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Engineering a Better Burger
Transcript of Engineering a Better Burger
United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO),global demand for meat has increased over 500 percent in the past 50 years.
Two things explain this:
the Earth's population is rising rapidly
and people with higher incomes tend to consume more meat
With the population expected to reach nine billion people around 2050,and with developing countries getting richr,this trend won't stop any time soon.
If meat production rises to match demand,the consequences could be
devastating for the planet
Thirty percent of Earth's entire land surface-a massive 70 percent of all land available for agricultural use-is used for raising livestock.
Large factory farms
are also big consumers of energy and cause a lot of pollution.It's clear that our hunger for meat,and the way we produce it,is not sustainable in the long run.
And more land is required each year as farmers struggle to meet the rising demand,which comes at the cost of rain forests and other valuable land.Reports by FAO show that meat production is responsible for 70 percent of the Amazon deforestation in South America.
A group of Dutch scientists are engineering meats that can be grown in laboratories.
This involves using cells taken from cows to grow”muscle” that can be mixed with other things to make beef. They say that this process could reduce the amount of energy and land needed to raise cattle by about 40 percent.
Engineering a Better Burger
For now,lab-grown meat is not a threat to traditional farming.Although scientists say that their beef could be ready for testing(and eating)soon,large-scale manufacturing won't be possible for another ten years.
It's far too expensive to develop in large quantities-the Dutch team will spend over$200,000 making enough meat for one burger-and not everyone will be keen on the idea of eating lab-grown meat.
While the general public isn't quite ready to accept"
,the day will come when we may not have a choice.
The Earth's population is rising rapidly...
$200,000=one burger meat
Other scientists from the United States and China are working to create “meaty” flavors from mushrooms,which could be used to flavor foods.
They feel people can detect chemical flavors,and that natural flavors are better for the body.
Fortunately, food scientists have been anticipating this need for change.They are working on some
to current methods of meat production.