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The writer is an FT restaurant critic
It started a few years ago and I talked to several food journalists online. “Are there a lot of PR contacts around lab-grown meat?” We definitely had, but have you actually seen anything? Did you taste it? No. A promising sample was mentioned in a lockeddown lab somewhere, but I couldn’t really see it “at this time”.
This was all very strange. When you write about food, you want to taste you a little artisan gin, do good things about the restaurant, and think about what kind of biscuits you recommend for Christmas hilarious PR I’m used to. There are usually things to taste and packages to look at. It’s about the products that actually exist. But this was different. A leading international public relations company that wants readers to be excited about what hasn’t really happened yet.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, there have been many patents on food and drink. J Harvey Kellogg constantly fought against other producers of rival breakfast cereals, Coca-Cola waxed fat with its delicious soft drink “secret recipe”, and McDonald’s devised and defended Big Mac. These were single products and were voluntary purchases.
Other sectors worked harder on their intellectual property. You can agree or disagree with life-saving drug or vaccine patents. You can make sure that the patent is funding the research, or you can protest that the funding needs to be public and the results available in the public domain. In any case, it cannot be denied that “Big Pharma” is big because of IP. We can believe that the patented combination of genetically modified sterile plants, fertilizers and pesticides will be an important part of feeding the world, but that the heavy pesticides are huge because of their IP. It cannot be denied.
Currently, there are not many IPs in the meat industry. There may be some breeding, but no one holds a Friesian patent. Meat is a big business, huge, and definitely damaging to the planet, but not a monolith. There are millions of people around the world who breed, care for animals, slaughter and process, transport meat, butchers and retail. They don’t work for the same company and most importantly they deal with “meat”. .. .. It is not “meat (TM)”.
That’s why companies currently promoting lab-grown meat as part of a more sustainable future aren’t so worried about retailing their products right now. They want the general public to be intrigued by the idea. .. .. You might think it’s important for the future of the planet, but don’t think that sustainability is the main driving force here. The first patented company to manufacture “beef” patties or “chicken” nuggets grown in a viable lab would immediately sell it to the fast food business and just boost it a bit until it bleeds in their hometown. is.
Saving animal lives, preventing rainforest clear-cutting, and reducing methane flatulence will not excite investors. These changes are not profitable. The Holy Grail replaces the meat we consume with a unique product that owns the IP of meat. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s were able to grow foods patented by two of the world’s top food companies by market capitalization, but the animal-free “meat” patent completes their achievements. May be reduced to.
And an expensive PR push, a less gentle steering to part-time veganism as a lifestyle statement, a non-specific facilitator of “happiness”, regardless of morality, ethics, politics or animal welfare? It is to prepare its vast market when the miracle “meat” finally arrives.
Don’t get me wrong. We applaud anyone who wants to be vegan, vegetarian, reduce meat intake, or move to a plant-based diet. For the record, I eat well-bred sustainable meat, but in much less than before. Most of the current discussions about the position of meat in our diet are intelligent, measured, and I think it’s good for all of us, but laboratory-grown meat is part of that story. It’s not as simple as you believe it’s playing.
Now, give up the meat and eat the plants. However, laboratory-grown products aim to replace meat addiction with patentable ones. If you do, “Meathadone”. Now think a little about the business essentials. When a food company becomes able to “manufacture meat,” on the contrary, you don’t want you to eat less.
After all, laboratory-grown meat, along with the fish, milk, and eggs that are currently being prototyped, is not sustainable, saves the planet, or is not really food. It’s about IP. Bat-grown protein awards can produce something even more economically important than Coke or McDonald’s, for all of us, all vegans, all steak lovers, health freaks, and foodies. You need to understand.
Lab-grown meat isn’t about sustainability, it’s big business Source link Lab-grown meat isn’t about sustainability, it’s big business
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