Wednesday 13 December 2017

Food scientists' vision of Christmas lunch yet-to-come turns tradition on head

Meat, including turkey, will be cultured on a large scale from stem cells, experts say
Meat, including turkey, will be cultured on a large scale from stem cells, experts say

Tradition has been turned on its head in a vision of Christmas lunch yet-to-come from food scientists.

By 2050 we will be tucking into low-fat, vitamin-fortified "turkey" artificially grown in bioreactors, they predict.

At least the turkeys will have something to celebrate as a combination of population growth, climate change and antibiotic-resistant bacteria will make large-scale animal farming unsustainable.

In future, instead of meat being provided by slaughtered animals it will be cultured on a large scale from stem cells, experts say.

The cloned meat could be made to mimic turkey, chicken, beef or any other type of fleshy food desired by the consumer.

Dickon Ross, editor of the engineering and technology publication E&T magazine, which looks at the likely changes to Christmas lunch in its latest issue, said: " Traditionalists need not fear as new technology will mean that we can continue to enjoy our Christmas feast while also protecting both or own health and the environment.

"In future, even turkeys will vote for Christmas."

Other predictions include people having their food consumption monitored by "smart" fridges that let them know what and how much they should be eating.

Home cooking may also mean programming a 3D printing oven to create a nutritious meal from raw ingredients.

In the magazine article, Dr Kurt Schmidinger, from the Future Food Project, talks about the impact pandemics linked to the rise of superbugs might have on animal farming.

By the end of 2030, factory farming of chickens and other animals is likely to be consigned to history, he believes.

Increased demand for agricultural land as a result of population growth and droughts caused by climate change were also expected to put pressure on livestock farming, forcing people either to turn vegetarian or get used to lab-grown meat.

Press Association

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