Nestlè invests in synthetic meat
“To understand the potential of futures alternative alla carne”, The company“ is evaluating innovative technologies for produce cultured meat o meat ingredients grown with various external partners and start-ups. These new technologies can lead to more environmentally friendly products ”.
An announcement that has weight since it comes from Nestle, one of the heavyweights fromglobal food industry, with a 2021 turnover of 84,3 billion Swiss francs (over 77 billion euros), over 2 thousand brands and 270 thousand employees worldwide. A group that brings an infinite number of products into our homes, from breakfast cereals to mineral water, from chocolate to frozen foods. And in the future, it seems, even lab-grown meat.
Technicians from the Lausanne research and development center are working side by side with Future Meat Technologies, an Israeli startup that opened its first at the end of June synthetic meat factory in the world. The production capacity is around five quintals of meat per day, the equivalent of 5 thousand hamburgers.
The declared intent of the CEO, Rom Kshuk, is that of arrive on supermarket shelves by 2022. Not only with the classic beef, but also with ham, chicken and lamb. Undoubtedly, the interest of a giant of the caliber of Nestlè could give a great impetus to the development of the sector.
What is the difference between synthetic meat and fake meat
La synthetic meat it has nothing to do with the so-called plant-based fake meat.
In the first case, in fact, the starting point are animal cells that are grown in the laboratory. A perspective that is very popular with Bill Gates, investor in various startups of the sector and convinced of the fact that the inhabitants of advanced countries must convert to 100% synthetic beef. And do it as soon as possible, also to compensate for the inevitable delay on the part of the poorest countries, given that production costs are very high for now.
Some appear less convinced vegans who still interpret it as a form of animal exploitation, albeit in an infinitely more contained form than traditional breeding.
La fake meat, in reverse, remembers the flesh in all respects but it is industrially produced with flours and other exclusively vegetable raw materials. It is the workhorse of startups like Beyond Meat (made from yellow peas, coconut oil, beet juice, potato starch and yeast extract) and Impossible Burger (made from wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and heme). For some years now, Nestlè has had the Sensational Burger based on soy protein in its assortment.
Sustainable alternatives to meat are needed
Whether you choose the first or second path, the key message is always the same: the meat industry must change. According to data reported by IDTechEx, on the planet there are 51 billion square kilometers of agricultural land and 77% is occupied by animal husbandry and the crops needed to feed them.
All this just to provide 17% of humanity's calorie consumption and 33% of protein intake. In short, meat is a highly inefficient source of nutrition. Which is a very big limitation, with a global population set to break through the 10 billion people ceiling by 2050.
Moreover, breeding is “one of the main factors that contribute to the most serious environmental problems, on a local and global scale". Word of the UN. Problems such as greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, deforestation, soil degradation, water consumption, pollution of waterways, the collapse of biodiversity.