NEW YORK (VINnews) — Could we be eating fake meat in the near future? This is what the Swiss-based World Economic Forum would have us believe. The organization has been touting fake meat produced from a 3D printer as a “taste of the future.”
Israeli scientists created a plant-based food which contains fake muscle, blood and fat to replicate meat and an Israeli company is now producing fake steaks at a rate of 6 kg per hour. The ultimate goal is to enable cheaper, more environment-friendly substitutes to bovine meat, which will enable economically deprived populations to partake of meat substitutes which will emulate the taste and texture of real meat.
The Israeli company, Redefine Meat, uses industrial-scale 3D-printing to produce a plant-based ‘alt-steak’ that it says has a structure and texture similar to that of the real thing.
Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, the company’s chief executive and co-founder, told Reuters that: “We can do the entire cow, not only one part of the cow.”
In 2019, his firm raised $6 million in funding – an indication of how seriously the non-meat meat market is being taken. According to a report in Vox, demand for meat alternatives in the US leapt by 264% while the coronavirus pandemic was raging. Redefine Meat says it expects the category to be worth $140 billion annually by 2030.
The demand for meat substitutes is based on a number of factors:
- Every year, billions of animals are raised and slaughtered for food.
- This uses huge amounts of water and energy. A single kilogram of beef requires 15,000 liters of water to produce, a huge strain on global water supplies
- Some experts believe alternatives could be better for people and the environment.
- Eating too much meat – red meat in particular – has been associated with a range of health problems for decades including heart disease and some forms of cancer. It has been linked with obesity too. In the US, over 70% of people are overweight or obese.
The World Economic Forum is an organization whose stated goal is “improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”
At a recent virtual event hosted by the forum dubbed Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good, the WEF highlighted 5 main reasons that people should add weeds to their diets:
1. They’re easy to grow
2. They can be rich in nutrients
3. We need to diversify our diets
4. They know more about the soil than we do
5. They taste great
It remains to be seen whether people will relinquish their favorite meat steaks for plant-based substitutes. One thing is clear, though- after such a steak, orthodox Jews can definitely enjoy milk coffee without requiring a lengthy wait.