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Should You Be Afraid Of “Clean Meat”?

It has been called the “second agricultural revolution” and I think it may be one of the largest revolutions of our lifetimes. This idea is super important to me, and I think it could really help us all moving forward. Let’s dive into it.

The Second Agricultural Revolution

Before we go into the second, let’s discuss the first! We can understand the first agricultural revolution as when human beings started to domesticate both animals and plants. That allowed us a new level of control to extract nourishment from the environment around us.

Now, we have reached a point where we need to extract that same amount of nourishment, without creating a detrimental amount of waste (and endangering our future, period). People have attempted to do this without creating:

  • Large amounts of pollution
  • Animal suffering in all its forms
  • Unsustainable fossil fuel requirements
  • A need for deforestation
  • A need for antibiotic usage

Ultimately, though, humans consume meat (and other animal proteins). While there have been plenty of civilizations and peoples that have avoided doing this, there still exists a large demand for meat (and the percentage of those that do not are unlikely to become the majority – without viable alternatives).

Key Insight: The concept of cellular agriculture, or “clean meat,” might just replace the meat that we have today – perhaps within a timeframe of 5 – 7 years. First, I would love to tell you more about it.

The Concept of Clean Meat

This is not plant-derived, artificial meat, done in a more gourmet fashion. Instead, this is real animal protein, created in an entirely new way. Think about it like this, historically speaking we have retrieved animal protein two ways:

  1. Hunting animals for their meat
  2. Raising animals for their muscles

The inefficiencies here, though, are vast. I have heard arguments talking about how much fuel we have to put into animals in order to get a certain amount back. It just does not add up.

Bottom Line: While we might not have the entire world going vegan, with the growing rate of the world modernizing, we have to figure out more effective ways to feed way more people.

Clean meat is no different from the meat that we eat now. The main difference is that there are no animals involved in the production of this meat. Instead of farming animals, you begin farming cells in order to craft that final product.

The truth is that this is already happening in some other amazing ways. Case in point being insulin for diabetics. Prior to the 1980s, insulin was not made in synthetic forms (and was, therefore, not made economically).

There was even a point where insulin was derived from cadavers. Scientists had to take pancreatic tissues from these remains, and extract the insulin in order to put it to better use. It was horribly difficult to do, and insulin was more expensive because of it.

In addition to that, there was often concerns about purity, cleanliness, and the reproducibility from batch to batch of the insulin. But, from this point onwards, researchers discovered how to work with bacteria to produce insulin in a continuous fashion.

Now, those who needed insulin were better able to access it, because this new discovery in production resulted in a consistent product that was readily available at all times (with much less work involved). It helped a lot more people get healthy and in many different ways.

Bottom Line: Clean meat is based on this general idea. If we have the opportunity to cut through the process and to create meat that can be more sustainable, with less suffering, to feed ever-increasing amounts of people across the globe, we all benefit.

Consider The Hamburger

Let’s think about a hamburger. Overall, all the hamburger represents is simply muscle tissue from a cow. It really does not require an entire animal in order to exist. In fact, it only relies on a relatively small part of the animal in total (if you include the hooves, the brain, the nervous system, and everything beyond the mere protein).

The technology today has gotten to the point where they can take cells from a cow, via biopsy (one shot at one point in time from one cow). Those cells are then “grown.” This involves giving them the proper nutrients, and even currents to the point that they are moving on their own.

This is all so exciting! The most pivotal part of all of this is the final product. What remains is a piece of meat completely indistinguishable from the same cut of meat that you might find from a cow. It looks the same, tastes the same, and involves no animals (except for one shot, at one time, with little effect to the cow at all).

Key Insight: Some versions of this are easier to do than others. Ground meat, for example, does not require the kind of complicated textures that you would expect from a steak. It’s not the end of the story, but it does add some important complexities to the process.

The Benefits of Clean Meat

So, what are some of the advantages of developments in clean meat, and producing clean meat? Let’s break them down, one by one, so that you can see the bigger picture…

Humanitarian Benefits

If I could be a healthy vegan, I would be a vegan (and I know lots of folks who feel the same way) (1). In a lot of ways, our morals are defined by matters of practicality. Take whaling, for example, whaling was pretty commonplace in the 18th century because of the need for whale oil to light lamps in large cities.

Even at that point in time, there were plenty of people who were against the practice. It was low levels of supply that were driving the demand for whale oil, and therefore the practice of whaling. It was not until kerosene was invented that whaling became extinct because whale oil no longer served a practical purpose with such an economical alternative on the market.

Bottom Line: As clean meat begins to scale, it might get to the point where it is simply more economically advantageous to eat clean meat as opposed to regular meat. When we move in this direction, we are more likely to see a heartier embrace of this idea.

