Cell Based Meat Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/12/22 •  15 min read

What are cell based meat benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are cell based meat pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

cell based meat benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on cell based meat benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about cell based meat benefits and side effects. This will include cell based meat benefits for your health and potential risks, cell based meat water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if cell based meat is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if cell based meat is good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about cell based meat benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Cell Based Meat Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Cell based meat benefits may include:

Cell based meat side effects may include:

Additionally, cell based meat is…

Environment

Water footprint: low, some water is required for cell based meat production but unlike conventional meat it does not require livestock animals who consume high volumes of water and eat crops that require high volumes of water

Carbon footprint: low, cell based meat production requires energy but compared to conventional meat it eliminates the necessity of farm equipment (tractors, slaughter house machinery), methane gases emitted by livestock animals, meat processing and long distance transport, cell based meat can be produced anywhere making it more likely to be locally available

Destruction: low, unlike conventional meat, cell based meat production does not involve land usage, fodder or crop growth for animal feed, toxic waste pollution from animal excrement or feces, nor is there an issue of deforestation or high levels of destruction to land, water, soil and air, according to a Life Cycle Analysis study, when compared to conventional beef production, cultivated meat has the potential to substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce land use by more than 90% and water use by 50%

Cell based meat is…

Animals

Kills: none, cell based meat production does not require any animals to die

Harms: none, cell based meat production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly killed or harmed: one initial DNA donor, an animal that does not need to be killed or slaughtered but briefly used to obtain the initial DNA sample which initiates cell based meat development, the process of DNA extraction is quick and rather painless to the animal, comparable to a shot or needle injection, cell based meat greatly reduces negative impact on wildlife and ecosystems that is currently the result of conventional meat production

Additionally, cell based meat is…

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Laborers

Health and safety: cell based meat production is much safer when compared to conventional meat production, as there is no requirement for heavy, dangerous machinery, knives and other slaughter equipment that often causes workplace injury, there are no health hazards in the form of toxic waste (manure) or bacteria exposure, unlike what is experienced by conventional meat farm hands and factory workers

Living conditions: n/a

Wages: cell based meat producers will benefit financially, wages can often be lost with conventional meat production in the form of livestock disease, natural disaster, moreover fodder and feed, farm machinery, veterinary services, antibiotics, hormones and other livestock expenses are eliminated entirely, creating more profit for cell based meat producers and a lesser chance of financial hardship and uncertainty

Cell based meat…

Cell based meat is made from growing cells, rather than slaughtered animals.

It is researched and developed by taking initial DNA cells from a living animal.

Cell based meat is independent of livestock animals and eliminates the aspect of animal slaughter and animal usage entirely.

Cell based meat is a technology in which tiny biopsies are taken from an animal’s muscle. It’s a rather painless process for the animal, which never needs to be slaughtered or used again.

Animal muscle cells are cultured to grow more muscle outside of the animals’ bodies. In a production facility, the cells can be mass produced in a method similar to beer brewing, using water and feed for growth.

Nutrient-rich liquid feed, AKA growth media, includes energy (sugars, fats), vitamins and minerals, protein building blocks (amino acids), and growth stimuli (growth factor proteins).

Grown from the molecule, innovative, slaughter free cell based meat products can include, but are not limited to pork, beef, chicken, elk, lamb, bison, Wagyu beef, grouper fish and additional fish species and other seafood.

At this time, there is no definitive answer as to whether cell based meat is halal since technology is still under development.

Halal status of cell based meat will depend on specific aspects of the production process.

Halal certification is likely possible if products avoid non-halal ingredients.

At this time, there is no definitive answer, as to whether cell based meat is kosher since technology is still under development.

In theory, there is no reason why cell-cultured meat could not be kosher. Kosher status factors include the source of the starter cells and production methods.

Eminent rabbinic authorities are currently analyzing the issues to determine whether cell based meat can be kosher.

Currently, the top cell based meat business, research centers and startups are located in the USA (namely Silicon Valley, California), Israel, Canada, Singapore, Japan and a few European countries.

Cell based meat is high in protein, vitamins and minerals and has the ability to be lower in fat and cholesterol than traditional, animal derived meat.

It takes around 3-4 weeks to produce cell based meat -much more efficient than the 2-3 years it takes to raise and slaughter livestock!

Cell based meat is non GMO.

Additionally, cell based meat uses no antibiotics and greatly reduces risk for pathogens and contaminants, which is often an issue for conventional meat.

Other names for cell based meat include: cultured meat, healthy meat, slaughter-free meat, in vitro meat, vat-grown meat, lab-grown meat, cell-based meat, clean meat, cultivated meat, synthetic meat.

What are some cell based meat companies and startups?

Top cell based meat companies and startups include:

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cell based meat is likely acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is cell based meat alkaline or acidic?

Cell based meat is likely acidic once digested.

Meat is an acidic food group and there is nothing about the cell based meat production process that would make it alkaline. Foods that have alkaline pH levels tend to be part of food groups like fresh fruits, vegetables and other fresh, plant based foods.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

cell based meat is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is cell based meat gluten free?

Yes, cell based meat is gluten free.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

cell based meat is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is cell based meat a common food allergen?

No, cell based meat is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to cell based meat but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

cell based meat has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does cell based meat have a high or low water footprint? Cell based meat has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods. Though water is required for cell based meat production, unlike conventional meat, it does not require livestock animals who consume high volumes of water and eat crops that require high volumes of water.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

cell based meat has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does cell based meat have a high or low carbon footprint?

Cell based meat has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods. Though cell based meat production does require energy, compared to conventional meat, cell based meat production eliminates the necessity of farm equipment, methane gases emitted by livestock animals, farm equipment (tractors, slaughter house machinery), meat processing and long distance transport.

In theory, cell based meat production can happen anywhere and is more likely to be locally available.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

cell based meat is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is cell based meat eco friendly? Is cell based meat sustainable?

Yes, cell based meat production is relatively sustainable. Unlike conventional meat, cell based meat does not involve land usage, fodder or crop growth for animal feed or toxic waste pollution from animal excrement or feces. Furthermore, cell based meat production does not involve deforestation or high levels of destruction to land, water, soil and air in the manner of conventional meat.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

cell based meat is vegan.

vegan pork alternative

Is cell based meat vegan?

Yes, cell based meat is vegan. No animals must die in order to produce cell based meat. 

Cell based meat production requires one initial DNA donor, an animal that does not need to be killed or slaughtered but briefly used to obtain the initial DNA sample which initiates cell based meat development. The process of DNA extraction is quick and rather painless to the animal, comparable to a shot or needle injection.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

cell based meat may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is cell based meat a product associated with labor concerns?

At this time there are no concerns with cell based meat production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that come with specific brands.

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

USDA/FDA Launches Joint Webinar on Roles and Responsibilities for Cultured Animal Cell Human and Animal Food Products

LCA study conducted by CE Delft

Lab-Grown Meat a Reality, But Who Will Eat It?, NPR

Current Issues and Technical Advances in Cultured Meat Production: A Review

Lab-grown fish makes a debut in Hong Kong

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.

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