Millions of people love eating meat. I would hazard a guess that the majority of people would love meat even more if we didn’t have to kill the animal to get to the meat.
Sadly as all of us know killing animals is part and parcel of eating meat. Irrespective of the death of millions animals we still love the stuff and meat production around the globe has grown massively over the last few years to serve the demand.
Industrial farming is taking over much of the planet and most of the resources to feed our ever increasing demand for meat. We simply can’t get enough of the stuff. As the global population grows and gets richer the demand for meat increases. The side effects of industrial meat production, such as water shortages, lack of land, green house gases, pollution are going to eventually overwhelm us.
So what’s the answer to the problem – go vegetarian? Turn to insects as our source of protein? Some may choose to be vegetarian and people in the Far East love insects fried, boiled and raw. All that said how many people in the west would look forward to the very latest McInsect Burger? Very few I guess, so what’s the solution?
There’s another way – enter SuperMeat!
SuperMeat (no it’s not April Fools) is a new start up company working together with Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, an award winning biomedical engineer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. SuperMeat is a new system for producing cultured meat. That means growing REAL meat, non GMO, no antibiotics, in machines at supermarkets all over the world.
Yes really! It’s real chicken without the bird! Real chicken meat grown in special machines, that tastes the same as chicken from the bird, without all the side effects such as death, loss of resources and pollution etc.
This Indigogo campaign recently smashed their target by over 200%, meaning the demand for SuperMeat is already there. The system has now gone into development with the first products being available in 2021 (only 5 years away).
Is it the ultimate super solution?
SuperMeat is without doubt an amazing innovation. However I can’t help but wonder if the problem is much much bigger than that. Doesn’t SuperMeat eventually make the real problem worse, the real problem being overcrowding of humans on this little green and blue dot called earth. Ok, we’re able to grow meat in a box without the side effects, but won’t that actually feed the real problem.
Isn’t it more environmentally friendly to consider how we work on the over population problem on the planet? Wouldn’t it be better if we somehow educated people that over population is here today. Teach people that resources are getting slimmer and if we want to provide a future for generations to come we ALL need to be more responsible.
It’s all very well and good saying it’s survival of the fittest but who wants to be the last person alive, who wants to be so fit they are the ‘supreme human’, alone on a planet destroyed by humans in such a very short period of time.
Isn’t it time that we as a species retained the ability to respond, which is what responsibility is all about and actually did something responsible. It’ll take a global sea change in attitudes, education, sharing more and yes reproducing less. All the same if we don’t act responsibly as a species we’re certain to turn this planet into a dust bowl.
Instant fixes rarely fix all of the problem and often create more!
So SuperMeat maybe an old world solution to fixing a problem instantly, but instant fixes rarely work and often create more problems long term. So how ever great SuperMeat is it’s not all of the answer. We need to think more holistically and act more responsibly.
Consider this, if you got ants in your kitchen you could kill them with insecticide, it’s instant old world solution. See a problem and fix the problem you see. However some ants take the poison back to the nest and the nest dies. A few days later you sit peacefully one day waiting to listen to the birds, you ‘love nature’ and love relaxing listening to bird song. But the birds don’t come because YOU KILLED THE ANT NEST, the birds enjoyed eating ants! No ants, no birds, no song.
So what’s the better solution to Ants in your kitchen? Simple, watch the ants! Follow them block up the hole where they come in and more importantly find and remove the food source they’re coming in for. Tidy up your crumbs! Clean your kitchen! Close off the holes!
My point is simply this, the solutions often aren’t always about instant fixes, the best solutions come from knowledge, consideration and a change in what we do.
SuperMeat could be a critical part of the answer. It’s a really smart invention and laudable for many reasons, but it’s not the cure all for global hunger and greed.