Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bill Gates: “We should only eat synthetic meat!”


Almost ten or even more years ago, we wrote about a rather unusual culinary experience in the middle of London. There, guests were served beef meatballs worth an incredible £ 250,000. Of course, it was a very special meat, ie. laboratory meat or synthetic meat raised in the laboratory from cow stem cells. At the time, it was only speculated whether such meat could also become the “meat of the future”; not only because of the question of the impact of this kind of laboratory food on human health, but also because of the terribly high price.

Now obviously this is no longer a dilemma

One of the most influential Earthlings, Bill Gates, has been very direct in this regard recently. He said that “rich countries should (!) Eat only synthetic beef.” ”Compared to overcoming the climate crisis.

The world’s fourth-richest man will not just keep his word, but plans to invest $ 2 billion in innovation and improvements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Gates is urging all rich countries to switch to “100% synthetic beef” to tackle the climate catastrophe to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global climate change.

Of course, politics is key to achieving this. Not only advanced technology with which synthetic food is evolving and also becoming more affordable to the masses.

In an interview with the MIT Technology Review, the BBC and the Financial Times, he said some governments will be limited by their wealth: “I don’t think the poorest 80 countries will eat synthetic beef. I think that all rich countries should switch to 100% synthetic beef. “

Impact of cattle breeding on the climate

Cattle farming, especially cows bred for beef, make a strong contribution to emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane, which, according to research published last July, reached record levels. The amount of methane in the atmosphere increased sharply between 2000 and 2017, leading to global warming, according to some data, even by four degrees Celsius. Scientists warn that this is a dangerous threshold for humanity, leading to an increased risk of natural disasters due to ecological disruptions that could lead to mass famine and migration. Some analysts even warn that emissions from cattle farming are almost as high as methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry.

At this point, the solution to curb climate change proposed by Bill Gates seems a long way off; namely, because at the moment, synthetic meat companies account for less than one percent of the world’s meat supply, and even that percentage is as expensive as “saffron.” And what does Mr. Gates say to that? He was realistic and first touched on the taste of the meat: “Differences in taste could be quickly accustomed to. I don’t see a problem with that. In addition, the taste will also get better over time with the development of technology. But it is true that the development of synthetic beef production]will never be economical. “

He added, however, that companies such as Impossible of Redwood City and Beyond of Los Angeles have “a route plan and cost plan for developing vegan and synthetic meat that will bring competitiveness in price.”

Reflections on the future of the food industry are in place

Namely, as they wrote in the Independent newspaper years ago, within the food industry, carnivores alone are a huge global industry, producing more than 350 million tons of meat every year. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that by 2050, the world will eat once again as much meat as we consume today, due to growing demand for meat from the growing middle class in China and other developing countries. The average meat consumption is about 50 kilograms per person per year, but this figure is much higher in the West. Thus, the average European eats about 80 kilograms of meat a year, and the average American and Australian eats as much as 110 kilograms a year.

Such a large appetite explains why about 30 percent of the world’s non-icy land is used to grow crops for animal feed, and only four percent for vegetables intended for human consumption. According to a study by scientists from the University of Oxford, the production of artificial meat would use much less energy than most other meat production. In addition, synthetic meat needs 99 percent less soil than livestock and 82-96 percent less water, and produces 78-95 percent less greenhouse gases.

Human civilization is facing a challenge. To eat or not to eat. Meat. Probably the biggest challenge in this dilemma is how to get artificial meat in stores and convince the public to reach for it and deduct much more for it than usual.



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