In simple terms, cultured meat is animal meat which is produced by cultivating animal cells in a laboratory. The methods used to cultivate the meat are fascinating, finding their origin in regenerative medicine. Producing meat in this way has many benefits – environmental and ethical - over the established methods of farming animals for food. For example, if the issue of scalability is overcome, a reliance on cultured meat as opposed to meat obtained through intensive farming methods could significantly mitigate one of the main causes of climate change.
There is growing consumer awareness of, and interest in, alternative proteins. Meat has been the main source of protein in developed markets for years. However, an increased appetite for traditional protein has developed in recent years. Changing consumer behaviour—due in part to health and environmental concerns as well as animal welfare—have created a platform for rapid growth in the alternative-proteins market.
GM Crops and Genomics Regulation
Historically, GM crops have not been well regarded in the UK. However, in many different jurisdictions, GM foods are a recognised and essential component in plans for global food sustainability as well as part of a powerful response to issues such as climate change and biodiversity. There now appears to be a dawning and realistic acceptance by the UK government as to what the future of a sustainable food industry will comprise. With rising food prices and ever-increasing energy costs, it is now time for the UK to wholeheartedly embrace this technology.
Agri-Tech is the use of technology for farming that is developed to improve efficiency and profitability. While most commonly used in horticulture and agriculture, agri-tech is also found in forestry, aquaculture and viticulture. The vertical farm is the pinnacle of climate control and efficient utilisation of space. It allows farming entirely without pesticides and using 95 per cent less water.
Ancient civilizations used microbial cultures to preserve foods, create alcoholic beverages, and improve the nutritional value. In the last few decades, the role of fermentation has expanded far beyond its historical usage to a much broader range of applications. Precision fermentation uses microbial hosts as “cell factories” for producing specific functional ingredients, such as dairy products.
The term nutraceutical describes products made from natural sources that have health benefits beyond the basic nutritional value found in food. Nutraceuticals are used to promote general well-being and prevent illnesses. Attitudes and legislation around nutraceuticals tend to vary from country to country.