3 months ago

Alt-Protein: Eating away climate change?

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An EUobserver magazine exploring the transition to a more climate-friendly diet.

ALT-PROTEIN the carbon

ALT-PROTEIN the carbon footprint associated with shipping meat across the globe.” As a small island-state, Singapore can pivot faster than most countries. But as it imports 90 percent of its food, food security has long been on its radar. The pandemic couldn’t have helped but give it a sharper focus and the country has set itself the goal of producing 30 percent of its food by 2030, which means that is has become a hub for food tech. For cultivated meat to be successful, the Singaporean public needs to be on board. A YouGov survey in 2018 found that while 51 percent of Singaporeans said they probably wouldn’t eat artificial meat, a third of millennials said they would happily consume it. Yet, two months after Good Meat started selling cultivated chicken in Singapore, Singaporean cell-based shellfish company Shiok Meats surveyed the public in March 2021, and found that 78 percent of Singaporeans said they were open to eating cell-based seafood. To remove the ‘yuk’ factor associated with cell-based food, Eat Just founder Josh Tetrick said that the best is to get people to try it. Tetrick is choosing to make a small loss on each dish that he sells, just so he can get it into the hands of consumers. Tetrick disrupted the food industry with a plant-based egg, but he said that with so many meat-eaters, you need cultured meat as well to really move the needle. “Plant-based meats have done a really solid job of getting tens of millions of consumers to move from conventional to something that is a lot better. But we really think that is a ceiling to plant-based meat. I really wish I didn’t believe that, but I do,” said Tetrick. While cell-based meat is impressive, UKbased dietitian Meaghan Greenwood said that cell-based meat may not contain everything that we need for human health. “It may be missing some of the essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins [that are] important for human By 2050, 70 percent more food will be needed to fulfil the demand of the growing population.” Benjamin Horton health,” said Greenwood. “As the technology for producing cell-based meat continues to develop, it is likely that any nutritional differences between cellbased and conventional meat will be minimised.” Andre Huber, executive director of Singapore’s Huber’s Butchery has followed Good Meat’s journey from the start. It wasn’t until the second-generation Swiss butcher tasted the third version of the cultivated chicken, he agreed to sell it in his restaurant. “The texture [of the nugget] was too mushy. It wasn’t as fibrous as chicken. But the latest version is almost 90 percent like real chicken,” said Huber. Huber hopes that cultivated chicken will work alongside conventional meat and people in the future can use both in their diet. “We are selling it once a week [in the bistro] and going to ramp it up to twice a week,” said Huber. “Hopefully, when the new factory is ready and churning out the orders, we might sell it over the butcher counter as well.” While Eat Just’s plans are big, the supply is holding them back. Huber’s bistro only has enough stock to serve a handful of diners. When the Singapore facility opens, it is expected to produce tens of thousands of pounds a year of meat, but this still won’t be enough to service a population of 5.9 million people that has chicken rice as one of its national dishes. Though something needs to be done for a global population that is expected to rise from eight billion to 9.5 billion by 2050, said professor Benjamin Horton of the Earth Observatory of Singapore. “By 2050, 70 percent more food will be needed to fulfil the demand of the growing population [and] as a consequence, more efficient ways of protein production must be developed to sustain the growing global population,” said Horton. “Cultured meat is a sustainable alternative for consumers who want to be more responsible, but do not wish to change the composition of their diet.” About Claire Turrell Claire Turrell is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Singapore. Her work has been published by Insider, National Geographic, The Guardian and BBC. Support truly independent European news by becoming a member ← print magazine MONTHLY YEARLY SUBSCRIBE €19 €150 Short-term commitment Best value, save 34% website CONTRIBUTORS Alejandro Tauber is publisher of EUobserver, and previously was editor at VICE’s Motherboard, and publisher of TNW, with a background in science and tech reporting. Matt Tempest is comment editor at EUobserver, and a former political correspondent for The Guardian in London, and news editor at AFP in Paris and dpa in Berlin. Paula Soler is EUobserver's social affairs correspondent. She previously worked covering economic and financial affairs at Spanish newspaper El Confidencial. Andrew Rettman is EUobserver’s foreign affairs and defence correspondent. Claire Turrell is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Singapore. Her work has been published by Insider, National Geographic, The Guardian and BBC. daily newsletter social media Björn Jóhann Ólafsson is a researcher, writer, journalist and editor for Sentient Media, specialising in climate, agriculture, and animals. George Monbiot is an environmentalist, author, and columnist for The Guardian. Nikolaj Nielsen is migration correspondent at EUobserver. Eszter Zalan is democracy and rule-of-law reporter at EUobserver, focusing on central and eastern Europe. Wester van Gaal is green economy reporter with EUobserver. Lisbeth Kirk is the founder of EUobserver. Tomas Luko is sales and marketing director at EUobserver. Henner Sorg is sales and marketing manager at EUobserver. CREATIVE DIRECTION Studio Limbo - PRINTED BY Designpress GmbH ADDRESS EUobserver Résidence Palace - International Press Centre Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 155 1040 Brussels - Belgium CONTACT

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