Cultured meat soon to be an option for vegetarians
CHRISTIANA JONES, CONTRIBUTOR
Vegetarians may never again be asked where they get their protein from, as cruelty-free meat is about to hit the shelves.
Cultured beef is created in a lab from tissues harvested from cows.
According to Maastricht University, humans need cultured beef to combat a global food crisis before it begins and to help tackle climate change by reducing emissions from cattle rearing. There is an unanticipated upside, however. Lab-grown meat means no animals were harmed in the making.
The meat isn’t completely animal free, as it still requires a “donor” for the cells. This, however, can be done through a biopsy. Cultured meat is different from GMOs because there is no modification to the extracted cells.
Maastricht University researchers claim the beef doesn’t pose a health risk either, based on their close monitoring and advanced technology.
In a FAQ, they said it’s “safer than farmed beef, as scientists eradicate the risk of human disease contracted from livestock.”
If vegetarians and vegans can get their bacon fix without worrying about farm conditions or animal welfare, some may be willing to fire up their barbecues for a fake steak.
But Kayla Whitehurst, a vegetarian nutritionist, said she is still hesitant about the idea.
“I haven’t eaten meat in nine years so at this point the idea of meat is kind of unappealing for me,” she said.
She added, however, that it would be a good choice for others.
“This would be an option that would be cruelty free and environmentally more feasible,” said Whitehurst, 23.
She also explained cultured meat shouldn’t pose more of a risk than regular meat.
Whitehurst said we are just starting to discover ill effects of eating too much red meat.
“I would be way happier in terms of health if people would incorporate more legumes in their diet than even lab grown meat, as contrary to popular belief we really don’t have a protein problem,” Whitehurst said.
For a lot of people though, it’s not about health. Cam MacAngus, a business administration student at RRC, said the idea just doesn’t sit right.
“It’s just weird. The idea of eating meat that was grown in a petri dish kind of grosses me out,” said MacAngus, 22. “I don’t know if I’d try it.”