The giant Swiss company Nestlé is considering entering the race to grow meat in laboratories and replace the livestock industry according to a source with knowledge of the matter, News24 reported.
In the eagerness of multinationals to support the fight against ‘climate change’ Nestlé appears to be negotiating with an Israeli company, Future Meat Technologies, to produce meat based on stem cells from cows that are then subjected to a laboratory process where they reproduce to form ‘meat.’
In its first steps towards ‘suffering-free’ animal production, Nestlé has already launched in Europe a ‘milk’ made from peas under its Garden Gourmet brand.
According to media reports, Nestlé plans to use Future Meat Technologies’ technology to create a hybrid ‘meat’ that would be mixed with vegetable ingredients, with the aim of reducing costs in order to compete with the real meat market.
For its part, the Israeli company has already successfully produced ‘chicken meat’ and plans to enter the U.S. market next year depending on how long it takes to obtain the relevant permits.
How the lab-grown ‘meat’ is produced
After extracting stem cells from a cow, those that are muscle fibers and those that are fat are divided.
The muscle fibers are immersed in a liquid environment that has the nutrients for them to feed and reproduce separately.
The new muscle fiber cells are then placed in a cylinder where they join together and form the new ‘meat.’
The ‘meat’ cultivated in this procedure has no fat, does not have the color of meat, is much paler and tends to fall apart, it does not have the texture of real meat.
Climate change or business opportunity
According to Livekindly Nestlé has been working with various technology companies to manufacture lab-grown meat because of climate change issues.
“For many years we have been investing in our protein expertise and the development of proprietary technologies for plant-based meat alternatives,” said Reinhard Behringer, director of the Nestlé Institute for Materials Science at Nestlé Research.
“To complement these efforts, we’re also exploring technologies that could lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are nutritious, sustainable, and close to meat in terms of taste, flavor, and texture,” he added.
However, there are also predictions that the ‘alternative meat’ market will be worth some 20 million in just five years and that the industry will replace 60% of the conventional meat market, a slice of the pie that the multinational dedicated to feeding the world is surely not willing to miss out on.
In a June 1 report, Nestlé admitted that almost 70% of its food does not meet the standards of what is considered healthy food as most of its products are considered ‘ultra-processed’ and bad for long-term health.
Richard Young, policy director of the Sustainable Farming Trust said that the damage caused by the meat industry to the environment is misunderstood and people are led to believe that they can fly around the world as much as they want as long as they reduce their meat consumption.
“In some ways, if we could produce this miracle food to get rid of the intensive livestock production there would be some advantages, but it strikes me that the very last thing we need is more processed food: we need to move to the real food,” Young said at the Oxford Real Farming Conference on January 9, 2021.
As for climate change, groups defending livestock farming accuse the media of using false statistics blaming livestock farming for global warming when livestock farming contributes only 6% of greenhouse gas emissions and warn that replacing livestock farming will bring enormous danger to the planet’s biodiversity, and create a strong dependancy on technology.
On top of that, there are still no studies or evidence that synthetic proteins or ‘cultured meat’ can actually replace the calories and provide the energy that real meat provides to the human body nor if these substances will have an impact on people’s health.