It is now pretty common knowledge that cutting down on meat consumption is one of the best things we can do individually for the environment…. but globally we just keep eating more of it. So is there another way we can greatly reduce this impact and without going vegan?
More than 80% of farmland in the world is used for livestock but it produces just 18% of food calories and 37% of protein.
By weight livestock now makes up 60% of the world’s mammals…..which may also say quite a lot about the state of the worlds wild mammals populations but still, pretty shocking.
So that has got to have a pretty big environmental cost.
These impacts include land use change for the animals and for their feed, methane emissions from the livestock themselves, the freshwater use, the land use and cost of growing feed. Scientists from Oxford University recently claimed that “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,”.
Yet globally meat consumption continues to rise as more people start to move towards middle-class incomes. In Asia, for example, meat consumption has risen 15- fold since 1961!
So as much as the global vegetarian and vegan diet continues to spread, I think we need a little help from some disruptive innovation to get us where we need to be even faster!
Can we satisfy our desire for eating meat without damaging the environment?! And even better can we do it without killing millions of animals in the process?
Clean meat, formally known as cultured meat or lab-grown meat is an idea that has been around for decades, but in recent years, partly due to the urgency of the problem the excitement has grown quickly with huge amounts of funding coming into the industry, so we are getting pretty close to affordable products that could be in restaurants and shops sooner than you might think.
Today’s interviewee is Shir Friedman from clean meat company Super Meat, based in Israel. They are one of the leaders in this growing industry and with a focus on poultry currently, they are getting closer and closer to a final product. In this interview, I ask about the process, how big meat producers feel about this disruptive idea and how it might go down with vegans…..
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