Dec 9, 2013
Lab-Grown Meat Is Real, but Will People Eat It?
Posted on Jan 6, 2013
Right now the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the world population at 7 billion and growing. Feeding all those people is going to be a challenge and, like it or not, it may involve really disgusting meat jelly.
Here’s a brief rundown of our problems. Growing vegetables takes a lot of water, and we have a looming fresh water crisis. In fact, you can more or less trace a direct line from drought to low crop yields to the high cost of food and civil unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere.
“Growing” meat, as in cows, takes a lot of vegetables and a lot of water, and that’s not really an option for feeding 9ish billion people (which we may have before mid-century).
We’ve already fished the oceans nearly to depletion, and fish farming has met with all sorts of complications.
So scientists, faced with the challenge of feeding the world, are working on ways to grow protein in the lab. They say they’re actually close, but the problem is trying to produce something, well, palatable.
Ultimately, we may not have a choice about what we eat. We’ve been there before. How do you think the world ended up with culinary delights like blood sausage?
—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.
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