The food revolution

America sometimes seems like a country of extremes but one thing they do very well is innovation and entrepreneurship. I don’t think any other country in the world does these two things as well as America. One industry I have been watching with great interest is the food technology industry and America is leading the way.

I’ve always been interested in food – not food for myself to eat, but food to feed the masses. What will we be eating 100 years from now? I don’t think it will be dead animals. Humans will likely still be eating meat but we will not be farming animals to produce it for two main reasons:

  1. Livestock farming consumes too much land and water and produces far more greenhouse gas emissions than the average plant-based diet.
  2. Animal welfare and speciesism. If you accept that it’s racist and sexist to give more consideration to the interests of beings based on their race and sex then it follows that it’s speciesist to give more consideration to the interests of beings based on their species.

How will we eat meat without farming and killing animals for food? This is where the burgeoning food technology industry comes in. An American company, Impossible Foods, is making a burger without using animals. Apparently it even bleeds, although, technically it’s not meat since it’s made from plants. Another American company, Memphis Meats, is making lab-grown meat. This one is apparently real meat which is cultured from the cells of animals in a lab. Another American company, Perfect Day, is making milk – real milk – without cows. Hampton Creek, again an American company, makes mayonnaise and cookies with a lab-grown egg substitute.

Would I eat lab-grown meat and milk? Probably not and not because I have any ethical objections to either. It’s more that I gave up those things more than a decade ago and no longer have the taste for them. Milk and meat smell and taste revolting to me now. However I’m hopeful about the prospect of a kinder and more ethical planet which this technology could bring. I feel like we’re on the precipice of a food revolution that is long overdue and America is leading the way.

Are there European companies charging into this new territory that I’m not aware of? Let me know in the comments if you’re aware of some.

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