Hi @jadams2k18 and thanks for tuning in. :)
I totally understand your concern. My gut reaction was the same. Full disclosure, I hardly ever eat any meat anymore. A few years ago, I realized it wasn't tasty anymore. It's totally artificial.
Which brings me to my first point about cultured meat, in vitro, clean meat, lab meat or whatever you decide to call it.
My belief is that it's mainly a matter of perception.
First off, it's not an entirely new idea and it's been in the making in the past five or more decades. Even Churchil was talking about it, saying: "We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium."[
Traditional meat is associated with many health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer etc.
If we trust current research, cultured meat does not carry those risks. Since it's grown in a lab, it can be produced free of cholesterol and any other artificial substances free. In contrast, conventional meat is full of antibiotics and many other chemicals.
Though cultured meat is grown in a lab, it is produced in the same way real meat grows - by feeding the cell with carefully selected nutrients to grow. It's not GMO.
So, which one is more real? Makes for an interesting discussion.
In fact, some practices of growing natural meat are so cruel and gross that they're banned in some countries. Not to mention the environmental and sustainability impact which is huge.
Advocates' argument is if you're grossed out by lab meat, just go to a slaughterhouse to see how meat is produced currently. Chances are you'll never want to taste it again.
I'm not a proponent of either. As a journalist, I'm looking for the truth, so I can make better decisions for myself and the public.
It's still early days. I guess things will improve as the technology gets better and more information comes out in the next years.
Whether we like it or not, food will not remain unaffected by the process of transformation and in the years to come, we might be eating entirely new types of foods that we can't even conceive of today. I believe AI will be increasingly creating our foods personalized for us based on taste, diet, health, from a combination of natural sources, nanomaterials and other substances that are yet to be invented. We will be able to download them from the cloud and 3D printing it at home. Thus, food will also become digital. And as with everything which goes digital, its price will also become close to zero.
Mind you, we might not be entirely human by that time, so there will be a different context for this conversation.
I personally am more excited than concerned by all these developments. There's always going to be risks but the chance to absolutely transform this world for the better makes it all worthwhile. If we play the cards well that is. It could all go very wrong if we don't.
Always curious to hear/read everyone's thoughts. Thank you.
Some relevant info for reference: