``Cultivated meat'' grown in the laboratory turned out to be up to 25 times worse for the environment than real beef, and the problem is the technology to culture at low cost and low energy

The livestock industry and the meat production process are said

to have a major impact on climate change, and it has been reported that the carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by 80% by switching meat to cultured meat and synthetic meat. increase. However, a survey by the University of California, USA, found that cultured meat, at least when it is continued to be produced with current culture technology, generates an extraordinary amount of carbon dioxide than beef lined up in stores.

Environmental impacts of cultured meat: A cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment | bioRxiv

Lab-Grown Meat Potentially Worse For The Climate Than Beef | UC Davis

Cultured meat is produced by growing and propagating cells taken from animals in nutrient-rich media , but this bioreactor presents challenges. Because it uses a highly purified growth medium, it will be produced in a process closer to biotechnology for manufacturing pharmaceuticals than food.

Derrick Lisner, of the University of California, Davis School of Food Science and Technology, said, ``If companies had to refine their growth media to pharmaceutical grades, they would be using more resources, which would contribute to global warming. 'In other words, if cultured meat continues to be produced with a pharmaceutical approach, it will be worse for the environment and more expensive than conventional beef production.' .

In order to verify this issue, the research team published

a paper on the preprint server bioRxiv. We calculated the global warming potential (GWP) and compared it with commercially available beef.

As a result, it was found that the average GWP per 1kg of beef is 60kgCO2e (kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent), whereas cultured meat produces 246-1508kgCO2e per 1kg, which is 4-25 times more greenhouse gases. bottom.

Below is a graph of the calculation results. The green bar graph shows the fossil fuel consumption of commercially available beef, the blue bar graph shows the consumption by the three types of cultured meat production cost calculation methods proposed in previous studies, and the red bar graph shows those calculation methods. Represents consumption when recalculated for pharmaceutical grade purity. The calculation of the energy required to produce cultivated meat only takes into account the energy required to produce it in the factory, and does not take into account the energy required for cooking, storage, and distribution, so this is still the minimum value, the research team said. pointing out.

The goal of the cultivated meat industry is to eventually produce cultivated meat using food grade ingredients and broths, without the use of expensive pharmaceutical grade ingredients and extensive energy intensive processes.

Based on the premise that food-grade cultured meat production was achieved, the research team calculated the GWP of cultured meat, and found that the environmental impact could be 80% lower than that of conventional beef in some cases, and 26% higher. It turns out that there is also Although this is a promising result that cheap and environmentally friendly cultured meat may appear in the future, there are technical challenges to realizing it.

'Our findings suggest that cultured meat is not inherently more environmentally friendly than beef,' said study co-author Edward Spang. 'It's not a silver bullet. It's possible to reduce the environmental impact in the future, but significant technological advances will be needed to increase the performance of the culture medium and reduce the cost.'

Mr. Listener also commented on the growing interest in the cultivated meat field, saying, ``Even if environmentally friendly meat cannot be achieved, it may lead to the development of cheaper medicines. The problem is that scaling up production too quickly can actually harm the environment.'

in Science,   Junk Food, Posted by log1l_ks