By 2050, bringing 20% of our beef to "microbial" might temporarily reduce deforestation

By 2050, bringing 20% of our beef to "microbial" might temporarily reduce deforestation ...

By 2050, dumping just a fifth of cattle with microbial protein might reduce deforestation, according to a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The market-ready meat alternative is very similar in taste and texture, although it is a biotech product that involves significantly less land resources and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land-use change. This is the first time research has predicted the development of these market-ready meat substitutes into the future, examining their potential impact on the

PIK claims that ruminant meat production is the single largest source of international greenhouse gas emissions. That''s because so many forests that store a lot of carbon are cleared for cattle grazing or feeding, and other benefits as a result of further animal agriculture. Biotechnology: Nutritious protein-rich biomass with meat-like texture, which is called microbial protein.

"The substitution of ruminant meat with microbial protein in the future might substantially reduce the food system''s greenhouse gas footprint," according to Humpenoder. The good news is that people do not need to be afraid to eat only greens in the future. They may continue eating burgers and the like, and that those burger patties will be made in a different way.

Sustainable burgers: repurposing minced red meat with microbial protein

Compared to previous research at the level of single products, a team of researchers from Germany and Sweden included microbiotiques in a computer simulation model to determine environmental impacts. Their future-looking scenarios will be accessed until 2050 and account for future population growth, food demand, dietary patterns, and land utilization patterns. As meat consumption will likely continue to increase in the future, more forests and non-forest natural vegetation may be threatened to extinction for pastures and crops.

We calculated that if we substituted 20% of ruminant meat per capita by 2050, annual deforestation and CO2emissions from land-use reduction would be reduced compared to a business-as-usual scenario. The decreased livestock levels reduce the pressure on land, but also reduce methane emissions from cattle''s rumen, according to Humpenoder. So, replacing minced red meat with microbial protein would be a great start to reduce the detrimental effects of present-day beef

Microbial protein can be decoupled from agricultural production.

Isabelle Weindl, a co-author and researcher at PIK, claims that there are plant-based ones like soybean burger patties and animal cells grown in a petri dish known as cultured meat, which is so far very expensive yet received widespread public attention recently. Theres fermentation-derived microbial protein, which we consider most interesting. It is already available in a wide range already today in supermarkets, for example in the United Kingdom or in Switzerland, and, importantly, it can be greatly decoupled

Microbial protein is formed in diverse cultures, like beer or bread. Microbes are living on sugar and a steady temperature, and they are getting out a very protein-rich supplement that can taste like, feel like, and be as nutritious as red meat in the 1980s. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a microbial protein meat alternative (mycoprotein).

Green biotechnology must be powered by green energy.

Biotechnology is a promising toolbox for a variety of land-related issues, from ecosystem preservation through improving food security, according to PIK''s co-author. Alternatives to animal proteins, such as substitutes for dairy products, may greatly benefit animal welfare, reduce water use, and eliminate carbon-rich and biodiverse ecosystems. However, there are important issues associated with shifting livestock to fermentation tanks, especially the energy supply for the production process.

It requires a large-scale decarbonization of electricity generation, according to Popp. Even if we do this properly, microbiome might assist meat-lovers in this phase. It might really make a difference.

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