When you examine a heap of sliced deli turkey from Von's, you see no obvious connection between the slippery pink sheets and a semi-winged, beaked creature, or even a lovely roasted bird like you'd enjoy at Thanksgiving. Had you no prior knowledge, if someone told you this meat -- spongy, slick, and loaded with broth -- had been popped out of a machine in a lab, you would not be surprised. Lab meat is still a few years down the road, but scientists are making strides, not least of which is this week's revelation that lab-cultured meat would significantly reduce greenhouse emissions.
According to the results of a just-released study funded by New Harvest, a non-profit research organization working to pioneer alternatives to conventionally-raised meat, meat made using a tissue engineering process being developed by study co-author Dr. Joost Teixeira de Mattos of the University of Amsterdam would have a lower environmental impact across the board -- to the tune of 78-96% lower greenhouse gas emissions, 7-45% less energy used, 99% less land used, and 82-96% less water used. More »