Yeniçağ Özel / Serkan Talan
While lands suitable for agriculture and animal husbandry are rapidly becoming residential or mining areas, the concept of ‘artificial meat’ has been added to the discussions on how to produce enough food for the rapidly increasing human population. While scientists are doing research on the production of artificial beef and chicken meat, they are also discussing what effects artificial foods will have on human health.
While humanity has been eating the meat of other animals for about 2.5 million years, approximately 26 percent of the world’s ice-free land has been devoted to animal husbandry. However, livestock farming, which meets a significant portion of food needs, is responsible for approximately 18 percent of global greenhouse gas production. This situation causes a mutual paradox.
The first food with artificial meat was made in 2013. Hamburgers were served with artificial meat developed by Dutch scientists.
HOW IS ARTIFICIAL MEAT PRODUCED?
While discussions about artificial meat continue, how production takes place has become a matter of curiosity. Artificial meat is produced in the laboratory environment as follows:
A stem cell sample taken from animal muscle through a small biopsy, usually under local anesthesia, is placed in a culture to grow. Stem cells are exposed to amino acids and carbohydrates that trigger their ability to change. The modified stem cells are allowed to multiply until they become meat products to be used in food.
While this method has so far been generally used for the production of chicken, beef and pork, some companies have also artificially produced the meat of more exotic animals such as kangaroos and crocodiles.
WHICH COUNTRY FIRST ALLOWED THE SALE OF ARTIFICIAL MEAT?
Although artificial meat production continues, it can currently be sold in very few places. Singapore became the first country to allow the sale of artificial meat in 2020. On the other hand, in 2023, the green light was given for some US companies to make sales within the country.
WHO FIRST POSTED THE IDEA OF ARTIFICIAL MEAT? YOU WILL BE SURPRISED WHEN YOU HEAR
Although discussions about artificial food have arisen in the last 10 years, the first idea came from a very surprising name. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, one of the figures who left his mark on world politics at one time, first put forward the idea of ’artificial food’ in an article he wrote in 1931.
In his article ‘Fifty Years After’, Churchill argued that with the development of science, we would only need the parts of animals necessary for food. Churchill used the following statements in his article:
“When we have more information about hormones, which are chemical messengers in our blood, it will be possible to control growth. We will avoid the nonsense of growing a whole chicken to eat its breast or wing by growing these parts separately in a suitable environment. “