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By 2040, this will be the source of most ‘meat’

The year 2040 might seem far away, but 20 years can go by in the blink of an eye. In an effort to become more sustainable, many food companies are making big changes. You may have noticed more “plant-based” food items on menus across the country, like the Impossible Burger. According to a recent report, menus in the future will be full of plant-based products that look and taste like meat.

meat

Based on expert reviews, the report by the global consultancy AT Kearney points out the serious environmental impacts of conventional meat production, along with the concerning treatment of animals in industrial farming. The report reads, “The large-scale livestock industry is viewed by many as an unnecessary evil. With the advantages of novel vegan meat replacements and cultured meat over conventionally produced meat, it is only a matter of time before they capture a substantial market share.”

Experts predict that 60% of the “meat” people eat in 2040 will not come from slaughtered animals, but will either be grown in a lab or replaced by plant-based products.

Scientific studies have laid out the environmental impacts of the meat industry, including the pollution of rivers and oceans, emissions driving climate change and natural habitats being destroyed and turned into farmland. Experts believe a shift toward flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles is already underway and will continue to grow.

While the detrimental effects of the meat industry are clear, creating fake meat and eliminating livestock completely is most likely not a solution. Questions about the safety of lab-grown meat remain unanswered. As far as meat substitutes being more environmentally friendly, they often require water, chemicals and fossil fuel inputs, and in that respect, differ little from conventional agriculture.

Studies show that ultra-processed foods raise your risk of cancer. If processed meat is a well-established contributor to cancer and ill health, what assurances are there that lab-created GE yeast-derived meat substitutes — like the Impossible Burger — are any safer?

The truth is, creating patented lab-grown meat products is not about feeding the world or eliminating animal suffering. It's about dominating billionaires looking to put patents on the food system. While lab-created meat substitutes may be the lesser of two evils when compared to CAFO meat that currently dominates the market, taking nature out of the equation altogether is not the answer, especially since holistic herd management plays an integral role in making regenerative agriculture truly regenerative. The bottom line? Go grass-fed, not lab-fed.