Test-tube burgers and the future of meat

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Over the past century, meat consumption has risen dramatically. 

On average, Britons eat 84kg a week per person per year, and global meat consumption is on track to rise 75 percent by 2050.

Industrial farming is also on the rise, but animal agriculture has a lot of downsides. It is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, habitat destruction and it is responsible for more CO2 being released into the atmosphere than all forms of transportation.

However, a potential solution is in the works as scientists around the world compete to be the first to create a lab-grown burger to market to the masses.

In 2013, Dr Mark Post and his team at the University of Maastricht made headline news when they proved it was possible to grow meat with a single cow muscle sample.

Growing meat in a lab is a revolutionary technique that boasts many pros, including eliminating the need to harm live animals, eradicating the dedication of large swaths of land to the cultivation of animals, and dramatically reducing methane emissions.

“Methane is actually a very powerful greenhouse gas,” says Post. “[Methane is] 20 times more powerful than CO2 and livestock and is accountable for 40 percent of all methane emissions. This process would reduce the number of animals from 1.5 billion to 30,000.”

Lab-grown meat is not without controversy, but could be a viable solution to satisfy the global appetite for meat and a growing world population.

earthrise meets the scientists at Mosa Meats in the Netherlands who are searching for a cost-effective way to scale up production of lab-grown meat.

Source: Al Jazeera

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