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Artificial Food - Will It Be Enough?

Updated on June 21, 2020
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I am interested in making delicious, unusual meals and desserts, particularly for special occasions. Quick and easy meals are also great.

World Hunger

Scientific achievements have grown at an amazing rate. Remember test tube babies? On July 25, 1978, the first test tube-baby was born in Oldham, England. Fertilization only requires an egg and some sperm cells in a laboratory setting to produce a baby. Now there have been eight million of these babies born in the world.

Now the world population is at seven.four billion and by 2050, there will be nine billion. Therefore, one of the questions that puzzle scientists is how are we going to feed that number of people. It is estimated that eight hundred and five million people suffer from chronic hunger. The rainforests, plants and animals are all disappearing.

Artificial and Synthetic Food

Artificial and synthetic foods are made to imitate natural food in their odor, taste and most importantly their appearance. These foods are derived from chemically food substances. Basically organic chemistry allows the synthesis of any food substance from their chemical elements. They are developing the process to make beef, pork, chicken and duck.

There are actually very few foods that have not been genetically modified (GMO). A few foods that are still in their natural state include: berries, game, wild fish and mushrooms.

The federal definition of artificial flavor or flavoring means any substance, “the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Artificial flavor includes the substances listed in Secs. 172.515(b) and 182.60 of this chapter except where these are derived from natural sources (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, vol. 2, 2001, pp. 73–78).”

The U.S. The Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration agreed to create a joint regulatory framework in 2018, however, they have not added any other guidance, which was expected in 2019.

The question comes down to this: can we feed the people of the world with artificial food? We can make synthetic tea, meat grown in a lab and artificial milk. It is possible to make a protein shake with vitamins and nutrients.

Companies Making New Foods

The world is going to have a food crisis and the meat demand will increase by another two-thirds, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Tissue cultures for the production of meat will reduce the environmental impact on the agriculture system, which will minimize the effect on the agricultural system and it will address the issue of animal welfare by providing food security. Mosa Meat, located in the Netherlands, is a company that produces Cultured Meat. Their first hamburger was served in London in 2013.

Other new companies working to make cultured meat include:

  • Memphis Meat, located in Berkeley, California, is also working with investors to build plants to grow commercial products.
  • Modern Agriculture Foundation (MAF) and SuperMeat, both located in Israel, and working to mass-produce cultured meat, such as chicken.
  • Finless Foods, located in Silicon Valley, is working to produce real fish meat using stem cells.
  • Just Inc., located in San Francisco, is developing synthetic chorizo, foie gras, artificial nugget, and it is also working to develop culture meat.
  • There is a Japanese company that also makes cultured foie gras.
  • Future Meat Technologies, located in Israel, uses GMO-free animal cells that grow indefinitely without animal-derived components.
  • Meatable is a new Dutch start-up company that received $10 million in funding to launch a pork prototype this summer.
  • New Age Meats, located in San Francisco, has developed a link sausage that has a smokey flavor for breakfast.
  • Eat Just, Inc., also in San Francisco, produces plant-based egg alternatives and a cell-based chicken nugget that cost $50 apiece to make.

There are approximately forty companies developing over a dozen types of meat. Due to the many advancements in bioengineering and regenerative medicine companies they are developing numerous types of meat.

This Breakthrough in Lab-Grown Meat Could Make it Look Like Real Flesh

Vegetarian Food

There are several vegetarian food substitutes that imitate nature, such as imitation bologna. The bologna may taste like bologna made from pork or beef, yet it contains no meat. Since these products only contain all-natural ingredients the term “artificial food” may not really apply. Artificial food typically includes products such as: nutrient, artificial flavoring or artificial coloring.

Artificial ingredients are sometimes used to provide a nutrient that would be found if the food was in its natural state. An example would be Tang®Drink Mix (first used on Apollo 8 in 1968) because vitamin C is added to provide 100% of the value of vitamin C in a serving of orange juice. Any consumer should read the labels on food products to see if artificial ingredients have been added.

Other Benefits of Artificial Food

In addition to the growing demand for food, another benefit is less land is required. Less fresh water is necessary and there are fewer greenhouse emissions. The good news is the nutritional value is the same.

According to New Age Meats, using this process to produce meat reduces greenhouse gases by 96%, uses 99% less land, 96% less water and uses 45% less energy.

Inside the World of Gourmet Lab Meat | Future of Food

In Conclusion

Due to world hunger and the growing population this is one good solution that will provide much more meat in a way that is better for our environment. All types of meat and even fish are being grown at these multiple companies. The cells double every twenty-four hours, therefore, only a minimal amount of land is necessary for their facilities. The cost of the products and government regulations are the biggest problems at this time.

Synthetic Foods

Have you tried any synthetic meat?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby


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