Flash Point: Lab Meat is a Dead End

UPDATE: December 15th, 2023

Hello readers, I’ve come across a couple pieces that are relevant to this topic that are worth sharing.

First is this article, which covers many of the same angles as my own, but is much more thorough: www.thecounter.org/lab-grown-cultivated-meat-cost-at-scale

Today, I came across this piece which explores the ‘success’ of Upside Foods so far.

Some highlights include:

  • A reminder that they’ve already been working on this for a decade (and not much meaningful commercial or lab progress)
  • Upside’s promise of growing (an astonishingly low) 50,000lbs a year is still only selling 1 pound a month
  • It’s grown in small, single-use plastic ‘roller bottles’, instead of steel bioreactors, and is a huge waste
  • Is very labour intensive, and has higher levels of lead (up to 20x) and cholesterol (up to 8x) than actual chicken flesh
  • The lab meat Upside is selling consists of cells that aren’t even the long-term type of cells that they’re touting (what’s desired are ‘immortal’ myoblasts, which are actual muscle tissue; what’s sold are fibroblasts, which are more like skin or cartilage, and not at all what’s being promised)
  • Bovine serum, chicken serum and pig gelatin are used in the growing process — very much not-vegan
  • Claims of 90% lower climate emissions are extremely unrealistic, and will be many years from being ‘as efficient’ as conventional cow flesh (which is quite bad)

It’s so wrong on so many levels…. Hundreds of millions of dollars into Upside to produce 12lbs of non-vegan lab meat a year. The entire lab meat scam is approaching almost $3 billion in investments..it’s such an incredible waste of time and money.

For the full details, here’s the page: www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-12-14/upside-foods-struggles-with-lab-grown-chicken-despite-600-million

And finally, there’s another site that’s also dedicated to actual vegan values, and exposing how lab meat isn’t remotely vegan, check out: www.cleanmeat-hoax.com

ORIGINAL POST BELOW

Josh Tetrick of Just Egg infamy is in the news with the Good Meat company, and plans to build giant vats to produce lab-grown meat. By 2030 the intention is to produce 13,700 tons of lab-grown meat per year.

13,700 tons is kind of hard to imagine, sounds like a lot, right?

It’s not. Let’s do the math.

Going by stats from this popular site the average American eats about 274lbs of meat a year (not including ocean life). Here’s where it gets scary: let’s go with a conservative 300 million meat-eating Americans – that’s 41,000,000 tons of animal flesh consumed in one year.

One day of that year is over 112,000 tons consumed. Put another way: Americans eat over 4,600 tons of animal flesh per hour.

What this means is that by 2030 the Good Meat company’s ambitious goals will offset 3hrs of annual meat consumption in the US.

It’s not clear how many 4-story tanks will be required to meet this goal of just 13,700 tons, but to offset even 10% of the animal flesh consumed in a year, they would need to increase this 300x.

This just isn’t realistic. We definitely don’t have time to wait for 2030 to offset a tiny percentage of meat.

Besides the concerns we’ll have as vegans (lab meat will very likely be tested on animals, and who knows if parts of the growing medium will actually be free of animal products, not to mention where cells come from), and the very likely market hesitation and flavour / texture / utility shortcomings of the final product..there’s one really big factor:

We need much bigger changes, and much sooner. The planet simply can’t wait for that. We already have enough plants for everyone to eat, and need to focus our attention (and the money we’re throwing away at these projects) on getting people to give up animal products, and provide vegan foods for them.

Dave Shishkoff, Editor

Flash Points are quick posts on relevant topics.

Thanks for sharing!

Dave Shishkoff

Just check out the About page. =)

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