Meat the Future
Solving the protein crisis
Humanity has an insatiable hunger for meat. We’re emptying the oceans, turning the rainforest into ranches, and raising animals factory-style to satisfy our appetites. Is there a humane, eco-friendly way to get our protein fix?
Along with insect farming and vegetarian substitutes, in vitro meat is a promising solution to the protein crisis. Though still expensive and difficult to produce, lab-grown muscle tissue might one day be a cheap, low-impact way of producing enough meat to feed the world.
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- Forefather Ox cloned to revive delicious Steak
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- Raptor in a Wrapper
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Eating In-Vitro: Kitchen Meat Incubator
The Kitchen Meat Incubator does for home cooking what the electronic synthesizer did for the home musician. It provides its users with a set of pre-programmed samples that can be remixed and combined to their …
Eating In-Vitro: Knitted Meat
Rather than growing whole steaks in bio-reactors, Knitted Meat assumes that it is more feasible to create thin threads of protein. Supermarkets sell balls of meat fiber seasoned with various spices and vegetable flavors. New …
Eating In-Vitro: Meat-Fruit
La Pâte Meat Fruit aims to seduce and inspire diners with an entirely new eating experience that balances eating meat and fruit. In vitro technology is used to grow meat structures that precisely mimic those …
Eating in Vitro: Magic Meatballs
Magic Meatballs are designed to playfully familiarize children with lab-grown meat. Young people are more prone to overconsumption of proteins and fats, and are more sensitive to the hormones and antibiotics used in conventional meat …
Eating In Vitro: Meat Paint
Beyond imitating known meat products like steaks and hamburgers, in-vitro meat could give rise to entirely new food products and dining habits.
Paint with meat! is a speculative product for children of 5-10 years old. It …
Support our Cookbook
Watch the intro video for the 'Meat The Future' cookbook, which presents both delicious as well as uncanny lab grown meat recipes to catalyze a conversation on the meat of the future.
As the planet’s population speeds towards 9 billion, it’s becomes impossible to continue consuming meat like we do today. Will we all be eating rice and beans? Grasshoppers perhaps? Scientists hope to keep us eating vertebrate protein with in vitro meat. Grown in bioreactors from animal cells, in vitro meat could be a sustainable and humane alternative to raising a whole animal from birth to slaughter. The first lab-grown hamburger is already here. But before we can decide if we will ever be willing to eat meat from the lab, we need to explore the food culture it will bring us.
Industrial-scale in vitro meat may be a long way off, but for meat-lovers looking for a cheap, eco-friendly source of protein, there’s no need to wait. We just have to swear off creatures with four legs and a backbone and look to tasty livestock with an exoskeleton and six, eight, or a hundred legs.
Bugs Originals, based near Amsterdam, is trying to introduce arthropods as the food of the future. Originally associated with primitive lifestyles or times of famine, entomophagy- the eating of insects- may be an ideal solution for growing world with an appetite for protein. Crickets are five times as efficient as cattle when it comes to turning feed into edible mass, while mealworms produce 10 to 100 times less greenhouse gases as pigs.
Bugs Originals has already produced nuggets, muesli and meatballs infused with mealworms. The company’s only barrier to mainstream entry is figuring out how to produce purified bug protein, since the bug’s innards are proving difficult to separate from their inedible exoskeletons. They have had some success grinding up the live insects and centrifuging the resulting mixture.
Growing meat in the lab, rather than slaughtering animals, could become a viable alternative for people who want to cut the environmental impact of their food consumption, but cannot bear a vegetarian lifestyle.
According to scientists from Oxford University and Amsterdam University, lab-grown meat could help feed the world, while reducing the impact on the environment. It would generate only a tiny fraction of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional livestock production.
The procedure of growing meat without an animal would …
In vitro meat has been billed as a way to end animal suffering, put a stop to global warming, and solve the world’s insatiable demand for animal protein. There’s no doubt that our hunger for meat is driving cataclysmic climate change, habitat loss, and overfishing. Things need to change, and change fast. But is meat cultured from animal cells, grown in a lab, and exercised with electric pulses the change we need?
Earlier this year, Mark Post of Maastrict University announced his plan to produce a €250,000 burger. While the cost is astronomical, Post promised that economies of scale would eventually make the lab meat cost-competitive with conventional flesh. However, like jetpacks, underwater cities and orbiting colonies, many scientific breakthroughs that once seemed inevitable have proven to be possible, but economically unfeasible.
We can do it. We just can’t afford it. Below are the top four reasons to believe that in vitro meat isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
1. We already have plenty of bland, cheap protein
Animals are equipped with blood, tendons, fat, muscle and connective tissue that give their flesh its uniquely tantalizing flavor, not to mention an immune system that keeps them from getting overrun with bacteria, mold and viruses. In vitro meat is never going to compete with a juicy wagyu steak or a fatty chunk of bluefin tuna. Instead, it’s being positioned as an alternative to the low-grade pork and flavorless poultry that comes from factory farms.
Here’s the kicker: If all we’re looking for is a cheap way to produce inoffensive, eco-friendly protein, we’ve already succeeded. From wheat to soy to peas to amaranth, not to mention “bug-ranching” gastropods, worms and insects, we …
The meat in the supermarket is abstract, square and habitually made from wickedly manifactured animals. A friend once told me he only eats meat if he “can not recognize the animal in it”. I felt this was a disturbing remark, but this ‘consumers preference’ may also bring opportunities: disengage the animal from the meat.
According to researchers, Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale. Winston Churchil, a carnivore to the core, already in 1936 predicted that “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.” Today, growing meat in the lab still seems the stuff of science fiction, but reality is not far behind.
The picture above shows the …
Want to live a greener life? Eat less meat. Recently the UN appealed for a radical shift in diet, to improve individual health and ease conditions affecting the global environment. Reducing meat consumption by 10% reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, humans are omnivores. Our teeth are designed to eat both meat and plants. Susana Soares and her colleagues designers and engineers of the Material Beliefs program propose to alter human teeth structures into those of herbivores, in order to become a better vegetarian.
Forefather Ox cloned to revive delicious Steak
Delicious retro-future meat from Japan. Food technology in the overdrive.
Japanese researchers successfully cloned what is believed to have been the forefather ox of Gifu Prefecture’s delicious ‘Hidagyu’ beef. The successful cloning of the ox, which …
What if our food was still alive when served on our plate? Minsu Kim, a graduate from the Royal College Of Art, created a wonderful series of dishes consisting of hypernatural living organisms that wiggle …
Raptor in a Wrapper
The appliance company Bosch claims that its new technology keeps food so fresh that meat from the Ice Age (and presumably the Cretaceous as well) can be stored without incident for millennia. From a next nature …