July 27th, 2019 | Updated on December 10th, 2019
For many veggie, burgers is something that never figures on their palate. However, you would be surprised that in many states like Arkansas regulations on how fake meat would be sold is going to change a lot of things.
States are going to launch the “truth in labelling” and this would mean banning meat-related terms to describe a product which is devoid of the same.
As per the bill, those plant-based meats e.g. made from soy, tempeh, wheat etc. cannot be labelled as meat and sold.
All those companies which are found to be flouting rule would be fined $1000.
In 2018, Missouri became the first state to legalise “meat marketing” and most states have followed suit.
Let Us Understand What The Fake Meat Is?
Meat grown in labs can be called by various names; cultured meat, in vitro meat, synthetic meat etc. These are made by growing muscle cells in a nutrient serum.
With the growth in cellular agriculture, it is easy for scientists to grow artificial meat using characteristics of different animals. In this method, you can taste the meat of animals which are otherwise difficult to procure.
Manufacturing Meat In Lab
It is fairly simple to grow meat without animals. You start with a few satellite cells and feed it with nutrient-rich serum after which the cells convert into muscle cells and double quickly.
Once the cells have multiplied they form strips. The fibres are then attached to a sponge-like structure which gives nutrition to these fibres and stretches them.
The tissue thus created can be seasoned, cooked and eaten as boneless and processed meat.
To be able to grow cells in this manner needs a huge ‘bioreactor’, a vat which creates the right conditions to grow lab meat. So far, the largest bioreactor has a volume of 25000 litres that can produce enough meat to feed nearly 10000 people at a time.
Another method that can be used is to ask shops and restaurants to grow their own meat on a smaller scale.
September 2016 saw a company named Super Meat launching crowdfunding campaign to generate funds. They have already developed devices which could help in nurturing such kind of meats.
Who Makes Fake Meat?
Video Source: CNBC
- Beyond Meat : This Los Angeles based company has been creating meat from the plants itself. The new product they launched is Beyond Burger which can be found in most grocery stores.
- Impossible Foods : It has launched the Impossible Burger which can be found in nearly 1000 restaurants across the USA. Mostly they recreated everything naturally to bring this unique offering for customers.
- Memphis Meats : It has started producing cultured meat from muscle cells of animals. Knowing that meat demand is rising rapidly they want to make procuring meat a cheap affair.
- Mosa Meat : Launched by Mark Post, a professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, it focuses on creating meat which is absolutely similar to real meat.
- Future Meat Technologies : Company’s founder Yaakov Nahmias vouches that his startup would work on producing such meat in the most cost-efficient manner.
Why Is Everybody Talking About Meat Alternatives?
Everyone nowadays is working to make the most affordable cultured meat. Time has come to find better alternatives to traditional types of meat.
Farming of livestock has been consuming land and water. With the incomes rising, more people want meat and this means that land for crops is reducing.
What the advocates of Fake Meat Say
People in favour say that fake meat provides a boost to the environment and encourages good human health.
The production of such meat is largely sustainable. It reduces the destruction of habitat and greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, any issues with regards to cruelty against animals can now be easily addressed. Since production is on an industrial level, you can increase or decrease it as per demand and environmental factors.
Few Questions That Need To Be Answered
With the rise in the use of fake meat products, the questions about what meat is have started gaining prominence.
When people say they love meat, do they mean the nutrients they are getting? Or taste and texture? Or is it the memories that are created e.g. Christmas Turkey, Easter Lamb etc.
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Should we think that these so-called vegan meats are healthier or there is a catch to that too? Burgers free from meat have more salt intake than normal burgers.
When you eat such products, you should see what kind of nutrients would not be available to you.
Mostly the larger than life question is why such vegan meats are not better and healthier. These have been processed to a large extent so that is something that is really not in favour.
Also, why do we want to consume meat? Considering it is produced cruelly and after processing, why are we still looking forward to relishing it?