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Do you know which animal do we use for our cultivated meat?

Cells from any animal can be used to make cultivated meat, since the process is the same regardless of where the tissue comes from.

At BioTech Foods we work with beef. As we have already told you here, we extract a sample of the cow’s tissue, isolate the muscle cells and make them proliferate until we obtain the meat that, looked at under a microscope, is exactly the same as what we obtain directly from the cow, only that the animal is still alive, we have minimized the probability of contamination with bacteria or other pathogens and we have used far fewer resources to obtain it.

Offering a complementary alternative to the consumption of beef obtained in a traditional way offers an important environmental advantage and that is that much fewer cows would be needed to feed humanity, since with a single sample we can produce, for example, 80,000 hamburgers.

Methane emission

It must be taken into account that livestock is a large emitter of methane, a greenhouse gas that is generated inside the digestive system of ruminants when the food they consume is fermented and that has negative consequences for the environment as it is expelled by the cow to the outside mainly through belching. Although methane is found to a lesser extent than CO2, the truth is that it is a very powerful gas, directly involved in the greenhouse effect and climate change.

The problem of course is not the cows, which have inhabited our planet for thousands of years without causing any harm; the problem is the number of cows. Today, more than 1.3 billion bovine specimens inhabit the planet. Each cow expels 200 grams of methane per day, which means that per year it represents about 100 million tons of methane. To this natural process of the cow, we must add the rest of the human and industrial activities involved in the livestock sector, which means that the total contribution of cattle farming to global warming is 10%.

Resources utilization

On the other hand, worldwide, livestock farming occupies 30% of the ice-free land. Likewise, the excessive consumption of fodder causes a degradation of the vegetation and a greater erosion of the soil. Water is another of the resources that this sector uses abundantly, both for the consumption of the animal, which it does mainly through fodder, and for the operation of the livestock facilities themselves. It is estimated that to obtain one kg of meat, about 15,000 liters of water will have been consumed.

In contrast, cultivated meat can be produced using 99% less land and 96% less water.

The global demand and production of products from livestock is increasing rapidly, due to both the increase in population and our lifestyle, where a high consumption of meat prevails. Certainly, the livestock sector is key and essential for food security and economic growth and development; however, this growth must be approached in a sustainable way, taking into account the finiteness of resources and the health of both humans and the planet. For this reason, the adoption of environmentally responsible measures by the sector and the integration of new ways of obtaining protein that complement this industry will be key to guaranteeing a much better food system for all.