General, Research, Technology

Food of the future: protein race and test tube meat

Are you ready to change your eating habits? In view of the climate crisis, the researchers propose to take a number of measures, including abandoning the consumption of red meat and switch to alternative protein foods. Meat has been a source of protein in developed markets for many years, but consumer interest in greener foods has been growing in recent years. And if so far in our country so many people have refused meat, in Europe and the USA there are more and more vegetarians, especially among young people. However, it is no secret to anyone that in 2040 the grocery basket will undergo a number of significant changes. But what alternative sources of protein exist and can they replace the meat we love so much?

Already today you can try a vegetable meat burger

Unlike natural changes that are earlyor later should happen to our planet, with his behavior, man has changed the usual course of things: the climate on Earth is changing faster than most scientists expected. This will inevitably lead to changes, most of which cannot be called favorable. In order for the number of natural disasters not to exceed all conceivable and inconceivable proportions, you and I need to reconsider your usual way of life, including your grocery basket.


  • 1 Do I need to give up red meat?
  • 2 Battle of the manufacturers
  • 3 What can replace red meat?
    • 3.1 Vegetable proteins
    • 3.2 Insects
    • 3.3 Mycoprotein
    • 3.4 Cultured Meat
  • 4 What will we eat in 20 years?

Do I need to give up red meat?

Scientists around the world urge to consume lessred meat, but it's not just about climate change. Researchers reasonably believe that high meat consumption correlates with the development of cancer, cardiovascular and other diseases. So, the results of a study published in the journal International Journal of Cancer indicate an increased risk of developing breast cancer in women. During the study, scientists monitored the state of health of 42 thousand subjects for 7.6 years. During the observation, 1536 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed. Women who consumed red meat more often had a 23% higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who preferred plant foods or consumed less pork and beef. Conversely, a high consumption of poultry meat is associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Researchers concluded that red meat is a likely carcinogen.

A number of previous studies have also identifiedcorrelation with the consumption of red meat and the development of many diseases. The UK Department of Health recommends that anyone who eats more than 90 grams of red or processed meat per day reduce their intake to 70 grams or less due to bowel cancer. I note that the processed meat includes sausages, bacon and ham. So, the result of a five-year study, which was attended by half a million men and women registered in the British research project Biobank, showed that those who consumed an average of 76 grams of red or processed meat per day had a 20% higher risk of developing bowel cancer compared to those who consumed an average of 21 grams per day.

And the results of another studysuggest that red meat increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The study involved more than 120 thousand people. In the course of the work, scientists analyzed the data of 37,698 men in the period from 1986 to 2008 and 83,644 women in the period from 1980 to 2008. The results showed that adding extra raw red meat to someone’s daily diet increases the risk of death by 13%, the development of cardiovascular disease by 18%, and cancer mortality by 10%. Rates for processed meats were higher — 20% for overall mortality, 21% for mortality due to heart problems, and 16% for cancer mortality. Researchers have suggested that saturated fat in red meat can cause heart disease, and sodium used in processed meats can negatively affect blood pressure.

You can find out about which products can be harmful to health on our channel in Yandex.Zen

Refusal of red meat is again in question

However, in 2019 in Annals ofinternal medicine came out a study the results of which say that red meat is not a threat to health. A group of scientists conducted a meta-analysis of 118 scientific articles and concluded that the effect of red meat on mortality and the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease is negligible. New analyzes are one of the largest such evaluations that have ever been made and may affect future nutritional recommendations. In many ways, this paper raises uncomfortable questions about nutritional advice and nutritional research, and what standards should be followed in such research. Nevertheless, the work of scientists was instantly criticized. The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and other organizations questioned the results and the journal itself, which published the work. Thus, a statement by scientists from Harvard said that the findings "damage the authority of nutritional science and undermine public confidence in scientific research."

In general, the World OrganizationHealth advises to adhere to a healthy lifestyle, which implies a balanced diet, quitting alcohol and smoking, as well as regular physical activity. And yet, regardless of our desires, an increase in the consumption of red meat causes serious harm to the environment. Thus, the results of numerous studies, including the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), indicate that the less meat humanity consumes, the better for the environment. And since the consumption of meat, one way or another, will have to be reduced, it is logical that he needs a replacement.

