In-Vitro Meat (IVM) could make its way into the market soon as a survey done recently showed that most people would definitely or probably give IVM a try.
The debate between vegetarians and non-vegetarians is an ever-going one, but there might be a way for both sides to reach middle ground. That way could be In Vitro Meat (IVM), i.e., meat grown in a laboratory.
The first step towards IVM was made in the beginning of the 21st century when concerns were raised regarding the working off farm animal production systems. Primary reasons of worry were the large use of water and land resources, pollution, and rapid growth of unhealthy eating habits and diseases in people. While genetically modified food faces widespread criticism, IVM has more support than one would expect.
The survey, which was published in PLOS One, showed the responses of 673 people in the United States of America. The results showed that more than two-thirds of the survey group would definitely or probably give IVM a try. People were a little unsure of whether they would opt for it as a replacement for natural meat, but the result is definitely thought provoking. But before we can draw conclusions, we need to take a closer look at the pros and cons.
Speaking of the advantages, the obvious ones are more land and resource availability, animal welfare, and lesser instances of diseases in humans due to unhealthy meat consumption. Slaughtering of animals would go down greatly, and it could also open the door to introduce healthier supplements in the meat, like polyunsaturated fats. As for support, IVM would enjoy the majority backing from vegans and vegetarians.
The disadvantages, or concerns, regarding IVM, were primarily focussed on taste, cost, as well as what it would do to animal farmers all over the world. Those who were willing to give it a try were unsure if they would have it as a replacement for natural meat because they weren’t sure of how it would taste and how much it would cost in comparison. Both of these are things that depend on the manufacturers. The attitude of manufacturers, as well as the fate of the farmers, is in the hands of authorities, who could help both with allowances and incentives for using IVM extensively.
Now that both sides of the issue have been visited, we need to look at the demographics of the survey crowd. Most were males belonging to a developed nation that consumes one of the highest amounts of meat. One must also note that USA is generally more receptive to new technology, so that could be a factor as well. A global survey would include many things, some beneficial, some not so much for IVM.
It could help people get products that are not usually available in their region due to the weather and other factors, but the cost could play a part as well. But the survey does show us that IVM could make its way into our homes sooner than we thought. We are already using artificial leather on a large scale, so who’s to say we can’t eat lab grown meat in the near future?