It is difficult to imagine that the stewed or curry chicken that arrives at your ‘Sunday Lunch’ table may have been created in the laboratory.
It’s common knowledge that your meat came from farms, from aviaries or even from the supermarket but meat produced using animal cells? It is the new reality of sustainable food production, which will soon be entering Singapore restaurants, the first country in the world to authorize the marketing of this “environmentally friendly” meat, avoiding animal sacrifice.
The announcement was made by the American start-up Eat Just, based in San Francisco, which also becomes the first in the laboratory meat industry to receive government approval.
For now, the product will only arrive in the form of “nuggets” – chicken breads – or appetizers, clarified the Food Safety Agency of Singapore, which guarantees that, after extensive analysis, it concluded that the food is suitable for consumption.
A small step for Man, but giant for those who, for decades, have struggled to end the livestock industry, which, in addition to being accused of animal cruelty, leaves a huge ecological footprint.
To sell in Singapore, the company created the “Good Meat” brand. “This is a historic moment in the food industry,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, told the American newspaper “The New York Times”. “I am sure that the approval of the regulation for cultivated meat will be the first of many,” he added.
The Singapore Food Security Agency has included “cell-based or cultured meat grown under controlled conditions” in its definition of new foods, along with some species of algae, fungi and insects, the daily said.
Production has been the biggest barrier, as it is complex and expensive, making the product more expensive. However, Eat Just said it has made “considerable progress” in reducing the cost.
Lab nuggets will hit the market at a price similar to that of “premium chicken in a sophisticated restaurant,” explained Tetrick, news agency France Press.
It now remains to be seen whether other countries will follow Singapore’s avant-garde example. Livestock is responsible, every year, for about 14.5% of global emissions of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the emissions of all cars, trucks, planes and ships combined.
Meat consumption has been classified as an environmental threat, as cattle produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. On the other hand, deforestation to make way for animals destroys natural barriers against climate change, as exemplified by what has been seen in the Amazon, in South America.