Battle of manufacturers

Work on switching to alternative proteinstoday in full swing. However, the introduction of new technologies and ingredients is often an attempt by manufacturing companies to strengthen their market position. The fact is that innovative food companies can reflect consumer experience in meat consumption to a much greater extent. Parallel conduct of advertising campaigns on social networks helps manufacturers to gain popularity. Beyond Meat recently announced its entry into the alternative protein market. According to Vedomosti, the sale of Beyond Meat vegetable meat started in Russia on November 5, and numerous fast food chains announced deals with this producer of alternative proteins. The result will be vegetarian options for popular meat dishes.

This is what Beyond Meat vegetable meat looks like.

Explain the growing number of transactions withvegetable meat producers are pretty easy - despite the fact that the total consumption of meat-based proteins around the world is increasing in proportion to population growth, it is expected that the overall growth rate will halve. According to McKinsey & Company, in 2018, sales of plant foods (the largest source of alternative protein) grew by 17%, while in the future, the use of alternative protein as a food ingredient in consumer goods will only grow. The alternative protein market currently stands at approximately $ 2.2 billion, compared with the global meat market at approximately $ 1.7 trillion, making the growth rate of alternative protein companies insignificant. It is enough to look at the data of the leading countries producing meat products to understand that the market for alternative proteins is significantly inferior to it. In response to increased sales of meat products, industry leaders are introducing a range of products and ingredients using a variety of vegetable proteins such as soy and peas, new animal sources of protein (insects) and biotechnological innovations (cultivated meat or mushroom protein). Given the competent advertising campaigns and the awareness of the planet's population about the extreme climate situation, we can safely assume that the vegetable meat market has a great future. Of course, subject to a generous investment in the development of new technologies.

What can replace red meat?

Protein-rich alternativesingredients derived from plants, insects, fungi, or tissue cultures. Today, four alternative protein production profiles are most actively developing:

Vegetable proteins

Plant proteins today have proven themselves better than others. They are obtained from protein-rich seeds. The most popular are soybeans, followed by peas, chickpeas, lupins, etc.


Crickets are the most common sourcesquirrel and edible insects. In fact, some manufacturers are already grinding crickets for flour. However, at present, it is impossible to isolate protein from flour, since crickets are an expensive pleasure, which significantly complicates the growth and scale of production. Other insects are more commonly used in the feed industry. Thus, according to Business Insider, the market for alternative proteins derived from insects will reach a turnover of $ 8 billion in the future.


This source of protein is obtained from molds. Mushrooms contain about 40% protein, are high in fiber, have limited carbohydrates and are free of cholesterol.

Cultured meat

Scientists are working on cultivated meat, alsoknown as test-tube meat since 2013, after being successfully grown in the laboratory for burger meat. Cultivated meat is meat grown in the laboratory as a culture of cells that never belonged to living things. As a result, muscle tissue is created that mimics the muscles of animals and has a similar protein profile.

Today, the industry leadervegetable protein producers, in particular the previously mentioned American company Beyond Meat. Part of the success of this manufacturer is due to generous investors, including Microsoft creator Bill Gates, former McDonalds CEO and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Have you already tried vegetable meat? Join the discussion of the food of the future in our Telegram chat and tell us if you liked this alternative protein food.

What will we eat in 20 years?

We are unlikely to find ourselves in a situationillustrated in one of the last episodes of the animated series “South Park”, in which all school (and not only) US canteens began to massively buy vegetable meat, which greatly pleased the producers.

A representative of a corporation for the production of vegetable meat tells the heroes of the animated series about the benefits of their products

However, as a result of climate changeAfter 20, 30 and 40 years, some products simply cease to exist. According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, climate change and environmental pollution have a devastating effect on soil, and therefore on plants. We recently told you about microplastics in soil, which causes earthworms to lose mass, which threatens ecosystems. All these problems, in turn, can adversely affect the cultivation of plant crops. According to Amanda Little, author of The Fate of Food. What we will eat in a new, hot world ”, in the future the most delicious food and drinks will disappear, including coffee, beer, bananas and chocolate.

Also serious concerns are the fate of the fishfisheries that are subject to restrictions due to climate change, jeopardizing a critical component of the world's diet. As the temperature rises, the fish population, according to scientists, will rapidly decline and even disappear in some regions, especially in the tropics. According to the third major report of MGIIEK, published in September, having studied the interconnected network of oceans and icy landscapes of the planet, scientists presented a series of gloomy predictions about the chaotic effects of climate change on the seas, oceans and ecosystems, on which the life of the inhabitants of the deep sea depends.

Thus, make a complete picture ofThe grocery basket of the year 2040 is quite difficult today. As a whole to predict the future. However, advances in technology and the switch to vegetable meats can make a significant contribution to tackling climate change, which may save coffee or bananas. And what do you think, what foods will we eat in the future?

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