By next year, the world’s supply of meat will likely be exhausted, but there is no denying that a new breed of animals is taking shape in the meat market.
“This is an exciting time for meat,” says Roberta Voorhees, senior director of global innovation at U.S. meat supplier Tyson Foods, which is investing $1 billion in developing plant-based meat and dairy products.
“There’s a lot of new ideas in the plant-like world.
The key is that it’s going to be sustainable, and we’re just in the process of building it.”
Here’s what you need to know about meat.
How does it work?
Plant-based animals, such as cows, pigs, and chickens, are typically raised in factory farms and fed antibiotics and other toxic chemicals.
The animals are then slaughtered and used for meat, but some researchers and animal rights groups have proposed using a plant-derived protein, like collagen, to increase the animal’s meaty content.
This is known as the “calf-based” or “lean” method.
The protein is often obtained from animals like beef, pork, or lamb, but also from a variety of other animals, like cows, sheep, and goats.
But, because plants are able to make a product that’s much more nutritious, these meat alternatives often include more nutrients than animal products.
A plant-protein supplement may contain more nutrients, but it also can be more expensive, and it may require more space, equipment, and time to grow, produce, and process.
Many people believe that there is still a long way to go before these new animals can replace the meat produced by animals, but researchers say it’s already possible.
And there’s more to come.
A growing body of research shows that a plant protein supplement can be far more sustainable than a meat substitute.
For example, research suggests that a protein supplement could be more sustainable for animals than a traditional meat substitute, and a new study published in PLOS ONE shows that plant-dairy products are actually more environmentally friendly than beef or lamb.
What do we eat?
One of the first things that you’ll notice when you start eating meat is that the animals are in the middle.
Most people don’t realize that meat and other animal products come from animals that have been raised in large groups, with the help of hormones and antibiotics, for a long period of time.
“The meat industry is going to get very competitive over the next few decades,” says Voorheyes.
“I think there will be a lot more of a focus on using plant-source protein as a meat alternative.”
And because these meat substitutes are going to come with a higher level of environmental impact, they may also have a higher price tag.
But they’re also going to have more benefits than they’re going to cost.
“You can’t really beat the health benefits of plant-free products,” says Dr. Kevin Coughlin, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Coughlins work focuses on the environmental impact of meat.
He’s also an adviser to the Center for Food Safety, which supports the use of plant proteins in meat substitutes.
Cows are a prime example of a plant animal that’s been raised without the use, use, and abuse of antibiotics, antibiotics-like growth-promoting hormones, and other chemicals.
“They’re basically just the most efficient animals for meat production,” Coughls research director, Kevin Caughlin, says.
“It’s like the only meat we have right now, except that they’re all grass-fed.”
Coughlers team studies cattle in Mexico and Asia and has identified the top five sources of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in livestock across Asia and the Americas.
“We’re going after a whole set of pathogens that are the same for all of these animals,” he says.
What are the downsides?
In the short term, it’s difficult to say how many animals will be used for plant-containing meat alternatives, but estimates are that by the end of the century, the use and production of meat and cheese will be significantly reduced.
That’s because plants can produce more protein in a shorter amount of space.
And they can grow at higher temperatures, producing more protein per square inch of space, and making more food per acre of land, which makes them much more sustainable.
But for the long term, meat production will probably become more intensive, with more people and more animals being used.
“A plant-produced meat alternative is going, in a way, to be a substitute for animal agriculture,” says Kevin Croughlin.
“What that means is that you’re going from a factory farm to an animal farm.”
And that means that there’s going be a whole new set of environmental problems associated with using animals that are treated as commodities, rather than living beings.
“People are going from being meat consumers to going