Where's the Beef!

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Hearth Supporter
Nov 18, 2005
105,026
South Puget Sound, WA
It looks like synthetic meat is not so carbon friendly. A recent study completed by the food labs at UC Davis concluded that lab-grown animal cell-based meats (ACBM) are much more carbon-intensive than animal-based proteins.
"The results indicate that the environmental impact of near-term ACBM production is likely to be orders of magnitude higher than median beef production if a highly refined growth medium is utilized for ACBM production."

This is the value of good science questioning whether some solutions for climate change are appropriate. I don't eat beef and only a little chicken or fish. Protein from vegetable sources is sufficient to keep me healthy.
 
There is no (environmentally) free lunch ...
 
We also get all our protein from grass it's what our animals eat
No growth hormones, antibiotics or other crap. Meat, eggs, milk
and all our fruit and veg are also produced by us. We use no
fertilizer other than what the animals produce. No herbicides
or other chemicals. All natural and Organic at least they tell that's
what organic is
 
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Good article. It touches on the points that have made me skeptical of 'lab grown meat' since I first heard about it.

We already HAVE a large industry that grows large amounts of animal cells.... biopharma. Typically, they grow CHO (Chinese Hamster Ovary) cells in large bioreactors, and engineer them to express some protein product.

There are many such products (the first ones were available in the 1970s), and after decades of engineering, they all remain eye-wateringly expensive. Most small molecule drugs cost almost nothing to make (ignoring the markup) which is a great thing for humanity. In contrast, these CHO-derived protein drugs cost bankruptcy levels (like $10k-100k/year) for chronic conditions, and the production cost is a significant factor.

Night and Day.

And ofc, biopharma uses a lot of animal-derived sera and compounds to culture those cells, in large amounts. So lab grown meat is NOT vegan, nor could it replace animal agriculture.

In contrast, drugs made fermenting bacteria and yeast are more than an order of magnitude cheaper, and many can be grown on 'mineral' media that don't include any animal products.

Bottom line is that culturing animal cells at scale is MUCH harder than fermenting beer at scale.

I liked the 'endotoxin' angle... that our world is filled with bacterial toxins of many kinds, that our body can largely keep out and deal with, but which need to be carefully removed from every ingredient needed for animal cell culture.

This is key. At this point, we have plant derived and fungus derived alternative 'meats'. The first are agricultural products, with some simple physical processing steps. The latter are fungi that can grow in big bioreactors like making beer. Neither requires animal product inputs, so both are vegan and avoid those costs. Both are based on growing **complete organisms** that can live in the world, and so can deal with endotoxins in their soil or fermenter.

Folks are also working on food from bacteria that eat Hydrogen and CO2 and ammonia.... Air protein.

Compared to those other types of organisms, mammalian cells are really tough to culture, optimized to live inside a complex animal, given a steady cocktail of hormones and compounds and patrolled by an immune system to keep bugs and toxins under control.

It would be far easier to engineer the fungi to taste like beef, that to engineer the beef to grow as easily as fungi.

Or there is the impossible foods approach... use GMO yeast to make unique flavor ingredients (like hemoglobin) and add that to the cheapest substrate available (pea ad soy protein + coconut fat). Poof, vegan plant based meat that bleeds, and that costs less than beef.

Maybe the lab meat people should team up with the fusion people and make fusion-powered meat!
 
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Bottom line is that culturing animal cells at scale is MUCH harder than fermenting beer at scale.
Advise: liquid lunch ;-)
It would be far easier to engineer the fungi to taste like beef, that to engineer the beef to grow as easily as fungi.
I agree. And I think that the complexity of mammals is not only hard to "simulate" in a reactor, it is also the cause of the high energy overhead of said organisms. Yeast (etc) has a lot lower energetic overhead we need to cater to.
Maybe the lab meat people should team up with the fusion people and make fusion-powered meat!
Or we ourselves should adapt to run on hydrogen
 
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With the exception of "air protein" producing microbes, I don't think there's any way to make proteins without carbon emissions. Microbial fermentation of cellulose sounds like a great solution, until the carbon emissions are calculated.
 
Maybe "they" should leave well enough alone and let real ranchers grow real food on real grass that isn't poisoned by "their" evil ways. Anti-nature evil bastard ways....

I'm doing my part. My cattle are clean. My meat is delicious and healthy. My land has seen no chemicals for over 30 years.

grocery store meats grown and/or fattened through the commercial, big- pharma system is disgusting. I would rather go without...
 
grocery store meats grown and/or fattened through the commercial, big- pharma system is disgusting. I would rather go without...

Welcome to the club! ;lol
 
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With the exception of "air protein" producing microbes, I don't think there's any way to make proteins without carbon emissions. Microbial fermentation of cellulose sounds like a great solution, until the carbon emissions are calculated.
More on air protein progress:
 
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