Lab-grown meat could spur global warming more in the long-term than some types of cattle farming according to a study published by the Oxford Martin School. The researchers found over a 1,000-year period, production of cultured meat could increase global warming more if the process depended heavily on high-carbon energy. However, growing meat in urban laboratories could free up land for storing carbon in vegetation or other ways, The Oxford research highlighted a huge difference in the amount of time for which different greenhouse gases influence the climate. Methane, released from cattle manure and flatulence, is more dangerous in the short-term but fades fast. Methane has a larger warming impact – however, it only remains in the atmosphere for about 12 years whereas carbon dioxide persists and accumulates for millennia. As a result, the researchers found over a 1,000-year period, production of cultured meat could raise global warming more if the process depended heavily on high-carbon energy.
Lightbulb Moment: This is an interesting look into the future but until there is acceptance of lab-grown meat both by government and consumers, 1,000 years is a long way off. The technology is not there to produce lab-grown meat in any significant amount and consumer taste studies show lab-grown meat is no match for the real thing. The price, taste, and production methods are barriers.