A Swiss investment firm UBS estimates that the 4.6 billion dollars plant-based protein and meat market in 2018 will reach 85 billion dollars by 2030 . The same source adds that the plant-based milk market could reach 37.5 billion dollars for the 2025’s, while the improving health and welfare of society is the main driver of these increases (one billion consumers in the next decade will move to the middle class!).
On the other hand, in a report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), it discussed the expectation of the increase in agricultural production towards the 2050’s. The report mentioned the need to increase the amount of food we currently consume by 70 percent, while the increase is estimated to be around 80 percent for meat and 52 percent for grain. This means that today, 260 million tons of world meat production will have to be increased to 455 million tons in the 2050’s.
In the UBS report, while focusing on environment and animal health, more and more consumers prefer plant-based protein sources. Indeed, while the negative contribution of agriculture to the environment is expressed, animal husbandry comes to the fore. For example, 322 litres of water for one kilo of vegetables, 962 litres of water for one kilo of fruit, 4325 litres for one kilo of chicken meat, 8763 litres for one kilo of mutton and 8763 litres of water for one kilo of beef. In addition, one third of the grain produced in the world is for eating, that is, for animal feeding. In addition to water consumption, animal husbandry cannot be said to be innocent. It is not new information that substances such as pathogen, metal, drug – hormone residues mix into water. Another fact is that 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the USA are used in animal husbandry.
80 percent of the world’s agricultural land, meadow-pasture and vegetative production areas for eating are devoted to animal husbandry. According to various estimates, 6-32 percent of the greenhouse gas incidents are responsible for animal husbandry.
By 2013, scientists began to show that meat could now be obtained in laboratories. Not only that, the event was commercialized (University of Maastricht, Netherlands, Prof. Mark Post, (Mosa Meat)). In the US, companies established in this direction are supported commercially by food giants such as Memphis Meats, Cargill, Tyson Food, as well as well-known investors such as Bill Gates and Richard Bronson. It is a fact that EU companies like Nestle and Unilever will not miss this opportunity. The German PHW group has already started the acquisition of the new entrepreneur Israeli “Supermeat”. This business seems to tend to move beyond chicken and beef. FinlessFoods utilizes cell culture to artificially produce red tuna meat on land, which has reached its extinction point.
In fact, meat is mainly composed of muscle, fat and connective tissue cells. From the stem cell, meat formation begins when appropriate nutrients are provided for their development. This system, which is also monitored in the animal body, can be performed not only in the laboratory but also in larger environments. Thus, our meat will be healthier and safer without antibiotics, medicines. These artificial products seem to be able to find a place because of the above mentioned environmental disadvantages, their cheapness, their benefits to human health and their potential to protect the welfare of animals. Although the soybean is mainly provided by the plant nutrient medium, the yellow pea was found to be most suitable.
It may take time to fully launch. Although Memphis Meats calls “We are on the market in 2021”, it is a fact that many scientific problems are waiting for a solution.
Meanwhile, another US firm, Justforall, announced that it would be chicken-free chicken meat on the shelves by the end of 2018 .
The vegetarian menu offered by Impossible Burger is also interesting in nearly 1500 restaurants in the USA. As meat substitutes here, vegetable protein (soy) tissues provide flavour equivalent to meat, while color provides with leghemoglobin from soy roots. However, said plant hemoglobin is low in soy and will now be derived from a yeast species (Pichia pastoris) . Although these yeasts are genetically modified organisms, they are not subject to biotechnology regulations either in the United States or in the EU.
A chick could only be marketed in 112 days in the 1900’s, but this time was reduced to 45 days. I wonder what bioeconomics will offer us. Or will he? It seems that the economic dimension of the event is so important that the US Cattlemen’s Association has taken action to ban plant-based clean meat .
Nazimi Acıkgoz
Note: This blog has been translated from a Turkish paper

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