The debate surrounding lab-grown meat—now known as “cultured” meat—is being brought to the forefront by a new online feature for Time. Writer Markham Heid says that while consumers are moving away from laboratory-produced foods and those made with additives, this new strain of meat “tends to get a pass.” The article explains that meat grown from animal cells is not genetically engineered, but is real meat grown from a cow—but without the cow. Furthermore, cultured meat takes antibiotics used on animals out of the equation. Beyond health, Heid points out that “the environmental impact of shifting meat production from the ranch to the lab is compelling,” citing a 2009 UN Report which revealed that animal agriculture produces more methane than automobiles. “One thing seems clear,” he concludes: “Unless vegetarianism catches on in a very big way, the world’s demand for meat will soon outpace our supply of cows, chickens, pigs, and other edible animals.” In response to the piece, Executive Director of Good Food Institute Bruce Friedrich told VegNews, “Right now, people eat meat despite how it’s produced, not because of how it’s produced” and believes that once people are offered two competitively priced choices—“meat from filthy farms and slaughterhouses versus [clean] meat grown in a factory”—there will be a “swift global shift away from animal slaughter.”
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