The food industry is very interested in making meat out of date. There are multiple reasons that feed this business movement. Among the most notable is a search for a cruelty free food industry, the urgent need to get mayor sustainability in the sector and fight hunger and malnutrition.
The vegetarian philosophy, Flexitarianism and veganism proliferate around the world as the rights enjoyed by human beings are being extrapolated to animals. More and more people are reducing their meat consumption for ethical reasons.
Despite the fact that the primary sector racks its brains to promote the consumption of meat, the reality is that neither human health nor animal welfare aligns with this message. The WHO already warned years ago about the link between the excess in the intake of meat products and various types of cancers. On the other hand, macro-farms where animals are raised industrially accumulate controversy after controversy: sick animals, abuse by workers, unsanitary crowds, high potential for zoonoses ...
On the other hand, raising animals for meat involves a high cost to our planet. To face the externalities of the industry in terms of pollution, waste of biodiversity, improper land use and similar inefficiencies, scientists proclaim that the price of meat should triple. Clearly, a plant-based diet is more efficient, especially with a view to conserving soil and local water resources.
Added to these two problems is the fact that the world's population is increasing at a dizzying rate. We are expected to be about half a century 9600 million people on the planet. With so many people to feed, and since we have not yet eradicated hunger on Earth, food industry logistics gets tricky.
How to offer enough animal products for everyone? Will there be a way to generate enough meat taking into account the expected demand? There are those who have serious doubts about our possibilities. A clear example: If we all ate meat in the same way that the average American does, we would need almost four planetary areas devoted entirely to livestock.
Market analysts initially advocated the entomophagy or the ingestion of insects and arachnids, or arthropods in general, when it comes to safeguarding the protein intake for the population of the future. However, cultural changes tend to be slower than technological changes. It would be difficult to combat the acquired tastes that in most regions of the globe point towards some disgust associated with eating insects.
Silicon Valley (California, OF. UU.) and Israel have been investing huge amounts of money to find a solution to the difficult dichotomy that the future presents us. The main bet has been the laboratory meat synthetic meat: cell cultures obtained in bioreactors from muscle cells and then printed onto a substrate to obtain a texture similar to that of the meat of a lifetime.
The technology has been around for years. Why is it not widespread then? The reason is easy to understand. The first time a synthetic meat burger was served for tasting it had cost 300.000 euros and two years of development.
That happened on a television set in 2013. 7 years later the situation is radically different. The cost is now approaching 20 euros per kilo and its production is sufficiently advanced to be carried out in mass.
So that, We should not be surprised by the news that comes to us from Israel, cradle of technology where one of the leading companies in the sector is based: Future Meat Technologies.
The headlines around the world picked up the opening of the first restaurant in the world specialized in laboratory meat, specifically in chicken muscle strains.
Customers who want to feel like pioneers in the world of gastronomy with laboratory meat have to make an appointment to eat at the restaurant. When they arrive at the premises, first they are made a small tour by the advanced facilities of SuperMeat so that they know the ins and outs of the process by which such a precious product is obtained. Then they have the option to taste the meat, currently served as part of two Chicken Burgers.
Synthetic meat-based items are garnished with many other options more common in restaurants around the world. Options such as salads, pasta and desserts.
Unfortunately, at the moment not everyone will be able to access The Chicken in Israel. Visitors are part of a program to collect opinions and reviews before launching the product publicly. The good thing is that if you get time to enter, you can try synthetic chicken meat without paying a single penny, the executive director of SuperMeat, Ido Savir, Considers sufficient payment to participate in the consumer experience survey that visitors agree to complete.
At the moment critics find no difference between the laboratory meat from cell cultures and that obtained by slaughtering chickens raised in poultry farms. Something that coincides with what culinary journalists already indicated in 2013. This fidelity of flavor and texture is a important advantage of synthetic meat compared to meat substitutes of vegetable origin, where the consensus is usually that it is better not to compare the substitute with the original, but to think that it is an independent food product whose taste is good, but not the same as real meat.
The synthetic meat segment is about to break the profitability barrier, and it is foreseeable that from this year on we will begin to hear much more about technology and the various brands that make up this sector and of course, new restaurants that join this growing trend.