Three reasons why lab-grown meat will be better for the environment
Lab-grown meat, or “clean” meat, is meat that is produced by taking a small sample of animal cells and then replicating them outside of an animal. It is set to change the world and will be on supermarket shelves and restaurant tables in the very near future.
1. Far fewer greenhouse gass emissions
An estimated 14.5% of the world’s global warming emissions result from keeping and eating livestock – more than the entire transport sector. Livestock produce the greenhouse gas methane, and while carbon dioxide is often thought of as the most devastating greenhouse gas, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. The University of Oxford predicts clean meat will generate up to 96% lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced meat.
2. Requires a fraction of the land and water
Producing meat the conventional way is terribly inefficient and requires tremendous amounts of land and water. Nearly 40 pounds of feed and 1,800 gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef. Farmers currently give 20 times the amount of grain needed to eliminate world hunger to their animals. Clean meat could end this immense use of resources as it requires 100 times less land and more than five times less water than conventional meat.
3. Less water pollution
The world’s farm animals produce tremendous amounts of excrement, much of which eventually finds its way into our rivers and lakes. This run-off can carry bacteria and viruses that can contaminate groundwater. The impacts are wide-reaching. Eutrophication is also a major problem caused by excesses of animal faeces, feed and crop residues finding their way into bodies of water that leads to algae growing excessively, using up all the oxygen at the expense of other life. Clean meat will produce much less water pollution.