Is the end of the era of meat in the diet coming?

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Year after year, the number of people who decide to give up meat and switch to a vegetarian and vegan diet is growing. As research shows, the decade we are living in is probably the last one in which meat and meat-based products are so common.

Animal products – the future of food

One of the reasons for the growing decline of meat is the need to curb the ever-increasing climate change. According to Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown, this revolution will happen by 2035 at the latest. He also emphasizes that the current coronavirus pandemic has significantly accelerated this change, contributing to a significant increase in the popularity of veganism. The increasing availability of plant-based meat substitutes is leading to faster changes in consumer habits. In the U.S. alone, sales of such products increased by as much as 241%.

It is also worth mentioning the innovative Food as Software system that enables production optimization, contributing to significant reduction of ecological costs. According to the system, the production of vegan meat alternatives requires 100 times less land, 20 times less time, and 10 times less water than the production of meat and animal products such as eggs, butter, and milk.

Vegan meat from the lab – what is it?

Currently, so-called in vitro meat is being developed all over the world. In simple terms, it would allow meat to be produced without killing animals. How is this possible?

In the first stage, cells are taken from animals. Then, they are differentiated and multiplied in an appropriate way, resulting in meat. The first burger of this type was produced in 2013 in the Netherlands. Its cost was $300,000. Since then, the price of meat from the lab has dropped significantly. This past year, startup Aleph Farms created a $50 steak

For in vitro meat to become widespread, the cost of producing it must be similar to conventional production. It is worth realizing that animal farming is the human activity that contributes most to environmental degradation. It causes the emission of a very large amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and consumes a huge amount of water. What’s more, a significant portion of agricultural crops exist solely to produce feed for livestock.

When it comes to in vitro meat production, on the other hand, it is much more environmentally friendly. The demand for water here is reduced by as much as 95%. What is more, it does not require the creation of crops with a large area. Nevertheless, mankind is not able to give up meat 100%. This necessitates working on solutions to reduce the environmental costs associated with the demand for it.

Vegan meat substitutes

There are a variety of vegan meat substitutes on store shelves. The vegan meat alternatives are becoming more and more available every year. The vegan meat substitutes are available in all major grocery stores. These products come in the form of minced meat, burgers, sausages, meatballs or slices of ham. They are available in classic or flavored versions.

Those who miss meat can try, for example, a product called Beyond Meat. These cutlets are made of beet, peas, potato starch and coconut oil, which resemble meat both in appearance and taste. Importantly, they contain more protein than classic meat products. Beyond Meat is fried in an identical manner. The result is a pink, springy, extremely juicy cutlet. It tastes best with a bun and your favorite toppings – vegetables and sauce.

Main Photo: Malidate Van from Pexels

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