But, like many of you, I am deeply worried about climate change. So when I found out how bad cattle and dairy farming is for the planet my heart broke.
The cattle and dairy industry produces more than double the carbon emissions of shipping or aviation.
Dairy’s climate hoofprint
Before we dive into Formo, we need to appreciate the environmental cost of cattle and dairy farming.
Let’s first look at their greenhouse emissions.
In total, the global cattle and dairy industry produced 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015 — more than double the carbon footprint of shipping or aviation. To make matters worse, this figure doesn’t include the methane they produce, which is a vastly more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
But the bad news doesn’t end there. Cattle farming is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the Amazon, and the crops used to make their feed are also grown in environmentally dubious ways.
While they’ve clearly gotten a lot better in recent years, plant-based alternatives just don’t cut it for me and most consumers who are used to the real deal. So do we have to give up our delightful brie and indulgent mac and cheese to save our beautiful planet?
Biotech to the rescue
Companies like Good Meat can grow everything from succulent chicken breasts to sizzling steaks in the lab. They take sample cells from a living animal and grow them in the lab. This results in cultures of fat and muscle cells. Then they assemble these new cells into the shape of the meat needed, and voila, you have real meat without the animal!
Ethical and climate concious meat? Credit; Good Meat
This incredible technology can produce far fewer carbon emissions and use much less land than traditional livestock farming, while having virtually the same nutrients as normal meat. This is why it is considered by many to be the future of meat.
Now a company called Formo is trying to do the same for cheese.