Meat and eggs — grown in a lab 1

Fancy a side of plant-based eggs with your lab-grown steak? These unusual foods are beneficial for both the planet and our health.

Once the stuff of science fiction, lab-grown meat is finally here. And it may save a lot more than the lives of farm animals.

Lab-grown — or clean — meat holds potential for both the environment and the health of humanity. In countries like the United States and Canada, farming accounts for about 8% of each country’s carbon dioxide emissions. Raising livestock also contributes to methane emissions, produced when animals like cows and sheep burp or pass winds, a gas said to be 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming2.

To address this meaty problem, US-based start-up JUST (a manufacturer of plants-based foods; formerly known as Hampton Creek) has partnered with e-commerce leader Alibaba Group and Alibaba-owned supermarket Hema to sell eggs in China made from mung beans. This could significantly reduce the environmental impact of the poultry industry in a country that consumes some one billion chicken eggs a day3. Aside from its environmental benefits, mung beans hold egg-xtra health advantages for consumers as they are loaded with nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and vitamins4.

Having set a goal of reducing traditional meat consumption by 50%, China is also set to import “clean meat” from companies that produce meat grown from cultured cells in labs. These companies include Israeli biotech start-up SuperMeat, which is developing “meal-ready” chicken made from chicken cells5.

In a similar vein, and currently undergoing development, Israeli start-up Aleph Farms has also created the world’s first lab-grown, slaughter-free steak — a milestone on the road to bringing cruelty-free and more environmentally friendly meat products to the market6.

Environmental pressures have also touched the investment world with socially responsible investing becoming more mainstream. Read our insights to find out more.

Sources:
1 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/climate/cows-global-warming.html
2 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-globalwarming-methane/the-heat-is-on-for-greenhouse-gas-methane-idUSSP14117220070430?feedType=RSS
3 https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetforgrieve/2018/12/17/just-beefs-up-plans-to-grow-alternatives-to-animal-agriculture-in-asia/#3e3fcb13414c
4 https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/take-a-chance-on-the-mung-bean/2015/04/14/56456b22-ddf9-11e4-a500-1c5bb1d8ff6a_story.html?utm_term=.0e63f7c8d820
5 https://futurism.com/china-signed-a-300-million-lab-grown-meat-deal-with-israel
6 https://www.businessinsider.sg/aleph-farms-israeli-startup-makes-first-lab-grown-clean-steak-meat-photos-video-2018-12/?r=US&IR=T

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