With global sales well north of $670bn, the meat market is a huge business. However, it uses an inordinate amount of natural resources in the process. According to the UN, animal agriculture consumes about one third of the worlds grain and one quarter of all land. Simply put, this is not sustainable going forward in a world that has a growing appetite for meat. Cultured meat has the potential to satisfy that appetite using a fraction of the resources of traditional animal agriculture.
Cultured meat has the potential to produce meat using 99% less space and a fraction of the feed resources of traditional animal agriculture.
Cultured meat is grown in a clean, hygienic laboratory-type setting and can be ready for harvest in as little as 21 days, versus just over a year for conventional beef.
Methane released by ruminant animals (like cows or sheep) is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, having a huge influence on climate change. Cultured meat can greatly reduce this impact.
Cost is a huge issue with cultured meat, but one cultured meat innovator says it is on track with cutting the cost of a cultured meat hamburger to $11 - a fraction of what the first cultured meat burger cost.
ForeSights: Cultured Meat examines cultured meat, which is meat that is grown in a clean and hygienic lab environment from living muscle cells taken from an animal - most commonly a cow or a pig. Cultured meat has the potential to produce real meat with 99% less space and a fraction of the resources currently used in animal agriculture.
This report was compiled using Canadeans ForeSights methodology, which aims to identify new concepts that could influence the market in fast-moving consumer goods.
Your key questions answered:
Why has the Netherlands played such a key role in the development of cultured meat?
It now takes over 20 calories of inputs to produce one calorie of meat. How many input calories are needed to make one calorie of cultured meat?
How do greenhouse gas emissions for animal agriculture currently compare to those for all forms of transportation?
The first cultured meat burger was made in 2013 at a cost of €250,000 for a 140g patty. What is the current cost to make a kilogram of cultured meat?
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