The demand for meat is outgrowing our ability to supply meat and has a negative impact upon the environment. At present, 30% of the Earth’s surface is used for livestock production, and an alarming 44% of the world’s grain harvest is diverted to industrialized meat production. Not only that, but the livestock farming industry is responsible for emitting 14.5% of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere.
With the demand for meat set to rise and not fall, scientists have begun turning their attention to alternative sources of protein. In 2015, a team of Dutch researchers at Maastricht University grew the world’s first burger in a laboratory which – despite costing more than €250,000 to produce – could be cheaper than conventionally farmed beef in the long run. Other scientists have chosen to focus on insect meat as a sustainable protein alternative, with at least 2 billion people worldwide already enjoying insects as part of their diets. Other alternatives include plant-based substitutes to chicken and ground beef and egg whites without the need for hens.
To find out more about the two main contenders – lab grown meat and insect-rich diets – check out our full infographic below.
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