Lab-Grown Meat Could Be Worse For Environment Than Beef?

Mar 10, 2020

An article originally published by The Download shared the results of a new study about the climate impacts of cultured meat and beef cattle. Our takeaway was that we can never be too sure of any ‘solutions’ or ‘silver bullets.’ There are always hidden caveats.

Ironically, the study is also not without its caveats. While eye-catching, the points made by the researchers are largely assumptions. Lab-grown meat isn’t even on sale to the public yet. The future availability of lab-grown meat and the future rate of meat consumption had to be assumed for the purposes of this study. Beyond climate impact, lab-grown meat still has a ways to go in bringing the price down.

Regardless, the report brings up some interesting points. The researchers explore how animal-free meat might be worse from the environment. They say previous studies have clumped together all emissions from cattle, rather than analyzing individual gases. ”

Methane, for example, has a greater impact on warming in the short term, but it remains in the atmosphere for only around a decade, whereas carbon dioxide persists and accumulates for centuries, coauthor professor Raymond Pierrehumbert told the BBC. Emissions from the lab will be almost entirely made up of carbon dioxide.”

How’s that for your daily paradox?