Lab-grown Agriculture Will Be Our Future!
In the year 2050, the earth is estimated to reach a population of 9.8 BILLION people! Demands over resources will skyrocket. Nations will start fighting over resources. What will affect us first? Will it be a food shortage, lack of clean drinking water or an energy shortage in a world filled with technology😱?!
This foreseeable future may as well be reality if we continue with the traditional ways we have of agriculture.
It’s no surprise that there are a lot of problems in the world that we live in today.
Traditional agriculture has many problems in the world associated with it such as:
- Animal cruelty
- Environmentally Destructive (Massive Deforestation- We need lots of land to farm these products for our growing population)
- Excessive Water and Energy Consumption
- Significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions(huge amounts of methane produced by livestock.)
- Nutrition-related diseases (Harmful cholesterol, etc.)
- Foodborne illnesses
- Antibiotic-resistant pathogen strains
This list will increasingly become worse as the demands of certain agricultural products increase as a result of our growing population. A pretty serious problem right!
Well,how can we fix this?
We can start by taking cellular agriculture…COMMERCIAL!
Many companies, such as Memphis Meats, JUST, MOSA Meats, Perfect Day, Finless Foods, etc. are trying their best to make this a reality.
Let’s hope they do this soon because vegetarianism and veganism can’t be the only steps to take in order to solve these world problems😂. Not everyone can do it. Hear me out…
Last year, a nice lady came to my law class to give a presentation about animal cruelty and cellular agriculture. She enlightened me about all the animal cruelty that goes on behind closed doors within the traditional agriculture industry(and there is ALOT😭).
She needed volunteers to demonstrate her point about animal cruelty, so I volunteered to stand crouching on a milk crate for the rest of the class, barefoot…by the end of class I was hurting like crazy! Apparently, that’s what chickens have to live through their ENTIRE lives being confined in a tight space, on crates, beaks burned, and more suffering for their entire short-lived lives😱.
That’s when I had the idea to try and go vegan. Take into account that I’m Lebanese, and my entire diet was basically dairy and meats, hence this is a drastic change to my diet. I lasted 2 days. I needed at least dairy and eggs in my diet. But I didn’t stop there…
Now, I decided to go vegetarian! This seemed a bit more manageable for me, but overtime (2 weeks), I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to eat meat! It was getting a bit unhealthy on my part, but to this day I try my best to buy cruelty-free products/food.
As you see not everyone can commit to certain diets to take steps towards “saving” the planet. This is why we need cellular agriculture! We can eat whatever and it WILL be cruelty-free, and it has other added benefits, which I will get to later.
With all this talk about cellular agriculture, you must be wondering what it even is.
Well, let me explain…
Cellular Agriculture is the production of agricultural products from cell cultures.
A summary of the process:
Basically, using satellite cells extracted from existing livestock, then giving them the nutrients, oxygen, natural proteins, amino acids, minerals, sugars needed in a cultured medium for them to grow and create our everyday agricultural products, which all take place in a bioreactor.
Now that I have gone over the general process of cellular agriculture, you see the product will be like the real thing!
Biotechnology, tissue engineering, fermentation, molecular biology, and synthetic biology are used to create and design new methods of producing proteins, fats, and tissues that will mimic the products of traditional agriculture to the point where you can’t even tell the difference.
These products have the potential to disrupt the agriculture industry. It will be hard to make the switch, but the good clearly outweighs the bad, so…
Why we should make the switch to cellular agriculture?
- less energy, land usage, pollution, and water consumption.
- Reduction in greenhouse gas emission(less of an ecological footprint).
- Healthier by making the product more nutritious, high in protein, chemical-free, etc., we are in control! ( eg. Milk can become high in protein, lactose-free, and cholesterol-free).
- Reduces foodborne illnesses.
- ANIMAL CRUELTY-FREE
- Alternate source of protein (Do I hear Vegan-friendly😆)
- Space missions(COLONIZING MARS 🤩), such as for permanent bases, as it is impractical to farm.
There are so many benefits to switching to cellular agriculture that will make this world a better place overall. So, why don’t we have it out yet!?
What is stopping us from taking this product commercially and having it part of our future???
There are many road-blocks to this emerging technology that include:
- Public perception
- Lack of Government/ Political Support (possible economic disturbance)
- Cost of production!
Almost done! Just hold on…
The public is going to be sceptical on how much does this product resembles actual meat, if it is safe for human consumption, and if this alienates us from nature as it makes us more dependent on technology. ( Don’t worry cellular and traditional agriculture look and taste the same, and are completely safe to consume😄)
But, there are questions to whether this is kosher or halal in the Jewish and Muslim communities.
The cellular agriculture industry lacks government support and subsidization as it is not ready to move on from its traditional ways (industry lobbyists make sure of this) and they are afraid of backlash from the public if they show their support. Some backlash may occur as a result of the possibility of an economic disturbance to countries that are dependent on the export and employment of traditional farming; they are not ready for private companies with cellular agriculture to take over, just yet.
One of the biggest hurdles for cellular agriculture is the cost of production at an industrial scale without making the product really expensive to the everyday consumer. Don’t worry though! Overtime, as sales increase, the cost of products will drop significantly. WOOHOO!
No piece of technology in this world is perfect and can solve every problem in the world. Cellular agriculture is a start to solving many emerging problems that we are facing or may face in the near future.
This is our future so you all better hop on board! We might start seeing commercially sold products soon (~2020)😆!!
- Cellular Agriculture is the production of agricultural products from cell cultures.
- Traditional agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, excessive use of energy, water, land usage(deforestation), animal cruelty, foodborne and nutrition-related diseases, and antibiotic-resistant pathogen strains. (Cellular agriculture is the solution to all of these and MORE!)
- Roadblocks: Public perception, it lacks the support of governments and the cost of production.