. S I cannot blame the vegetarians who also live on imported food, because they make much more efficient use of that food than a cow.

If every western meat eater would insist on locally produced meat, reared 100% on locally produced cattle feed, there wouldn't be enough meat to keep the supply at the current level. That's the point I wanted to make.

Now I am all for decreasing meat consumtion (and in fact am not eating that much meat at all) but like I said, there is resistance against that. People want their meat.

As of yet there is no way to produce 'artificial' meat that has a lower footprint than conventionally raised meat. But I am all for researching that topic. Methane production by cattle is a huge greenhouse effect increasing problem. Assuming that laboratory grown meat doesn't fart, we might make some real progress there, just to mention one aspect.

Anyway, it isn't a simple issue and there are no simple solutions. I think we are wise to keep all options open and research many avenues. I prefer research of lab grown meat over more intensive highrise cattle flats research. Assuming that people will want their meat, no matter where it comes from, please continue with the lab work. Just my two cents.

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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275842Post doofaloofa »

Bulworthyproject wrote: Producing food through industrial processes necesarily involves turning over land to industry and thereby destroying habitats.
Because monocultural grass and grain land hasn't removed habitat


That is sarcasm by the way
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275843Post Bulworthyproject »

doofaloofa wrote:
Bulworthyproject wrote: Producing food through industrial processes necesarily involves turning over land to industry and thereby destroying habitats.
Because monocultural grass and grain land hasn't removed habitat


That is sarcasm by the way
Monocultural grass and grain is not a sustainable way to produce food, but that does not make producing food through industrial processes sustainable. Grazing animals can be kept perfectly well on species-rich grassland and there are arguments that this produces a better diet.
jandra wrote:it isn't a simple issue and there are no simple solutions
Absolutely
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275846Post doofaloofa »

Bulworthyproject wrote:Monocultural grass and grain is not a sustainable way to produce food, but that does not make producing food through industrial processes sustainable. Grazing animals can be kept perfectly well on species-rich grassland and there are arguments that this produces a better diet.
Vat grown meat will not be replacing high end sustaiable meat, but poorer quality intensivly produced meat, so the difference to potential habitats is not realy an issue IMHO, and could infact be a net gain for habitat

What is an issue is if the produce human meat is it still canabalism?
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275857Post clare »

Ooh no way.enough to make me a veggie!!
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275871Post Uller »

As a vegetarian, I'm not opposed to the principle of eating meat - I just choose not to do it (now - did up until a couple of years ago) for various reasons.

I do think though that this sort of research is addressing a symptom rather than a cause - 'supply can't keep up with demand so we need to find another source of supply' rather than addressing demand. There are various reasons for the growth in demand as far as I can tell - overall population growth, an increase in wealth/buying power in parts of the world that have traditionally eaten very little meat and the growth in demand in parts of the world (mainly the west) where people just want to eat far more than is good for them!

In the west at least, shouldn't the excessive demand be addressed? Eating too much meat and only eating the bits that are 'palatable' could both be addressed if meat was more expensive/cost what it really cost to produce sustainably. As others have said, if you are going to kill an animal, you should use every bit including the leather. In Portugal, chicken feet & necks, pigs trotters, tripe, heart, tongue etc are always found both in the supermarket and on restaurant menus - that is pretty unusual in the UK and other countries where a lot of people only want to eat the 'nice' bits and using every bit of an animal is seen as being a bit of a restaurant fad.

I also question the motives behind the research - as doofaloofa said, this is not going to be replacing high end meat, just the poorer quality stuff, so not really an attempt to produce something that will save a starving population in the future. A bit like GMO crops being developed to produce drought/flood resistant crops in Africa/India etc when it seems now that they are most often used to produce vast quantities of cheap corn and wheat in places like the US - noble intentions to begin with but....

I just hope we or future generations never get to the stage where we are relying on this sort of food.
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275874Post Skippy »

I mentioned that the radio report I had heard said that it was a more efficient way of producing meat but it didn't really say how it was more efficient.
Has there been any details of how this meat is grown? They are animal cells after all so what provides them with the energy to grow or is it just a case of it being more efficient because we would only be producing the nice valuable bits and not producing the "rubbish" that either ends up in cheap pies , dog food or glue?


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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275876Post Lochside Yogi »

I suppose this artificial meat has the potential to be more efficient to produce since there are no animals needing to grow, managed and fed. They also quoted that they wouldn't take up so much grazing land. As has already been said, I believe growing the right crops on the land to be eaten by humans is much more efficient than feeding it to animals that are then slaughtered for only a relatively small percentage of them to be eaten. This is the unashamedly biased opinion of a vegetarian :wink: , who like a lot of other vegetarians occasionally eats products with various ingredients to replicate the texture and flavour of meat. This artificial meat I was amused to hear also needed additives to give it the texture and flavour of real meat because without this it apparently tastes of nothing! This all leaves me curious as to the point of this research and wondering who is funding it. :scratch: Just a point on the eating of local organic meat, this is obviously the right way to do if you have to but the reality is that the majority of farm animals for food production are factory farmed, often not able to even turn round in it's stall, and never seeing the light of day until being transported crammed tight into a lorry for hours on end without water, either to some other part of the UK or more often some other part of Europe! Then the great British public go to the supermarket or takeaway for their favourite burger, that is produced in some other part of Europe with horse meat in it! :pale: Rant over :wave:

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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275944Post Thomzo »

Skippy wrote:I mentioned that the radio report I had heard said that it was a more efficient way of producing meat but it didn't really say how it was more efficient.
Has there been any details of how this meat is grown? They are animal cells after all so what provides them with the energy to grow or is it just a case of it being more efficient because we would only be producing the nice valuable bits and not producing the "rubbish" that either ends up in cheap pies , dog food or glue?


pete
The interview I saw said that the 'meat' would be grown in large vats, about the size of an olympic swimming pool (just picture it). It is fed on the nutrients produced by algae. They were talking about siting the factories near to the sea in areas where there were high algae populations. Funnily enough several places around the coast of America were mentioned. :roll:
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275946Post Skippy »

Cheers for the clarification thomzo, I hadn't heard the details of the process.
I 'm actually now even more unsure especially concerning the efficiency of the process. Algae could be consumed almost directly by humans (well maybe tarted up a bit first) or maybe it could be utilised for insect food and thus into our food chain. Seems far simpler to my way of thinking.


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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275949Post doofaloofa »

Soylent green!
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Re: How do we feel about artificial meat?

Post: # 275952Post Skippy »

doofaloofa wrote:Soylent green!
Watch what you wish for...


http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/14 ... xperiment/


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