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NET ‘ZERO CRUELTY’: Britain should embrace ‘synthetic meat’ to hit climate targets, report suggests

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If the UK is to reach its net zero commitments, meat consumption will need to fall more rapidly over the coming decades. However, there has been a conspicuous lack of policy designed to achieve this.

ROB WAUGH: Britain should embrace synthetic meat in order to hit its ambitious climate targets, a report has suggested. The Social Market Foundation report urges policymakers to invest in the ‘alternative protein’ sector, where meat is produced using technologies such as “growing” muscle fibre from tissue samples… Other alternative proteins in the report include those derived from plants or from fermentation processes…

The report points out that consumers in the UK only eat 6% less meat per capita than in 1974 – despite the growing popularity of vegetable products and diets such as veganism. The researchers write: “If the UK is to reach its net zero commitments, meat consumption will need to fall more rapidly over the coming decades… However, there has been a conspicuous lack of policy designed to achieve this… the rapid expansion of the alternative protein market offers a way to reduce meat consumption through consumer choice”…

According to UN statistics, 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture… Environmentalists have warned that the world’s growing appetite for meat, particularly in emerging economies such as China, is not sustainable because beef, pork and poultry require far greater resources than plant-based proteins…

There are several companies hoping to bring lab-grown meat to the table as early as next year, including Mosa Meat, Future Meat and Memphis Meat… Mosa Meat uses a small sample of cells taken from a live animal, with a peppercorn-sized sample removed from a cow under anaesthesia. The cow is left alive. Those cells are fed with nutrients so that they grow into strands of muscle tissue. The company claimed it could make up to 80,000 quarter pounders from a single sample…

A report by consultancy firm AT Kearney suggested that by 2040, 60% of the ‘meat’ we eat won’t come from animals at all. There are also concerns about animal welfare and industrial farming, said the firm, which based its report on expert interviews. AT Kearney partner Carsten Gerhardt said in the report: “The shift towards flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles is undeniable”. SOURCE…

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