Is the Future of Meat in the Lab?
with Benjamin Wurgaft
As our global population continues to expand, and developing societies grow wealthier, our food supply is being stretched thin. In particular, global demand for meat continues to rise – and with it the stress on our land and freshwater ecosystems. One new technology being touted as a future solution is animal protein grown in a bioreactor. Is laboratory meat our future?
Benjamin WurgaftWriter, Editor, Historian
Historian and writer Ben Wurgaft spent over a half-decade researching and writing about the lab-grown meat industry, still in its infancy. In his book Meat Planet, he emerged a skeptic about lab meat’s potential to transform our future food systems. In this episode, Ben discusses the technological challenges to scaling up production, and the way that the profit-driven hype machine around laboratory meat lauds techno-utopian solutions over hard social choices.
“There is plenty of protein already,” Ben says. “Why not redistribute it better? Why not treat food scarcity as a problem of distribution and justice rather than as a problem of production?” For Ben, hoping for a lab meat revolution only lets us avoid these deeper challenges. “The broader question here is about the human imagination, and what’s available to us and what isn’t, in order to imagine a better collective future.”