Would you eat faux beef made from microbe to conserve forest and kill CO2?

Gradually replacing 20% ​​of the world’s beef and lamb with protein-rich meats grown in stainless steel could reduce CO2-related emissions by cutting and cutting down trees by half by 2050, researchers say on Wednesday.

Compared to current forecasts for population growth and hunger, changing half of red meat intake for microbial protein will see a reduction in plant loss and CO2 emissions by more than 80%, they reported journal Nature.

“With small changes in the consumption of carnivorous meat, greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation can be greatly reduced,” said Florian Humpenoder, scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK ), told AFP.

“This is an important contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, as well as other benefits for other support purposes.”

A three-part UN climate science report since August has made it clear that the cornerstone of the Paris agreement – keeping global warming “below two degrees” – is at serious risk.

Global food production accounts for about a third of carbon emissions, and meat production is a major cause of the agricultural sector, according to the UN Climate Science Advisory Committee.

The livestock industry is a double threat.

Not only does it deplete the CO2-rich forest to provide space for grazing and fodder. In addition, belching livestock is a major source of methane, which is 30 times more greenhouse gas than CO2 in a single century.

Meat products from microbe have been on the store shelf for decades.

But as the world yearns for climate solutions, these and other “fresh foods” are poised to become big companies in decades, according to market forecasts.

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Benefits of FAUX meat

Faux fur obtained by producing microbial or fungal-based cells receives a fermentation process, similar to that of wine or beer.

Eating cells eat glucose – from sugarcane or beets, for example – to produce protein, which means it is needed for certain crops.

But it is less common for red meat, according to studies.

Considering that current farming practices and meat-eating systems will continue over the next 30 years, global grazing will increase by almost one million square feet. km (390 000 square miles).

However, if 20% of the tissue is replaced by a microbe-based protein, the grazing area decreases even below the current level.

“Approximately 1.2 million sq km of small farmland is required for a single protein,” said author Alexander Popp, from PIK.

The benefits of protein from microbes or fungi extend beyond climate and environmental influences, according to Hanna Tuomisto, a researcher at the University of Helsinki who did not participate in the study.

“Mycoprotein is a good substitute for meat because it is rich in protein and contains all the essential amino acids.”

He said in a statement, as well as in Nature.

Water use will also be reduced, as well as the production of another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.

“The operation of other biotech-assisted systems provides great potential for sustainable nutrition,” he said.

Tilly Collins, vice president of Imperial College London’s Center for Environmental Policy.

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Taste FAUX meat?

“Governments and the food industry should be organized to develop appropriate values ​​and thus have public confidence in the future,” he told the London-based Science Media Center. “Our parts may no longer be the same.”

However, the uncertainty is whether perfect meat lovers will leave their burgers and steaks for something else that shares a more natural look than sweetness.

Only one of the six authors of the study had recorded a microbe-based tissue supplement, according to Humpenoder.

“He liked it,” he said.

© Agency France-Presse

Would you eat faux beef made from microbe to conserve forest and kill CO2?

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