Laboratory Grown Meat: The Next Green Revolution?

From what I've learned about agriculture over the last 10 years, I'm increasingly skeptical that we'll see another green revolution like the last one.  Crop yields for the major staples appear to be reaching agronomic limits in advanced nations.  While there's still room for improvement in developing nations, a lot of the low hanging fruit seems to have been picked.  And then their are challenges with climate change, which could be beneficial in some places, but likely damaging in most places, and possibly severely damaging.

So, where's a technological optimist to turn?

It seems to me that if we have another green revolution, it's going to look more like this. Right now a 5 oz hamburger, grown in a petri dish rather than scraped off a dead animal, costs a reported $325,000.  That's one expensive burger.  But it is easy to imagine how costs could come down in time.

Anyway, there's obviously a lot of uncertainty about this sort of thing, not the least of which is consumer acceptance.  But in the long run, this kind of technology might do a lot to feed a burgeoning planet in a way that's a lot less environmentally damaging, and depending on your point of view, more humane.


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