[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”0312622376″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41C0HF5kuwL._SL110_.jpg” width=”73″]Artificial meat has been around for a few decades, and it usually conjures some unappetizing images. Strange tofu-derived turkey substitutes resemble nothing like a Thanksgiving turkey, and tofu by itself isn’t very savory. But as technology and food science improve, the difference between an artificial slice of ham and the actual derivatives of a pig may soon be very hard to discern.
Beyond Meat, a company in Columbia, MO, is investing a lot of research hours and money into creating meat alternatives that resemble, and most importantly, taste like the real thing. Michael Pollan, the well-known author and sustainable food activist, interestingly argued in [easyazon-link asin=”1938073460″ locale=”us”]the apocalypse issue[/easyazon-link] of the food magazine Lucky Peach that artificial meat has an opportunity to improve human welfare and the environment. And it seems like Beyond Meat has risen to that standard. Focusing on variations of chicken strips for the moment, Beyond Meat has created an impressive meat simulacra manufactured from pea and soybean proteins.
Modern Meadow, another future-focused food design company is actually building animal tissue without the environmentally stressful task of maintaining huge herds of livestock. According to their research, Modern Meadow concludes that one third of all land on the planet is used for animal farming. With their technology, Modern Meadow is creating cultured leather and meat without actually raising or killing any animals.
As global population expands and access to food is a priority. Alternatives to energy-taxing livestock farming will need to be thought of. With simulated meat technology from companies like Beyond Meat and Modern Meadows, people will be able to enjoy the comfort of familiar flavors and proteins. But how will our attitude towards animals change if they are no longer used for food? Will we interact with animals and co-inhabitants of the planet and no longer simply sources of food?
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