Whatʼs going on here?
The mammoth and the meatball. Sounds like it could be one of Aesop’s fables, right? Well, the life lesson you could pick up from this article is about your future food choices, based on how the meat industry is shifting; this is spotlighted by the recent creation of a meatball using cells that replicate that of the long-extinct woolly mammoth.
What does this mean?
Australia-based meat cultivation company, Vow, has focussed on producing lab-grown meat from mammoth DNA sequences to get people talking. It aims to highlight the need to shift away from conventional meat production; an industrial practice that is a huge contributor to the climate crisis and animal suffering.
Why should we care?
Cost is currently the major barrier to lab-grown meat. However, the industry has come a long way since the first lab grown burger costing $330,000 in 2013. Today, a lab grown burger patty costs approximately $9.
The main benefits of producing meat by cultivating it are lower land and water usage. Plus, no methane is released during the process, unlike the vast quantities produced by ruminant (grazing mammal) meat farming.
We need to move away from farm-reared meat for protein, leading to the exploration of insects as alternatives. Similarly to cultivated meat, the reduction in climate impact is significant; farming insects uses 98% less land and emits 40 times less carbon per kilo than beef.
- If you want to learn more about your food choices and quantify their environmental impact, Foodsteps has just published a report outlining the carbon impact of 100 foods. Find it here.
- Delve into How Bad Are Bananas to explore the impacts of your foods.
- See the BBC’s guidance on How to go vegetarian – this also outlines different vegetarian protein sources.
- For advice on going vegan, even for a short amount of time, visit Go Vegan.