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The urgency of clean (cell-based) meat technology

The sudden urgency for clean meat to become a success is unprecedented by other tech and science advancements in recent history.  The slow gradual development of other global predicaments may have caused this sudden and unanimous need for clean meat. One of those many societal woes is known as “superbugs”, a term first uttered back in 1954, by a British physician named Lindsey W. Batten.

We’ve known about this developing problem for a long time, with the blame shifting around mainly in the healthcare industry where Doctors have continued to be ridiculed for handing out antibiotics, a solution that is now seen as ill-conceived.

In 1945, Alexander Fleming who is the father of Penicillin warned “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself, and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”

Fleming’s Penicillin was used to rid open battle wounds of dangerous bacteria, essentially cleaning flesh and stopping infections of living people. This amazing creation has saved countless lives to this day. Therefore it should come as no surprise that as time went on industry would solve a seemingly similar problem with antibiotics: The “cleaning” of animals flesh to avoid bacterial contamination.

The key differences in these applications is the timing and the quantity of the doses. In healthcare, antibiotics are given after an infection has begun, after all preventative measures have failed to avoid an infection. The doses given are also high enough to be lethal to almost all microbes, ensuring the death of the infection.

In agriculture, the antibiotics are applied before any signs of infection, and in low doses. This is the exact recipe for antibacterial resistance that Alexander Fleming warned of.

A recent solution to this issue has been a return to a simpler time: Organic Farming. Although an admirable goal, with the human population ever increasing, it is proving an unviable solution.

Enter “Clean Meat”: a solution due to the fact that during its entire growing process, it is never confronted with unsanitary conditions as traditional livestock is.

There are many approaches to clean meat, and many debates surrounding it, but one thing is clear: No matter who you are, you are susceptible to higher chances of infections after consuming grocery store purchased meats, creating the potential for a health crisis that will not be avoided by your personal stance on GMOs, biotechnology, climate change, dietary concerns, or ethics.

A “plague like epidemic” would surely not affect only traditional meat consumers, but would take its toll on every member of society, and that is why Clean Meat could save the world.

September 30, 2018
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