Some of you may know that I’m currently enrolled to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainability Studies. I’m not totally sure what I want to use that for yet, but something inside of me feels like it’s a path I need to follow so I’m seeing where it takes me and waiting for my “aha” moment. In the meantime, you’ve probably definitely noticed that the amount I’ve been writing has significantly slowed down. Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve actually been writing more than I used to, it just hasn’t been anything I’ve been publishing. But as I was working on a recent paper it dawned on me that there probably isn’t a reason I couldn’t share my original writings when it comes to homework.
So while I’d love to have more hair-related writings for you, sustainability and ethics are also topics I’ve become incredibly interested in and enjoy learning more about and want to share that with you as well. And, since it’s my website and my business, who’s going to stop me?
I hope you enjoy learning with me.
How we could eat real meat without harming animals – Isha Datar
Isha Datar presents information on cellular agriculture; a stunning innovation that would allow us to grow, from cells taken in biopsies of live animals, the same meat we have spent millennia slowly devoting increased space on Earth to farming. Cellular agriculture opens opportunities not only for a more sustainable approach to agriculture, but also for a new wave of culinary creativity when it comes to farming these cells. This innovative process would also allow us to expand agriculture vertically rather than horizontally. The costs associated with this process are already 1/27,000th what they were when research was first started, and as more ways are discovered to continue reducing the cost per pound of meat created, the possible positive impacts become almost limitless.
I first heard this idea when watching Amanda Little discuss more generalized agricultural issues and viable solutions, and the idea intrigued me. Actually watching Isha’s video captivated me with the amount of potential this could bring to the world and progress that could be made on so many levels. My initial concern has a few points: given how many people feel about crops that have been genetically modified they would likely be resistant to trying foods made from cellular agriculture, and people being worried about taking jobs away from farmers who are already struggling as traditional agriculture is starting to crest over its useful peak.
While I understand the initial concerns about cellular agriculture, I still see a lot of potential benefits. The process requires a similar amount of labor, but significantly more education. One of the big hurdles to making it cost effective is continuing research into reusing growing mediums and reducing cost and consequences associated with the process. Another hurdle is being able to mass produce product, and one of the best ways to do that would be to invest in helping meat farmers transition their current farms to host cellular agriculture and invest in their education in running their facilities.
Cellular agriculture would be able to positively impact all three pillars of sustainability as well. From an environmental standpoint, reducing the amount of land needed to maintain and farm animals would allow us to start rebuilding large areas of forest that have been cleared to make land for grazing. Currently the amount of land dedicated to farming is the equivalent to the entirety of North and South America. That’s a lot of land. Not only would reclaiming some of that land allow us to start effectively combatting deforestation, but we could also return lands to the Indigenous peoples from whom land was stolen to make room for animals to graze and be raised. Cellular agriculture is also able to be built vertically, and is significantly less susceptible to the issues that crops and animals on land may face like floods, droughts, and other natural disasters.
Society would be positively impacted by the creation of new jobs that are aimed at adapting to recent technologies and agricultural advancements. With less physical strength requirements needed to farm cellular products, more people would be able to explore farming as a career option. With a more diverse group of people farming using cellular agriculture, there is a higher possibility of using the same principles to make new scientific discoveries.
The economy benefits from cellular agriculture when there is less volatility in the price of feed for animals and subsequently for the animals themselves because financial stability on the supply end helps to regulate market prices for consumers. Consumers who can plan more easily for their groceries are happier, and more likely to spend their money when they’re happy and not focused on how they are going to feed their families. Another bonus is potential culinary creativity and advancements, creating new restaurants and dishes that encourage people to eat out and stimulate the economy that way.
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