In December 1931, Winston Churchill
published an article in The Strand Magazine,
called 50 years hence. In it he
made a couple of predictions about the future.
One of which was the following:
“we shall escape the absurdity of growing
a whole chicken in order to eat the breast
or wing by growing these parts separately under suitable medium”
that’s my Churchill impression. With this
statement Churchill acknowledged the inefficiency of meat production, which
eighty years hence is becoming an even
To produce one kilogram of beef,
it takes six and a half kilos of crops,
15,000 liters of water, and 550
days of time. Actually to scale it’s a
bit more like this, 330 square meters of
land emits over 16 kilos of CO2,
and a half a kilo of methane
which is a greenhouse gas so bad that it is
equivalent to another 10 kilos of CO2,
and that’s just for one kilo of beef. We
live in the age of factory farming, and
produce hundreds of billions of kilos of
beef every year. Same goes for pork and
chicken and every other animal you can buy
in lunch sized pieces in restaurant, or market.
In a nutshell no matter how
much of a meat lover you are. You have to
accept that there is a range of problems here
资源匮乏 环境破坏 动物受难
resource scarcity, environmental destruction, animal suffering,
bacterial resistance due to the massive overuse of
antibiotics and human health since animal fats as has been largely
proven are responsible for a variety of diseases.
I’m not telling you this to point fingers.
It’s easy to complain about a problem.
Offering a good solution is the hard part.
What would a good solution be? Easy,
we could simply all
become vegetarians. Right, no that’s a
crappy solution it’s like saying just
stop driving cars everybody. We have to
accept that many people just like meat.
Well I really try my best to mostly eat vegetarian.
I know that for many people
this lifestyle is anywhere between I’m
not sure I could do it, and you damned
vegetarians are eating my foods food.
Changing people is hard and never mind
Western meat lovers go to China and try
to order vegetarian in a restaurant.
In many increasingly wealthy societies meat is a
luxury that the new middle class doesn’t
want to do without. That’s the reason why
in fact global meat consumption is
on the rise, which makes all of these
problems worse. How do we solve this?
Welcome to the future! Over here all meat
doesn’t come from animals. It comes from plants.
I know what you’re thinking ah
Then it’s not meat! Bear with me, there
are actually two ways to do this. One is
with meat analogues or substitutes. The
other one is cultured or synthetic meat
meat analogues are plant-based meat.
Imitations usually soy protein isolates,
or soy flour and gluten are used as the
foundation of a dough which is then
transformed by extrusion, or fiber spinning into something that closely resembles meat.
This art of meat
imitation has been perfected by the
veggie industry. Meet”Impossible Food” a
Californian company that produces the
impossible burger made with a
delicious solely plant-based meat analogue.
Now maybe Jeremy Clarkson isn’t the biggest meat connoisseur out there,
and you are not convinced.
Good news we are also working on cultured meat.
Cultured meat is actual meat, only that
instead of growing it along with hair bones and skin,
as is the traditional way.
We are growing it separately in a
controlled lab environment, as good old Winston imagined.
In a simplified way, we
start out with a few animal stem cells,
which we then grow into full out muscle tissue,
by providing all the proteins it needs,
to eventually get us our steak.
事实上 从理论上讲 这会是你见过的最完美的肉排
In fact theoretically the most perfect steak you’ve ever tasted,
because we can
control every aspect of it, from nutrition,
to growth speed and even movement,
by periodically stretching it in just
the right way, and we only need to
take the stem cells once, and from then
on we can produce cultured meat indefinitely,
with a fraction of the resources of traditional meat production, and pretty
much none of the problems, for example in
a perfect lab environment, there is no need for antibiotics,
one of the biggest problems in factory farming today.
Unfortunately cultured meat is not
mass-market ready yet.
Well there are certainly a few great companies working on it.
We will still take a few more years until this can
economically compete with that, for a contract with them,
but it will, eventually.
To some of you this might
sound a bit creepy or unnatural, but if
you think about it, so is factory farming, while also being
much more cruel. Possibly we will one day
look back on factory farming the same way we look back on slavery today.
It’s an awful thing that we accept it, because
we are used to it,
and there’s a huge economy built around it, but as
technology is providing us with better
ways to do things, whichever way we go
meat has to change
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