Lab Grown Meat Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 08/02/22 •  15 min read
lab grown meat benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Lab grown meat benefits may include:

Lab grown meat side effects may include:

Additionally, lab grown meat is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: low, unlike conventional meat, lab grown meat does not require livestock animals who consume high volumes of water and eat crops that require high volumes of water

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

Destruction: low, unlike conventional meat, lab grown 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, lab grown meat has the potential to substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce land use by more than 90% and water use by 50%

Lab grown meat is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, lab grown meat production does not require any animals to die

Harms: none, lab grown meat production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: 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 lab grown meat development, the process of DNA extraction is quick and rather painless to the animal, comparable to a shot or needle injection, lab grown meat greatly reduces negative impact on wildlife and ecosystems that is currently the result of conventional meat production

Lab grown meat is…

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08/15/2022 08:34 pm GMT

LABORERS

Health and safety: lab grown 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: lab grown 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 lab grown meat producers and a lesser chance of financial hardship and uncertainty

Lab grown meat…

What is lab grown meat?

Lab grown meat is meat derived from growing cells, rather than slaughtered animals. It is researched and developed by taking initial DNA cells from a living animal. Lab grown meat is independent of livestock animals and eliminates the aspect of animal slaughter and animal usage entirely.

How is lab grown meat made?

Lab grown meat is a technology in which tiny biopsies are taken from an animal’s muscle. The 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).

What lab grown meat products are there?

Innovative, slaughter free, lab grown meat 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.

Is lab grown meat halal?

At this time, there is no definitive answer as to whether lab grown meat is halal since technology is still under development. Halal status of lab grown meat will depend on specific aspects of the production process. Halal certification is likely possible if products avoid non-halal ingredients.

Is lab grown meat kosher?

At this time, there is no definitive answer, as to whether lab grown 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 lab grown meat can be kosher.

Where does most lab grown meat come from?

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

Is lab grown meat nutritious?

Lab grown meat is high in protein, vitamins, minerals and has the ability to be lower in fat and cholesterol than conventional animal meat.

How long does it take to produce lab grown meat?

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

Is lab grown meat GMO?

No. Lab grown meat is non GMO. Additionally, lab grown meat uses no antibiotics and greatly reduces risk for pathogens and contaminants, which is often an issue for conventional meat.

What are other names for lab grown meat?

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

What are some lab grown meat companies and startups?

Top lab grown meat companies and startups include:

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lab grown meat is likely acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is lab grown meat alkaline or acidic? Lab grown meat is likely acidic once digested. Meat is an acidic food group and there is nothing about the lab grown 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

lab grown meat is gluten free.

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

Is lab grown meat gluten free? Yes, lab grown 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

lab grown 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 lab grown meat a common food allergen? No, lab grown meat is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to lab grown 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

lab grown meat has a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does lab grown meat have a high or low water footprint? Lab grown meat has a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods. Though water is required for lab grown meat production, unlike conventional meat, lab grown meat 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?

We must do what we can to conserve fresh water and a major way to reduce needless water consumption is to change the way we eat. That’s not to say we need to reduce our water intake…quite the opposite. It’s important for our health to drink lots of water and eat foods that hydrate. The kind of water conservation we’re talking about here is behind the scenes.

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

lab grown meat has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does lab grown meat have a high or low carbon footprint? Lab grown meat has a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods. Though lab grown meat production does require energy, compared to conventional meat, lab grown 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, lab grown meat can be produced anywhere and is more likely to be locally available.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

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

lab grown meat is sustainable.

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

Overall, is lab grown meat eco friendly and sustainable?

Yes, lab grown meat production is relatively sustainable. Unlike conventional meat, lab grown meat does not involve land usage, fodder or crop growth for animal feed or toxic waste pollution from animal excrement or feces. Furthermore, lab grown 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.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

lab grown meat is vegan.

vegan pork alternative

Is lab grown meat vegan? Yes, lab grown meat is vegan. No animals must die to produce lab grown meat. 

Lab grown 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 lab grown meat development. The process of DNA extraction is quick and rather painless to the animal, comparable to a shot or needle injection.

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

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

lab grown meat may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

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

Is lab grown meat a product with laborer concerns? At this time there are no concerns with lab grown meat production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. 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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