While the first iteration of clean meat might seem prohibitively expensive, like thousands of dollars for “clean meatballs,” that does not mean that they will remain expensive for a long time. Once they get produced in mass quantities and cost less to manufacture because of that, these prices are going to come down and become just as affordable as “regular” meatballs.

Nutritional Benefits

When it comes to animal protein, there are things you can do to change the nutritional profile of the protein that it produces – whether it is with feed, activity, or anything else that may influence the animal to the point that the protein output changes.

Those are your constraints, though, that you will only be able to maneuver within certain levels (and never beyond). In a clean meat context, those same limits do not exist.

Key Insight: With clean meat, you could have ideal fatty acid profiles, change the micronutrient content, you could adjust all those levels perfectly.

From a culinary perspective, we could also see a “microbrewed” version of protein production. This could be where different restaurants could offer their own protein varietal that is distinct, patented for them, and completely unique.

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Environmental Benefits

What kind of effect do our current eating habits have on the environment? They are as follows:

  • Greenhouse Gases
  • Deforestation
  • Water Requirements

Bottom Line: Did you know that growing animals for food wastes 90% of the caloric input? It’s not a sustainable model for a growing population, which is one of the main reasons why clean meat can satisfy such an important need for the world.

Safety Benefits

A large amount of infectious diseases and accidental death comes back to instances of food poisoning. Food poisoning, to boil it down, comes down to one thing: Our food becomes contaminated by animal feces, and is no longer safe to eat.

In the slaughter and processing of animals, it is inevitable that feces gets mixed in. This is also the same with plants, where fertilizers can lead to disease that can be fatal for humans.

Key Insight: If our protein can be grown without ever being in contact with feces, we would dramatically reduce the risk that comes from food poisoning – and plenty of accidental deaths would be avoided altogether.

These days, cutting a chicken breast on a cutting board followed by a salad is a recipe for salmonella. With clean meat, that could be a complete non-issue.

Then there is the question of antibiotics (2). Animals are given loads of antibiotics to speed up the growing process, which gives harmful bacteria the opportunity to resist the effects of other antibiotics down the road. This leads to unnecessary deaths, not for a lack of treatment, but due to bacteria that are more resistant.

Clean meat does not require or benefit from antibiotics. If you practice proper kitchen hygiene, you know that is important to be careful when you handle raw poultry, meat, or fish. None of these concerns will apply to clean meat. it will be a sterile product and not carry the risk of infection or contamination.

What Clean Meats Can You Expect?

If the clean meat revolution is on its way, it is interesting to think of some of the products that might hit the market first. These might be things like:

  • Ground Meat
  • Collagen
  • Egg Whites
  • Milk

These have already been done, and are currently on a scale to which they can be made available to the public (at a reasonable cost) in the near future.

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Steaks, and other complex proteins, I would like to think of them as a next step. While they might be more difficult to create at first, it is not intangible to think of some existing down the road.

Even things like fish, these are all pretty simple structures. It is less a matter of being able to do them, rather being able to do them that makes sense for your grocery budget.

Bottom Line: In the coming years, estimates are that clean meat will be widely accessible in 2 years, and price competitive in 7 years.

Should You Be Afraid Of Clean Meat?

Honestly, my fear is that health experts (like myself) could have misguided fears that could derail what could be one of the greatest food revolutions in all of humanity. I would prefer to avoid that, if possible because I know how much power clean meat could have.

That’s why I want to make some things perfectly clear…

Clean meat is not the same as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is talking about replicating the exact same things you are eating right now, and not turning them into hybrids or superfood versions of the same thing. It’s about being sustainable, not about being Superman.

Bottom Line: Clean meat is not scary, it is not “frankenfood,” and there is no reason to think that we are playing God or doing something to tamper with the fabric of being. This is the same food being made without suffering, significant environmental impact, or any pollution.

Clean Meat: Here To Stay

I have to tell you something: I am really pleased with the developments being made in the world of clean meat. To be able to spare animals from slaughter, to reduce pollution, and to do it in a cost-effective way that benefits your everyday life, it sounds like a win for everyone.

That is why, when it comes to clean meat, I really hope that you will be open to the idea of cellular agriculture and what it could mean for you, your neighbors, and the planet. In fact, I think it could be a truly substantive change in the world – the kind that changes lives, forever.

Start Your Own Health Revolution Today

While we have learned a lot about clean meat today, there are still some things you might be left wondering about – specifically about your own body and the way it works. Please consider taking the Thyroid Quiz (3) today, to give yourself a better idea of how you work, and what you can do to start bettering your life right now.

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet.

Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.

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