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He wants to use plant-based agriculture

Lab-grown meat may not sound as appealing as the real thing, but tech giants like Google's Sergey Brin have done it in an effort to find viable ways of feeding the world's population, and Microsoft is looking to do something similar. 

According to a new report from The Washington Post, Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates wants to back plant-based animal product replacements. The idea is to use plant-based agriculture, which uses fewer resources than the production of meat. 

Gates has already kick started this idea by investing in Hampton Farms, which is a food startup that makes plant protein-based substitutes for eggs.

The reason Gates wants to make plant-based versions of meat is because raising livestock traditionally has a vast impact on the environment. Beef farming has been criticized for increasing methane emissions, since cows are ruminants fermenting food during digestion and producing carbon gases as a waste byproduct. In fact, five percent of carbon dioxide emissions and forty percent of methane emissions come from beef farming. 


Traditional farming also requires a lot of land and water, and with the human population constantly growing; the traditional way just won't feed 9 billion people. Hence, lab-grown meat will serve as a substitute for the real deal. 

Google co-founder Sergey Brin has already made a $332,000 investment in lab-grown meat, which has been developed and tested. The end result was a hamburger with 20,000 muscle fibers cultured from the stem cells of living cows. The big issue is that the stem cells need fetal bovine serum in order to complete the process, and the serum costs $250 per liter -- requiring as many as three cow fetuses for the liter. 

Those who've tried the artificial meat have described it as close to the real thing and "cake-like." 

The project was led by researchers at the Maastricht Univ., The Netherland's biggest international college. 
 
"When you see how these cows are treated, it's certainly something I'm not comfortable with," said Brin. "[While the synthetic alternative] is really just proof of concept right now, we're trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger.  From there I'm optimistic that we can really scale by leaps and bounds."

Source: The Washington Post



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RE: Sounds great to me
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/7/2013 12:56:06 PM , Rating: 3
And you are saying that growing vegetables take less land and produces no side-effects? You think that vegetable farming is cheap and has no environmental impact?

Look at the differences in land space required for the following:

Cattle ranch
Chicken farm
Pig farm
Vegetable (corn, wheat, soybean, etc) farm
Dairy farm

Which are larger? How often do you see cattle ranches, chicken/pig farms or dairy farms taking up 1000-2000 or more acres? How much fertilizer do you think it takes to fertilize a 2000+ farm? For environmental impact what about pesticides use so all those crops are not eaten by bugs. What about all the diesel fuel the farm equipment needs to run?

Now let's look at what it takes to turn these crops into synthetic meat. What chemicals do you need to add to those vegetables to make them simulate meat protein? Who has done the long term studies on what effects these additives will have on the population? When I say long-term I am talking about 20-50 year studies. All that can be done today with this technology is to do short term studies and extrapolate (guess) what the long term health effects would be.

Your last statement is the key to solving this.

quote:
The kind of stuff we HAVE to do to sustain a growing population. The earth isn't getting any bigger.


The problem is you are looking at it from the wrong direction. We should be working toward reducing our population rather than enabling it to get even larger. Problem is that humanity is pretty poor at accepting or implementing controls on its basic desire to reproduce.


RE: Sounds great to me
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2013 2:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem is you are looking at it from the wrong direction. We should be working toward reducing our population rather than enabling it to get even larger. Problem is that humanity is pretty poor at accepting or implementing controls on its basic desire to reproduce.


Population growth rates for several advanced nations are currently at all time lows, some in the negative like the UK. America is at 1%, it's lowest in decades.

World population growth is hovering around 1.8%. Also extremely low.

And you're talking about population controls, euthanasia (presumably), and our population problem? There IS no problem.

I just don't understand why you people need to parrot this incorrect talking point over and over again. Do you even do research, or just take whomevers word for it?

And the good news is as more and more nations become developed, growth rates will slow even more due to healthcare availability, contraceptive access, and more people in good economic situations choosing to have smaller families.


RE: Sounds great to me
By Etsp on 8/7/2013 3:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
Euthanasia is not a form of population control. It damn well never should be. It should be the last resort of the already dying who are in pain, or those who are so physically disabled they have nothing to live for (locked-in syndrome as an example).

You assume that a typical democrat would think that euthanasia is an acceptable method of population control.

I think you need to start talking to democrats in your area face to face instead of arguing with them on the internet. Look for common ground. Your perspective of the left is totally inaccurate, and it's causing you to become an extremist.

Are there people who call themselves democrats that would support euthanasia as population control? Probably. There are crazy extremists everywhere, especially on the internet where they can be loud all out of proportion.


RE: Sounds great to me
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2013 5:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
oops my bad. I meant to type eugenics, I don't know why "euthanasia" came out. Sorry. WTF can't we have an edit feature already!?

But really? That's all you had to say in response? I would rather people focus on all the facts I brought up in terms of land usage and populations growth rates, instead of ideology.

quote:
I think you need to start talking to democrats in your area face to face


You assume I don't, why?

quote:
Your perspective of the left is totally inaccurate


My perspective COMES from the Left and the things they profess. It's not my fault their views don't put them in a flattering light.

quote:
Look for common ground.


Unfortunately that is exceedingly difficult. I happen to think the Constitution still matters, and should be enforced. I believe in liberty and freedom, personal responsibility, and a limited federal Government.


RE: Sounds great to me
By JonnyDough on 8/8/2013 12:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, mostly with your last paragraph. We need to reduce our numbers to a more sustainable number. We don't need to use up every last acre of nature in our quest to meet the demands of growth. People need to understand a few things:

1) We are animals also.

2) We are top of the land food chain, and as such we have a duty to control our own numbers if we wish to sustain ourselves and protect other species - which we rely on. We even get medicines from poisonous creatures that live in a single marsh...so we really need to realize that nature provides for us and we didn't create jack crap without it, so we must protect it. We rise from nature, and so does everything that we invent. Without nature, we do not exist. We cannot live with nothing but farmland. Even our farms depend on nature for sustainability. Bees, clean water, and trees all play a part in producing a good crop. Trees block wind, water must be clean for plants, and bees pollinate. Without the ecological cycles in nature none of this is possible. We have to recognize the turning point from early development of a largely untapped wilderness to an overdeveloped urban sprawl, and scale back when necessary to find a balance of both - for nature, but also for our own sustainability.


"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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