3. Artificial Meat
Targeted habit: eating too much meat.
Perhaps somewhat more innocuous than cigarettes and alcohol meat of certain kinds is also considered not so healthy. But what if we could eat something like meat, with the same taste and nutritional values, but without any of the negative effects, including the slaughter of animals that’s required to produce it?
Science to the rescue, again! Millions of dollars have been put into research of in-vitro meat over many years. In August 2013 there was a first public demonstration of an artificial burger being eaten, and according to critics it had quite a bite, feels like meat, albeit it’s not quite the same. Chances are the taste will improve in time.
Furthermore, adapting technology for 3D printing organs, Modern Meadow is working on 3D printing meat. Peter Thiel of the venture backing firm Breakout Labs has made an investment in the company, among others of similar kind.
No doubt all this raises some controversy. There are people who believe that if it’s not naturally grown it can’t be as good, and some even believe it’s not right. The counterargument is strong though. This is meat that you don’t need to kill animals en masse to get, and it’s one you can synthesize to have no well known unhealthy effects that real meat does. It is the meat that even vegetarians can get behind.
Artificial meat is still not on the market, and it is still quite expensive, but with improvements to the technology it will very likely fall down to prices that can compete with ordinary meat and save any regulatory hurdles probably become quite common in the future. The proposition is just too valuable.
Photo credit: REUTERS/David Parry