Would you eat artifical meat?

March 12, 2012, 12:36 PM GMT+0

62% of public say they would not eat lab-grown meat; 19% say they would

The general consensus among respondents is that they would probably not eat artificial meat that has been grown in a laboratory if it was to become available commercially, our poll shows.

  • The majority (62%) say that no, if artificial meat was available commercially, they would probably not eat it
  • Under 1 in 5 (19%) of respondents say they "would probably eat it"
  • Another 19% don’t know if they would

Men and women seem somewhat divided on the topic, with more men saying they would be inclined to eat the product than women. A split also exists between age groups, with significantly more young people saying they would eat the meat than older generations

  • Only 11% of women say they would eat the artificial meat, while more than twice that amount (28%) of men say they would eat it
  • More than half of males (51%) still say they wouldn’t eat artificial meat, along with a large majority (73%) of female respondents
  • While half of those aged 18 to 24 years say they would not eat artificial meat, 32% say that they would, doubling the amount of people aged between 25 and 39 (17%) and people over 60 (16%)
  • Around 1 in 5 people aged 40 years to 59 (19%) say they would eat artificial meat

Dietary Habits

It is notable that the highest percentages of people who say they "probably wouldn’t eat" artificial meat are those respondents who also claim to be vegans or vegetarians

  • Only around 1 in 7 vegetarians or vegans (14%) claim they would eat the meat, while three quarters (75%) say they would not
  • Of those who are not vegetarian or vegan, 1 in 5 say they would eat the meat
  • Over half of non-vegetarians and non-vegans (62%) would not eat it

Artificial meat will potentially become a regular part of our diet, as it has been reported that Dutch scientists have used stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue in order to produce the first lab-grown hamburger. The lab grown meat, expected to cost about £220,000 in the making, is meant to be served up later this year.

Scientists say the aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat; and according to analysis by scientists from Oxford University and Amsterdam University, lab-grown tissue would reduce greenhouse gases by up to 96% in comparison to raising animals. The anti-meat organisation, ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA), is already funding research into the technique, and has praised the development of artificial meat as a step forward for animal rights.

Journalist Keelan Balderson has criticised the development of lab grown meat in his article on Activist Post, stating that “for the foreseeable future (artificial meat) is not likely to ever look, taste or contain the same level of nutrition as a normal joint of grass fed beef... this means if it is to be profitable for the corporations, it’s going to have to be artificially enhanced” which he claims would include the adding of “processed garbage like MSG; a neuro-toxin linked to a myriad of health problems.”

See the full details and results here