Advancements in science are inevitable. They not only help keep us healthier, but they also help us live easier lives. While we’re all familiar  with (and probably consume) genetically modified food, scientists are working on creating alternatives to livestock, which they hope will help solve the world’s growing demand for meat.

While some researchers are attempting to use stem cells from animal parts to try to grow meat, others, like Patrick Brown, are taking a different route: creating vegetable-based products that taste just like the real thing.

The Huffington Post reports:

“We have a class of products that totally rocks, and cannot be distinguished from the animal-based product it replaces, even by hardcore foodies,” Brown said.

Brown began his work several years ago when he decided to focus the rest of his life upon solving the challenge of weaning the world off of animal farming. He described such animal farming as an “inefficient technology millennia old” that also represents “by far the biggest environmental catastrophe” during a press conference held at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver on Feb. 19.

Less animal farming could reduce the risks of livestock diseases that spread to humans, slash the need for grazing land, and perhaps even help the world avoid food shortages by consuming crops directly rather than feeding them to animals.

“We can do more good by taking on the simple task of figuring out how to convert cheap, abundant sustainable plant materials into nutrient-dense, protein-rich foods that people deliberately choose to eat based on taste and value,” Brown said, “[Rather] than by coming up with imagining sustainable, renewable energy sources or a car that can run for a thousand miles per gallon.”

While creating plant-based alternatives to meat might be able to solve ecological issues, convincing people to give up meat products and switch to plant-based alternatives will be difficult.

What do you think? Would you eat a “test-tube” burger? 


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