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Lab-grown meat may not be as good for the environment as previously thought

CBS Sacramento 5/23/2023 Norafiqin Hairoman

You might think eating lab-grown meat would be better for the environment, but a new UC Davis study found that's not the case. 

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According to researchers, the environmental impact of cultivated meat is likely to be much higher than retail beef based on current and near-term production methods. 

The current method used is similar to the biotechnology used to make pharmaceuticals, which leads to the question: Is it a pharmaceutical or food product?

Lead author and doctoral graduate Derrick Risner from UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology said, "If companies are having to purify growth media to pharmaceutical levels, it uses more resources, which then increases global warming potential. If this product continues to be produced using the 'pharm' approach, it's going to be worse for the environment and more expensive than conventional beef production."

The study also found that the potential for global warming is up to 25 times greater than the average for retail beef. 

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