Making a Steak Without the Cow
A lot of people like meat. But the world’s appetite for animals comes with significant costs, both moral and environmental. From animal welfare to greenhouse gases, our history of large-scale, industrial animal farming just isn't sustainable.
That’s why researchers are working on new meat alternatives. No, not Tofurky. Insects. Deep-fried and eaten whole or ground up into a versatile powder, this protein source eaten in other parts of the world for millennia may find its way onto American menus in the next decade.
Even the next meat may not come from an animal at all. Impossible Foods, a California company, has been developing a hamburger patty that is closer to beef than any other simulation, yet has never come near a cow. They’ve even figured out a way to synthesize blood so as to give burgers their characteristic juiciness.
If one way to think about cattle and poultry is that they’re really just natural machines that turn plants (feed) into drumsticks and steaks, we may be approaching an era when we can take the animal out of the equation and make that transformation ourselves.