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Churchill And Mead Agree: Fake Meat Will Save The World

Winston Churchill understood Gaia better than most greens.

Seventy years ago, Churchill made a prediction: “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.” (h/t The Guardian) Via Meadia couldn’t agree more. Not only will fake meat cut down on the animal killing that so upsets PETA, it will also cut down on the carbon emissions associated with large-scale animal farming. While the environmental benefits have been clear for some time, a recent article in The Guardian makes clear just how serious they are:

Inspired by the “numbers, not adjectives” principle, we contributed to the assessment of the environmental impacts of cultured meat production and have published our findings in a peer-review journal. The results showed that cultured meat has 80-95% lower greenhouse gas emissions, 99% lower land use and 80-90% lower water use compared to conventionally produced meat in Europe.

Every kilo of conventionally produced meat requires 4kg-10kg of feed, whereas cultured meat significantly increases efficiency by using only 2kg of feed. Based on our results, if cultured meat constituted half of all meat consumed we could halve the greenhouse emissions, and increase the forest cover by 50%, which is equivalent to four times of Brazil’s current forest area.

The environmental benefits of cultured meat are even greater when the costs of land use are taken into account. Strategies for carbon sequestration could be used on the land freed from meat agriculture and would include growing new forests. There’d also be an increase in biodiversity as more land could be used for wildlife conservation.

Some readers, it is clear from the comment section, are appalled by the thought of ‘cultured meat’ as the Guardian so delicately puts it.  Here at the stately Mead manor we have an open mind, possibly because an early exposure to British school food inured us to odd meat. With enough ketchup, Shamburgers™ will satisfy the most demanding palate, and Faux-Fowl™ will, we are sure, taste exactly like chicken.

But the green movement needs to jump on this bandwagon fast.  The chances that global carbon emissions will be reduced by the mass adoption of cultured meat are at least ten million times greater than the chances that those emissions will be capped by a grand global treaty.

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  • John Barker

    I will keep looking for producers of these “cultured meat” products, which may be immensely profitable. This is a real green revolution.

  • Andrew Allison

    In anticipation of the howls from the GMF zombies: just as there is no such thing as inorganic food, there is no such thing as ungenetically modified food. Nature makes mistakes too.

  • a nissen

    Just the other day the WSJ attempted to convince readers to visit London for the food. Being part English, I wouldn’t take WRM’s word for it either, especially after his admission of an “open-minded” acquaintance with British school food.

    As for alternative protein, my question to WRM is what rock have you been living under?


    Considering what the British (and Irish, sad to say) notoriously do to meat exactly the source of what blackened or boiled stuff they put on their plate is probably irrelevant. It is noteworthy this suggestion comes from the British left. Neither the French or Italian or any Mediterranean culture of whatever political stripe will have anything to do with it. Somehow, I don’t think American yuppie locovores will be all that thrilled. Me neither. I was raised on backyard coop chicken as a kid, and think grass-fed Iowa Angus is a gift from Heaven.

  • Kris

    “Churchill And Mead Agree: Fake Meat Will Save The World”

    Who is this Churchill fellow whereof you speak?

  • gavin

    ok you dopes i will bite on this:the energy required to produce protein is essentially set by the KREBS cycle.therefore you you require energy to convert starch or fat to protein.ergo in livestock (fish,fowl or swine or kine)you have a self replicating machine which will walk itself to slaughter.
    in fish you just pluck them from the water.
    in fowl you have a beast which will lay an egg a day (for eggs or broilers;DO NOT CARE!)your average sow will make 20 piglets per year, all of whom will be ready to be eaten within a sixmonth. your average beef has tasted grain for only the last three months of its not particularly unpleasant life of two and a half years,yielding 500lbs of nutritious you have these nifty meat making machines and you want to make it with petroleum?

  • Lorenz Gude

    Well, I still kind of feel like those skeptical South Park cows when they were being officially reassured by Officer Barbrady that there was nothing to fear from the cow eating aliens. In Lingua Bovina I would render it as “Mooooeu??!”

  • javapoppa

    Repeat after me: Carbon emissions just don’t matter; Carbon emissions just don’t matter; Carbon emissions just don’t matter;…

  • Corlyss

    “Not only will fake meat cut down on the animal killing that so upsets PETA, it will also cut down on the carbon emissions associated with large-scale animal farming.”

    My incredulity equals Gavin’s.

    Is the good professor having us on? Don’t look now, but the 3rd-5th worlds are taking up meat eating in a big way. Maybe vacuous Whole Foods Market patrons will pay extra for fake meat, but I seriously doubt its price competitiveness for the rest of us schlubs.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Real men won’t eat fake meat.

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