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A new online guided course on cellular agriculture is now available for free, containing concise introductory information and insights into the emerging food technology that represents one of the most crucial solutions to our unsustainable food system. As it stands, our global food system simply cannot meet the challenges of feeding a world of 10 billion people by 2050 – challenges that will only become more difficult as we face the escalating climate emergency.
Created by CellAgri, a news and insight platform focused on the future of food in the field of cellular agriculture, the new “Introduction to Cellular Agriculture Course” is a 5-day guided email course free for all users to participate in. The course is designed for beginners who are interested in the nascent industry, and takes students through the basics of cellular agriculture in food – from biotechnology to tissue engineering.
Those who sign up to the course will receive one story from the platform each day, offering various resources to learn more about how cell-based foods can help the world transition into a more sustainable food system, away from the present animal livestock-centric system.
Raising livestock for meat and dairy generates around 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than all transportation combined – and uses around 70% of agricultural land, in the process driving destructive practices such as deliberate deforestation, as well as contributing to biodiversity loss and water pollution.
As our global population is projected to explode to 10 billion people, the way we currently produce our food to meet the demand for protein will become untenable. Alternative proteins, such as cell-based or cultivated meat, as well as plant-based meat, present important solutions to the environmental and health problems we will soon face.
While the plant-based industry has already become widely popular and entered the mainstream market as consumers seek out healthier and more sustainable products, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the cultivated food industry has yet to debut its first commercially available product to consumers.
However, the technology has already proven that growing real meat in labs can eliminate the need for factory farming and its associated antibiotic use, cruel animal slaughtering practices, greenhouse gas emissions and public health risks.
A recent alternative protein report focused on the industry in Asia, the Asia Alternative Protein Industry Report 2020, predicts that even though the industry is in its infancy in the continent, it may well be that the commercial sales of cell-based products will be approved in Asia due to supportive government before similar legislation is passed in the United States and Israel, where cultivated products are also being developed.
Such talks are already underway in China and Japan. Last month, the Chinese national advisory body, the National People’s Congress (NPC), discussed cell-based meat development as one of the major solutions to bolster China’s food security. It comes as the country faces meat shortages and surging prices as livestock diseases continue to haunt the region on top of the external supply shocks brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Japanese authorities are already looking to establish new rules and regulations for cultivated meat products, with the view to push forward mass industrialisation and production of alternative proteins that some homegrown startups, such as IntegriCulture, are already actively working on.
Lead image courtesy of Mosa Meat.