Title: Environmental impacts of cultured meat: alternative production scenarios
Citation: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector p. 1360-1366
Publisher: ACLCA
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC91013
ISBN: 978-0-9882145-7-6
URI: http://lcafood2014.org/papers/132.pdf
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Cultured meat is produced by culturing animal muscle tissue in a laboratory without growing the whole animals. Its development is currently in a research stage. An earlier study showed that cultured meat production could potentially have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use compared to conventionally produced meat. The aim of this paper is to amend the previous study by considering alternative production scenarios. The impacts of replacing cyanobacteria based nutrient media with plant based media are assessed. This paper includes more specific modelling of a bioreactor suitable for cultured meat production. Further, this study estimates the water footprint of cultured meat based on a method that is compliant with life cycle assessment. The environmental impacts of cultured meat are compared with conventionally produced meat and with plant based protein sources. It is concluded that regardless of the high uncertainty ranges cultured meat has potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and land use when compared to conventionally produced meat.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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