Mushroom-based burgers? A “good start” to save the forest

Replace 20% of beef by 2050 from microbial protein – another way to create fermentation tanks from bacteria or fungi- can cut deforestation in half, As analyzed by the Potsdam Institute for the Study of Climate Change (PIK).

The results of this simulation study were published in the journal ‘Nature’ and, according to its authors, replacing meat with microbial protein “would be a good start” for reduce the damage of the current beef.

The food industry is the source of one third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, along with the production of ruminant meat is the largest, said Florian Humpenöder, the leader of the study.

This is because more and more forests that store a lot of carbon are being cut down grazing animals or growing their foodand because of the additional greenhouse emissions from animal agriculture.

Part of the solution may be existing biotechnology: food, protein-rich biomass with similar texture for meat produced by microbes such as fungi through fermentation, what scientists call “microbial protein,” explains the PIK statement.

“Substituting ruminant meat for microbial protein in the future can reduce the carbon dioxide of food products,” says Humpenöder, for whom “the good news is that people. you don’t have to fear that in the future you will only eat vegetablesthey can still eat hamburgers and the like, only these will be made differently. “

To reach their conclusion, scientists from Germany and Sweden used the inclusion model, including microbial organisms in the analysis.

Future events continue into 2050 as well including future population growthfood demand, dietary patterns, and land use and agriculture.

Thus, they found that 20% of ruminant meat per person has been replaced by 2050, annual deforestation and CO2 emissions from land use change. will be cut in half compared to a scenario without modification.

The reduction of cattle head not only reduces the height of the land, but also also reduce methane emissions from livestock and the nitrous oxide derived from the fertilization of feed or manure control, recalls Humpenöder.

Isabelle Weindl, another of the signatories, points out that in general there are three groups of meat analogues: have vegetable history, such as soy burgers, and those from animal cells grown in a petri dish, also called meat culture, which is currently very expensive but has recently gained public approval.

And there are those microbial protein obtained from fermentation, that “we want to know more”; it is already available in supermarkets, for example, in the UK or Switzerland.

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