Meat is one of the richest sources of proteins and billions of people are consuming it in a healthy or noxious way. Millions of chicken and cattle are slaughtered to produce huge pounds of meat to feed the 7 billion people in the world. With the rise in population, the demand for meat has grown rapidly and it has become a task for the industry to feed the whole population. Thus, some ingenious people came up with an exotic idea to consume meat, in a sustainable way. 

1. Meat from feathers. 

The poultry industry is feeding 90% of chicken in the form of sausages, nuggets, etc. However, the remaining 10% is in the form of fecal waste or feathers. Feathers being high in protein content, are burned or discarded as such. 

                 Sorawut Kittibanthorn, a Thai researcher came up with the idea to recycle the feathers and transform them into edible form after he encountered the disposal of million tons of feathers. He cleaned the feathers and placed them in a water bath, with keratinase and acid to break Keratin's chemical binds, followed by heating and stirring the mixture for 12 to 24 hours, filtering it, and cooling the mixture. Later, he made bulk to flavorless protein out of this procedure, seasonings were added before dispatching. 

        It took a year for Sorawut, to develop this procedure which gave the product, a similar texture, and taste to chicken meat. His product was rejected by various specialists before tasting, even people were skeptical about the consumption of feathers, as they are non-digestible, but later on, it became a sustainable way to minimize waste. 

Why consume this meat?

  •  The meat obtained from feathers are highly proteinaceous with no carbs and fats. 
  • People can consume to adapt to a healthy lifestyle, without compromising its texture or taste. 
  • It is a sustainable way of waste management and also helpful in meeting the demand for meat of the rising population in the future. 

2. The guilt-free meat 

As mentioned earlier, millions of chickens and cattle are slaughtered to meet the demand of the rising population. Thus, many companies across the globe are researching obtaining meat from a single cell without harming the species of Animalia and occupying many landfills.  Singapore is the first country to grant the world's first approval to lab-grown meat and U.S-based start-up "Eat Just" has successfully grown meat from a single cell, without butchering a single animal and met the safety standards for use of lab-grown meat in chicken nuggets. 

  Why lab-grown meat are developed? 

Scientists are concerned about the impact of the increase in meat production on the planet. Beef production is considered the worst felon with cattle as emitting methane and nitrous oxide from their manure, but also digestive tracks are contributing towards greenhouse gas emission that is escalating the temperature. 

            Lab-grown meat is an eco-friendly approach as it limits the use of landmass, produces up to 96% fewer greenhouse gases. It can be feasible to meet the demand of meat consumption without sacrificing life, thus the need for livestock can be eliminated. Lab-grown meat can be consumed without compromising its taste and texture. It also can be a sustainable approach by feeding the global population, as it requires only one cell from an animal to produce pounds of lab-grown minced meat. 

    However, researchers are perturbed if the production of lab-grown meat can cause climate change. 

    Blog By - Ashima Verma 


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