Human population is growing and we are going to find new ways to feed everyone. Also, meat production is not very environmentally friendly. Solution – lab-grown meat, which could be very cheap and very environmentally friendly. It is also ethically produced. However, a new study from the University of Sydney and Curtin University found that Generation Z find lab-grown meat disgusting.
Gen Z are people born between 1995 and 2015. Scientists find them to be highly concerned about animal welfare and environmental policies. This should make lab-grown meat highly appealing to them, but, as this new study found, it is not the case at all. Scientists interviewed a large group of Gen Z youth and found that 72 % of these people are not ready to accept lab-grown meat. And this is despite the fact that 59 % of participants stated that they are concerned about the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming. Lab-grown meat just doesn’t look like an acceptable solution for them.
Participants were concerned about the taste and looks of the cultured meat. They were also worried that lab-grown meat may not be healthy or safe for them. Finally, participants were not sure whether lab-grown meat is even an environmentally friendly option. They were talking about resources needed to grow cultured meat. This is a bit concerning, having in mind how easy it is for the Gen Z population to research things like that. 35 % of respondents didn’t like the idea of cultured meat or edible insects, but were more open towards plant-based alternatives, because they found them to be more natural. At the same time 9 % rejected cultured meat, but were more open for edible insects. For many people natural alternatives to meat are just more appealing and natural-sounding.
There were, however, some participants who were really excited about the lab-grown meat. They considered lab-grown meat a good money investing opportunity as well as a smart move in terms of the growing population and environment. They also said that lab-grown meat is a great choice for “advanced thinkers.”
Lab-grown meat is still coming, whether you like it or not. Scientists are making great advancements in this area. However, it is going to be a commercial product and businesses need to know whether they will be profitable. That is why studies like this are so important. 28 % of respondents said that they would be more open to lab-grown meat if the technology was mastered. In other words, if lab-grown meat products are safe and tasty, more people will be open for them.
Scientists are already experimenting with growing meat in the lab. However, at the moment the process is not really scalable – it is too slow for industrial production.
Source: University of Sydney