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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 FITCamaro on 8/7/2013 12:59:48 PM , Rating: 3
The only thing raising the price of beef right now is ethanol and ridiculous "emissions" regulations (because even crap needs to be regulated now).

On what basis is beef farming not sustainable? The land use? America has a crap ton of unused land. Try looking at a damn population map. Less than 10% of land in the US is being used by the population. We have plenty of room to let cows roam.

Food costs? You don't have to feed cows anything other than grass. They do to fatten them up quicker. And again because of ethanol, they are resorting to things like candy to feed them because actual feed is getting so expensive. More cows in the US would lessen the need for fattening them up faster than grass allows.

We produce plenty of food to feed the world. Even with liberals ending farming in places like California to save a non-indigenous fish. All we need to do is lower the price of fresh water using nuclear power and desalinization plants. Know what that means? Jobs. But those are evil unless its a government job to this administration.

RE: Sounds great to me
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2013 2:21:19 PM , Rating: 3
Fun fact: America (and other developed nations) throw away annually about half (50%) of all meat sold/delivered.

Half! Let that sink in for a minute in regards to the discussion.

Humans only occupy about 1% of the land mass on Earth. The amount of land required to keep us fed is infinitesimally small. Population growth rate? Just 1.1%!

Yet here we have Liberals rehashing the same failed ideological assaults dating back to the 1950's about population growth, humans running out of land, and the inability to feed our numbers. ALL of these have been proven wrong and wrong again. Anyone using these talking points is a certifiable moron and should be ignored.

If you want to eat artificial meat, fine, just do it and shut up. But don't sit here and make a political statement about it. And don't use outright lies and fabrications to back them up.

RE: Sounds great to me
By cfaalm on 8/7/2013 6:04:59 PM , Rating: 3
Fun fact: America (and other developed nations) throw away annually about half (50%) of all meat sold/delivered.

It has even been stated in a documentary (The Taste Of Waste) that the waste of food in developed countries (USA and Europe mainly), if well distributed, could more than feed the ones in hunger now. So right now there isn't a shortage problem as well as a distribution problem. Now before we go on producing more food, we'd better find a way to get it to the right place.

This will put away with the discussion on lab meat vs real cattle for now. Later on we will eventually face the question if we need such technology, if it is world population or living on Mars. Plant based protein or lab meat vs real cattle. If the new technology becomes economically feasible both will exist for some time to come.

RE: Sounds great to me
By w8gaming on 8/7/2013 10:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if you expand the hunger issue to the whole world then it is not as simple as it is. Can United States make enough food to feed the whole world? The hunger issue really is a world problem, not just limited to a single country. You are correct to think that we are not running out of space for food that soon. Other problem will hit us sooner, and the most obvious problem is oil and energy. There is also issue such as drinkable water, raw materials etc. Food is merely one aspect of the population issue. A lot of lands are being converted to energy and biofuel purpose now which effectively reduce the amount of farmable lands available.

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